Ask the following questions in order: (a) "What day of the week is it to-day? ' (6) "What month is it?" (c) "What day of the month is it?" (d) "What year is it? "
If the child misunderstands and gives the day of the month for the day of the week, or vice versa, we merely repeat the question with suitable emphasis, but give no other help.
An error of three days in either direction is allowed for c, but a, b, and d must all be given correctly. If the child makes an error and spontaneously corrects it, the change is allowed, but corrections must not be called for or suggested.
Place the five blocks on the table in an irregular group before the child and say: "See these blocks. They all look alike, don't they? But they are not alike. Some of them are heavy, some are not quite so heavy, and some are still lighter. No two weigh the same. Now, I want you to find the heaviest one and place it here. Then find the one that is just a little lighter and put it here. Then put the next lighter one here, and the next lighter one here, and the lightest of all at this end (pointing each time at the appropriate spot). Do you understand?" Whatever the child answers, in order to make sure that he does understand, we repeat the instructions thus: "Remember now, that no two weights are the same. Find the heaviest one and put it here, the next heaviest here, and lighter, lighter, until you have the very lightest here. Ready; go ahead."
It is best to follow very closely the formula here given, otherwise there is danger of stating the directions so abstractly that the subject could not comprehend them. A formula like "I want you to arrange the blocks in a gradually decreasing series according to weight" would be Greek to most children of ten years.
If the subject still seems at a loss to know what to do, the instructions may be again repeated. But no further help of any kind may be given. Do not tell the subject to take the blocks one at a time in the hand and try them, and do not illustrate by hefting the blocks yourself. It is a part of the test to let the subject find his own method.
Give three trials, shuffling the blocks after each. Do not repeat the instructions before the second and third trials unless the subject has used an absurd procedure in the previous trial.
The test is passed if the blocks are arranged in the correct order twice out of three trials.
Ask the following questions in the order here given: (a) "If I were to buy 4 cents' worth of candy and should give the storekeeper 10 cents, how much money would I get back?" (b) "If I bought 12 cents' worth and gave the storekeeper 15 cents, how much would I get back?" (c) "If I bought 4 cents' worth and gave the storekeeper 25 cents, how much would I get back? "
Coins are not used, and the subject is not allowed the help of pencil and paper. If the subject forgets the statement of the problem, it is permissible to repeat it once, but only once. The response should be made in ten or fifteen seconds for each problem.
The test is passed if one out of three problems is answered correctly in the allotted time. In case two answers are given to a problem, we follow the usual rule of counting the second and ignoring the first.
Exactly as in VII, alternate test 2. The series are 6-5-2-8; 4-9-3-7; 3-6-2-9.
Say: "You know what a sentence is, of course. A sentence is made up of some words which say something. Now, I am going to give you three words, and you must make up a sentence that has all three words in it. The three words are ' boy,' ' ball,' ' riveri' Go ahead and make up a sentence that has all three words in it." The others are given in the same way.
Note that the subject is not shown the three words written down, and that the reply is to be given orally.
If the subject does not understand what is wanted, the instruction may be repeated, but it is not permissible to illustrate what a sentence is by giving one. There must be no preliminary practice.
A curious misunderstanding which is sometimes encountered comes from assuming that the sentence must be constructed entirely of the three words given. If it appears that the subject is stumbling over this difficulty, we explain: "The three words must be put with some other words so that all of them together will make a sentence."
Nothing is said about hurrying, but if a sentence is not given within one minute the rule is to count that part of the test a failure and to proceed to the next trio of words.
Give only one trial for each part of the test.
Do not specially caution the child to avoid giving more than one sentence, as this is implied in the formula used and should be understood.
The test is passed if two of the three sentences are satisfactory. In order to be satisfactory a sentence must fulfill the following requirements: (1) It must either be a simple sentence, or, if compound, must not contain more than two distinct ideas; and (2) it must not express an absurdity.
Slight changes in one or more of the key words are disregarded, as rivers for river, etc.
(a) Boy, ball, river. Satisfactory: - "The boy threw his ball into the river." "A boy went to the river and took his ball with him." "The boy ran after his ball which was rolling toward the river." "The boy had a ball and he lost it in the river."
Unsatisfactory: - "There was a boy, and he bought a ball, and it fell into the river." "The boy was swimming in the river and he was playing ball."
(b) Work, money, men. Satisfactory: - "Men work and they earn money."
Unsatisfactory: - "Men work with their money."
(c) Desert, rivers, lakes. Satisfactory: - "The desert has one river and one lake." "There was a desert and near by there was a river that emptied into a lake."
Unsatisfactory: - "A desert is dry, rivers are long, lakes are rough." "The desert is full of rivers and lakes."
Say to the child: "You know what a rhyme is, of course. A rhyme is a word that sounds like another word. Two words rhyme if they end in the same sound. Understand?" Whether the child says he understands or not, we proceed to illustrate what a rhyme is, as follows: "Take the two words ' hat 'and ' cat.' They sound alike and so they make a rhyme. ' Hat,' ' rat,' ' cat,' 'bat' all rhyme with one another."
That is, we first explain what a rhyme is and then we give an illustration. A large majority of American children who have reached the age of nine years understand perfectly what a rhyme is, without any illustration. A few, however, think they understand, but do not; and in order to insure that all are given equal advantage it is necessary never to omit the illustration.
After the illustration say: "Now I am going to give you a word and you will have one minute to find as many words as you can rhyme with it. The word is 'day.' Name all the words you can think of that rhyme with 'day.'
If the child fails with the first word, before giving the second we repeat the explanation and give sample rhymes for day; otherwise we proceed without further explanation to mill and spring, saying, "Now, you have another minute to name all the words you can think of that rhyme with ' mill,' " etc. Apart from the mention of "one minute" say nothing to suggest hurrying, as this tends to throw some children into mental confusion.
Passed if in two out of three parts of the experiment the child finds three words which rhyme with the word given, the time limit for each series being one minute. Note that in each case there must be three words in addition to the word given. These must be real words, not meaningless syllables or made-up words. However, we should be liberal enough to accept such words as ding (from "ding-dong") for spring, Jill (see "Jack and Jill ") for mill, Fay (girl's name) for day, etc.
Simply ask the subject to "name all the months of the year." Do not start him off by naming one month; give no look of approval or disapproval as the months are being named, and make no suggestions or comments of any kind.
When the months have been named, we "check up" the performance by asking: "What month comes before April?" "What month comes before July?" "What month comes before November?"
Passed if the months are named in about fifteen or twenty seconds with no more than one error of omission, repetition, or displacement, and if two out of the three check questions are answered correctly. Disregard place of beginning.
Place before the subject a cardboard on which are pasted three 1-cent and three 2-cent stamps arranged as follows: 111222. Be sure to lay the card so that the stamps will be right side up for the child. Say: "You know, of course, how much a stamp like this costs (pointing to a 1-cent stamp). And you know how much one like this costs (pointing to a 2-cent stamp). Now, how much money would it take to buy all these stamps? "
Do not tell the individual values of the stamps if these are not known, for it is a part of the test to ascertain whether the child's spontaneous curiosity has led him to find out and remember their values. If the individual values are known, but the first answer is wrong, a second trial may be given. In such cases, however, it is necessary to be on guard against guessing.
If the child merely names an incorrect sum without saying anything to indicate how he arrived at his answer, it is well to tell him to figure it up aloud. "Tell me how you got it."
Passed if the correct value is given in not over fifteen seconds.