Order Of Giving The Tests

The child's efforts in the tests are sometimes markedly influenced by the order

in which they are given. If language tests or memory tests are given first, the child

is likely to be embarrassed. More suitable to begin with are those which test

knowledge or judgment about objective things, such as the pictures,

weights, stamps, bow-knot, colors, coins, counting pennies, number

of fingers, right and left, time orientation, ball and

paper-folding, etc. Tests like naming sixty words, finding rhymes,

giving differences or similarities, making sentences, repeating

sentences, and drawing are especially unsuitable because they tend to

provoke self-consciousness.

The tests as arranged in this revision are in the order which it is

usually best to follow, but one should not hesitate to depart from the

order given when it seems best in a given case to do so. It is necessary

to be constantly alert so that when the child shows a tendency to balk

at a given type of test, such as those of memory, language, numbers,

drawing, "comprehension," etc., the work can be shifted to more

agreeable tasks. When the child is at his ease again, it is usually

possible to return to the troublesome tests with better success. In the

case of 8-year-old D. C., who is a speech defective but otherwise above

normal, it was quite impossible at the first sitting to give such tests

as sentence-making, naming sixty words, reading, repeating sentences,

giving definitions, etc.; at each test of this type the child's voice

broke and he was ready to cry, due, no doubt, to sensitiveness regarding

his speech defect. Others do everything willingly except the drawing and

copying. The younger children sometimes refuse to repeat the sentences

or digits. In all such cases it is best to pass on to something else.

After a few minutes the rejected task may be done willingly.


Although we should always encourage the child to believe that he can answer correctly,

if he will only try, we must avoid the common practice of dragging out responses by too

much urging and coaxing. The sympathies of the examiner tend to lead him into the habit

of repeating and explaining the question if the child does not answer

promptly. This is nearly always a mistake, for the question is one which

should be understood. Besides, explanations and coaxing are too often

equivalent to answering the question for the child. It is almost

impossible to impress this danger sufficiently upon the untrained

examiner. One who is not familiar with the psychology of suggestion may

put the answer in the child's mouth without suspecting what he is doing.