There are diverse tests that are designed specifically to determine skill levels and abilities. Some are used determine cognitive and achievement strengths and weaknesses. These are considered to be national norms that are administered individually. Differential Ability Scales (DAS) and the 2nd version can be given to children between the ages of 2 years and 6 months and 17 years and 11 months.
The developmental levels vary as it relates to the children tested. One primary purpose for these tests is the classification and diagnostic efforts. Differential Ability Scales developed by Collin D. Elliott reflect theories that focus on measuring diverse skills. These are composed of 20 distinct subsets, which include 17 that are cognitive targets and 3 for achievement. The results offer scores for each of these targets.
Cognitive scores and achievement scores provide researchers with additional information. When sets offer different levels of challenge, it is possible to gain insight into the abilities of children. Those who score higher may benefit from increasing levels of academic work. This may also provide information to assist children scoring lower. Scoring levels are 3 based on General Conceptual Abilities.
Individual subsets are the instrumental foundation for cluster scores gathered from General Conceptual Abilities. This concept originates in the thinking associated with the term psychometric g. It provides a closer look at the abilities of individuals in their performance of complex processing actions. These actions actually require understanding and transforming bits of information and application strategies.
Cluster and Standard Scores
There is a lot to be learned from the different scores of DAS tests. Reasoning abilities, for example, can be determined through this testing. Cluster scores show verbal, nonverbal, and special reasoning abilities in children. Subsets of these are useful when it comes to showing special abilities. Standard scores and percentiles are reported, as well. Perception and memory skills are included in these areas.
These tests are not used to determine a child’s I.Q. or overall intelligence. They are a compilation of the British Ability Scales and have been compared to the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Scales. GAS subsets or sub-tests are quite diverse and provides insight into not simply testing abilities but learning styles. Here are some of the examples in these categories:
- Picture Similarities
- Digit Recall
- Object Recall
Differential Ability Scales have been effective tools as it relates to predicting future academic achievement. This is useful not only for parents but instructors, as well. It is also a way to properly study wide ranges of children in school and clinical settings. The normal sample of children studied through tests is 3,475, representing average demographics in the U.S.
The reliability claim of these tests, according to Elliott is between .79 and .94. This is considered to be a high result when being compared to similar testing. Many see this as an important psychological tool that has diverse uses. It produces results which can be quantified and flexible. It is possible to utilize this type of testing to gauge abilities in children and adults, as well.