Tag Archives: intelligence testing

Use the VAS to uncover your client’s intellectual ability

vas_erSometimes, measuring a client’s or student’s overall intellectual ability isn’t as simple as administering the RIAS-2 , the TOGRA, or the RAIT. Sometimes, very young children; those who speak English as a second language; and those with communication or speech disorders, attention disorders, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions have difficulty on traditional tests of IQ—and they may be underserved simply because they can’t be tested accurately.

The Vocabulary Assessment Scales (VAS) offer an alternate way to assess overall intellectual ability by measuring expressive and receptive vocabulary ability. Research has shown that vocabulary ability correlates strongly with cognitive ability, so professionals can confidently use data from the VAS to estimate general intelligence in individuals ages 2 years, 6 months to 95 years. The VAS correlates strongly with the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS), a trusted measure of general intelligence.

Help uncover your client’s intellectual abilities and get them the help they need to succeed.

With very little motor skill required, and no reading or writing necessary, the test is suited for those who have difficulties taking traditional IQ tests.

The VAS uses modern, engaging photographs (not outdated line drawings, like other picture vocabulary tests) to gauge expressive and receptive language ability. It offers digital stimuli (available on an iPad) to engage younger clients, and scoring is available on PARiConnect, our digital assessment platform.

The VAS-Expressive asks test-takers to look at a picture and answer, “What is this?” Items were generated so the number of possible one-word answers was limited. The VAS-Receptive asks test-takers to respond to questions like, “point to the frog” when presented with an array of four possible answers. There are few overlapping items between the receptive and expressive versions, which helps reduce practice effects.

In addition, each test includes two equivalent forms (A and B) with no overlapping items and reliable change scores, making it a useful tool for measuring response to intervention (RTI) in school-based reading programs, medical settings, or after injury or illness.

The VAS is the only picture vocabulary test that provides a composite score and a reliable change score. It also features less complicated basal and ceiling rules, so it’s easier to administer and score than similar measures.

Each test only takes about 15 minutes to administer, and normative data are provided for 28 different age groups and for Grades K-12 (spring and fall).

For more information about the VAS, visit www.parinc.com or call 1.800.331.8378.

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Assessing Gifted Students: An Interview with Cecil R. Reynolds (Part 2)

Cecil R. Reynolds, co-author of the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) and recently revised RIAS-2, is one of the leaders in the field of gifted assessment. The following is part two of a two-part interview conducted with Dr. Reynolds concerning the use of assessments in gifted and talented programs. Did you miss part one of this series? Click here.

Q: What originally prompted you to design an assessment for gifted identification?

CR: To reduce the confounds present in most traditional measures of intelligence. We wanted to have better instrumentation for identifying the intellectually gifted using methods that are less influenced by culture than most tests—the RIAS is not “culture-free,” nor do such psychological tests exist, and the desirability of a culture-free test is questionable conceptually as well. We live in societies, not in isolation. That said, confounds such as motor coordination, especially fine motor coordination and speed, interpretation of directions that have cultural salience, and even short-term memory can all adversely influence scores on intelligence tests, and these variables are not associated strongly with general intelligence. For programs that seek to identify intellectually gifted individuals, the RIAS and now RIAS-2 are strong choices.

Q: The RIAS (and now RIAS-2) has been one of the most popular and widely used assessment instruments for gifted testing. Is the instrument useful for other types of assessments?

CR: The RIAS-2 is useful any time an examiner needs a comprehensive assessment of intelligence, especially one that is not confounded by motor speed, memory, and certain cultural issues. When understanding general intelligence, as well as crystallized and fluid intellectual functions, are important to answering referral questions, the RIAS-2 is entirely appropriate.

Q: What makes the RIAS-2 unique from the previous version?

The unique feature of the RIAS-2 is the addition of a co-normed Speeded Processing Index (SPI). It is greatly motor-reduced from similar attempts to measure processing speed on other more traditional, lengthy intelligence batteries. In keeping with the original philosophy of the RIAS, we do not recommend, but do allow, examiners to use this SPI as a component of the Intelligence Indexes, and we worked very hard to reduce the motor-confounds that typically plague attempts to assess processing speed.

Q: Originally there were no processing speed subtests on the RIAS. Why is that?

CR: Processing speed represents a set of very simple tasks that by definition anyone should be able to perform with 100% correctness if given sufficient time. This conflicts with our view of intelligence as the ability to think and solve problems. Processing speed correlates with few variables of great interest as well—it is a poor predictor of academic achievement, and tells us little to nothing about academic or intellectual potential. It is useful in screening for attentional issues, performance of simple tasks under time pressures, and coordination of simple brain systems, and as such can be useful especially in screening for neuropsychological issues that might require follow up assessment, but processing speed tasks remain poor estimates of intelligence.

Many RIAS users asked us to undertake the development of a motor-reduced set of processing speed tasks. Students who ask for extended time as an accommodation on tests are often required by the determining agency to have scores form some timed measures as well, and we felt we could derive a more relevant way of providing this information without the motor issues being as salient as a confound. The ability to contrast such performance with measured intelligence is important to this decision-making process.

Q: What advice do you have for psychologists and diagnosticians when it comes to assessing a student for giftedness?

CR: When choosing assessments to qualify students for a GT program, be sure you understand the goals of the program and the characteristics of the students who are most likely to be successful in that program. Then, choose your assessments to measure those characteristics so you have the best possible match between the students and the goals and purposes of the GT program.

 

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Now available! The RIAS-2!

RIAS2We are pleased to announce the release of the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales™, Second Edition (RIAS™-2) by Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, and Randy W. Kamphaus, PhD. The RIAS-2 retains all the features that made the original instrument so popular and gives practitioners even more reason to trust this instrument.

The revised assessment, which was developed by the original authors using feedback from clinicians around the country, remains true to the original test. It’s still fast, cost effective, and simple to administer and can be used across the developmental continuum to assess intelligence and its major components from ages 3 to 94 years.

 The RIAS-2:

  • Assesses both verbal and nonverbal intelligence. Verbal intelligence is assessed by measuring verbal problem solving and verbal reasoning, which uses acquired knowledge and skills. Nonverbal intelligence is assessed by measuring reasoning and spatial ability using novel situations and stimuli.
  • Optional memory subtests available. Verbal and nonverbal memory is assessed via the Composite Memory Index, useful when a broad estimate of memory is desired.
  • Yields a General Reasoning Index (GRI). A highly reliable score, the GRI reflects overall measurement of the general factor of reasoning and problem-solving skill.
  • Informs decisions in classification, selection, and educational placement. The RIAS-2 is ideal as a stand-alone intellectual assessment or as part of a clinical battery, when a standardized assessment of intellectual functioning is needed to diagnose specific disorders such as intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities, and for educational placement.

New in the RIAS-2

  • New speeded processing subtests and index. Two supplemental subtests (one verbal, one nonverbal) combine to create the Speeded Processing Index (SPI). Both the Speeded Naming Task and Speeded Picture Search subtests require far less motor skill than competitive measures.
  • Greater data for interpretation. Reliable change scores and ability–achievement discrepancies with the AAB are provided.
  • Revised basal/ceiling rules. Now all basal and ceiling rules for the subtests are consistent with one another and allow for more accurate assessment at the lowest and highest ability level.
  • Revised/new item content. Items throughout the test have been updated to eliminate confusing or outdated content. Guess What, Odd-Item Out, Verbal Reasoning, What’s Missing, Verbal Memory, and Nonverbal Memory subtests appear in this update, retaining the structure and familiarity of the original measure.
  • Wider range of T scores. For most grade levels, T score ranges of at least 25 to 75 are available.

Technical product information and more details on what is new with this revision are available on our Web site.

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The RAIT vs. the TOGRA: Choosing the Right Intelligence Test

Earlier this year, PAR was pleased to announce the publication of two new tests of intelligence and reasoning ability by Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD—the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™) and the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™). But what are the differences between these two new measures?

In simple terms, the difference can be summed up as “power versus speed.”

The RAIT is a powerful, comprehensive measure that assesses crystalized intelligence, fluid intelligence, and quantitative aptitude/intelligence. Designed to help educators evaluate students’ aptitude and determine eligibility for state and federal disability programs, the RAIT can also help clinicians diagnose various forms of childhood psychopathology and evaluate intelligence as part of general and neuropsychological evaluation. The RAIT takes approximately 50 minutes to administer.

The TOGRA is a speeded measure of reasoning and problem-solving. It helps human resources personnel quickly evaluate a job candidate’s abilities; it can also be used to evaluate athletes pre- and post-injury. With two equivalent, alternate forms, re-testing and progress monitoring can be done easily, without practice effects. The TOGRA takes only 16 minutes to administer.

Of course, the RAIT and TOGRA have some things in common as well. Both are designed for either individual or group administration; both work with children and adults ages 10-75 years; and both can be used in a wide variety of settings, including corporate/human resources settings, schools, inpatient and outpatient clinics, vocational support settings, and correctional facilities. The RAIT and the TOGRA are both available through the PARiConnect online testing platform as well as in a traditional paper-and-pencil format.

For a clear, colorful, at-a-glance summary of the differences between the RAIT and the TOGRA, take a look at PAR’s RAIT/TOGRA infographic. To learn more about the individual measures, please visit www.parinc.com, where youll find everything you need to make an intelligent decision about intelligence testing!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone