Supplementary Considerations

It would be a mistake to suppose that any set of mental tests could be devised

which would give us complete information about a child's native intelligence. There

are no tests which are absolutely pure tests of intelligence. All are influenced to a

greater or less degree also by training and by social environment. For

this reason, all the ascertainable facts bearing on such influences

should be added to the record of the mental e
amination, and should be

given due weight in reaching a final conclusion as to the level of


The following supplementary information should be gathered, when


1. Social status (very superior, superior, average, inferior, or

very inferior).

2. The teacher's estimate of the child's intelligence (very

superior, superior, average, inferior, or very inferior).

3. School opportunities, including years of attendance,

regularity, retardation or acceleration, etc.

4. Quality of school work (very superior, superior, average,

inferior, or very inferior).

5. Physical handicaps, if any (adenoids, diseased tonsils, partial

deafness, imperfect vision, malnutrition, etc.).

In addition, the examiner will need to take account of the general

attitude of the child during the examination. This is provided for in

the record blanks under the heading "comments." The comments should

describe as fully as possible the conduct and attitude of the child

during the examination, with emphasis upon such disturbing factors as

fear, timidity, unwillingness to answer, overconfidence, carelessness,

lack of attention, etc. Sometimes, also, it is desirable to verify the

child's age and to make record of the verification.

Once more let it be urged that no degree of mechanical perfection of the

tests can ever take the place of good judgment and psychological

insight. Intelligence is too complicated to be weighed, like a bag of

grain, by any one who can read figures.