Repeating Sixteen To Eighteen Syllables

The sentences are:--

(a) "_We are having a fine time. We found a little mouse in the


(b) "_Walter had a fine time on his vacation. He went fishing

every day._"

(c) "_We will go out for a long walk. Please give me my pretty

straw hat._"

PROCEDURE. The instructions should be given as follows: "_Now, listen. I

am going to say something a
d after I am through I want you to say it

over just like I do. Understand? Listen carefully and be sure to say

exactly what I say._" Then read the first sentence rather slowly, in a

distinct voice, and with expression. If the response is not too bad,

praise the child's efforts. Then proceed with the second and third

sentences, prefacing each with an exhortation to "say exactly what I


In this year and in the memory-for-sentences test of later years it is

not permissible to re-read even the first sentence. The only reason for

allowing a repetition of one of the sentences in the earlier test of

this kind was to overcome the child's timidity. With children of 6 years

or upward we seldom encounter the timidity which sometimes makes it so

hard to secure responses in some of the tests of the earlier years.

SCORING. The test is passed _if at least one sentence out of three is

repeated without error, or if two are repeated with not more than one

error each_. A single omission, insertion, or transposition counts as an

error. Faults of pronunciation are of course overlooked. It is not

sufficient that the thought be reproduced intact; the exact language

must be repeated. The responses should be recorded _verbatim_. This is

easily done if record blanks used for scoring have the sentences printed

in full.

REMARKS. In this test and in later tests of memory for sentences, it is

interesting to ask after each response: "_Did you get it right?_" As in

the tests with digits, it is an unfavorable sign when the child is

perfectly satisfied with a very poor response.

It is evident that tests of this type give opportunity for different

degrees of failure. To repeat only a half or a third of each sentence is

much more serious than to make but one error in each sentence (one word

omitted, inserted, or misplaced). It would be possible to use the same

sentences at three or four different age levels, by setting the

appropriate standard for success at each age. If the standard is one

sentence out of three repeated with no more than two errors, the test

belongs in year V. If we require two absolutely correct responses out of

three, the test belongs at about year VII. The shifting standard is

rendered unnecessary, however, by the use of other tests of the same

kind, easier ones in the lower years and more difficult ones in the


Sentences of sixteen syllables found a place in Binet's 1908 scale and

were correctly located in year VI, but later revisions, including that

of Binet, have omitted the test.