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Stanford Binet Scale vs. OLSAT

By Jacqueline Chinappi

Stanford Binet Scale & OLSAT are exams which measure intelligence. There is debate as to which test is more reliable & valid. Here we will look at the comparison of the two tests.

Gifted Tests

In recent years the OLSAT has replaced the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale to evaluate students for Gifted & Talented Programs in New York. The Gifted & Talented Program is set up within the five boroughs and starts as early as kindergarten and students are tested starting at age 4.

The Old Standard

The Stanford Binet Scale is widely known for measuring intelligence levels of individuals between the ages of 2 to 85+ years. This test was the result of the revision by Lewis Terman in 1916 to the Binet-Simon Scale. Since 1916 there have been many revisions to the test. It was the first published intelligence test to supply detailed administration and scoring procedures was the first American test to use the idea of the intelligence quotient (IQ). (Laurent, Swerdlik, & Ryburn, 1992) Currently, it is in its Fifth Edition.

In 1916 the intelligence test started out as a general intelligence test using only parallel vocabulary tests and a single age scale. The Fifth Edition measures all five factors of cognitive ability using hybrid structure, verbal routing test, nonverbal routing test, verbal ages scales, and nonverbal age scales. It takes on a more game like structure as well and includes colorful artwork, toys, and manipulatives. (Becker, 2003)

The Stanford Binet Scale is founded upon the ideas of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive functioning. (Johnson & D’Amato, 2004) The purpose of the test is to evaluate intelligence and cognitive abilities. The test is used to assess possible learning disabilities and also to place children in gifted programs. This assessment tool is a battery of cognitive tests which measures fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. As the Stanford Binet Scale helps to diagnose developmental disabilities it can be useful in clinical and neurological assessment, early childhood assessment, psycho educational evaluations for special education placements, adult social security and workers’ compensation evaluations, forensic contexts, research on abilities and aptitudes, and providing information for interventions such as IFSPs, IEPs, career assessment, industrial selection, and adult neuropsychological treatment.

Fifth Edition of the Stanford Binet Score

The Fifth Edition is administered through 10 subtests. The testing starts with Item Book 1, routing subtests. The start points are established based on age or approximate ability level. Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning directs the suitable difficulty level in Item Book 2 (Nonverbal) and Verbal Knowledge directs for Item Book 3 (Verbal). The eight remaining subtests, 4 verbal and 4 nonverbal, are measured in Item Books 2 and 3. Each subtest takes approximately 5 minutes. (Roid, 2006)

Scoring for the most recent edition can be done by hand or with the SB5 ScoringPro, which is a Windows-based software program. This program allows for several factors including consistency in raw score conversion, an extended score report, a graphical report, and a brief, narrative summary. (Roid, 2006) The 10 subtest scores are merged to form 4 types of complex scores. These scores include factor index, domain, abbreviated, and full scale. One verbal and one nonverbal subtest is combined to form the factor index score. The 2 domain scales are based on the 5 verbal and 5 nonverbal scores. The two routing subtests merge to develop the Abbreviated Battery IQ (ABIQ). The Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) is a combination score of all 10 subtests. (Roid, 2006)

The cost of complete kits ranges from $974.75 to $1200.00 and can be purchased through the publisher’s website, Riverside Publishing. The lowest priced complete kit includes 3 Item Books, Examiner's Manual, Technical Manual, Child Card, Layout Card, Manipulatives Kit and Storage Box, and 25 Test Records in a carrying case. The highest priced complete kit includes 3 Item Books, Examiner's Manual, Technical Manual, Child Card, Layout Card, Manipulatives Kit and Storage Box, and 25 Test Records in a carrying case as well as a Scoring Pro and Interpretive Manual.

As it was the first of its kind, the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale has gone through many changes over a period of almost 100 years. So while there was room for improvement, does this method have some setbacks? Advantages and disadvantages of the test will be discussed in the next article.