Vol. 18, No. 24 March 18, 1999

Education professor develops new IQ test

Short, streamlined and straightforward describe the Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT), devised by Joe Glutting, education, with colleagues Wayne Adams and David Sheslow of the A. I. du Pont Children's Hospital, where Glutting is a consulting statistician.

The WRIT is being produced by Wide Range Inc. of Wilmington and will be available in May.

"Older IQ tests were like 1950s cars--fins, bells and whistles that didn't really contribute to the car's function. When the energy crunch came, cars were redesigned to be more efficient. The energy crunch in this case is that psychologists are required to serve more people in less time and need more efficient testing tools that still get the job done," Glutting said.

"Usually IQ tests are designed for different age levels, such as children or adults, and take at least an hour to administer; the WRIT is designed for persons from 4 to 80 years old and takes approximately a half hour to administer," Glutting pointed out.

The test is divided into two verbal subtests. The straight vocabulary test may begin with something like "point to your mouth," and work up to the definition of "senectitude" (old age; the final stage of the normal life span). The other verbal subtest requires the child or adult to complete an analogy dictated by the examiner such as "chaff is to wheat as dregs is to _____________."

Visual subtests include matrices where persons evaluate a series of pictures and select the option that best completes the design. For young children, this may be selecting the red crayon from green, yellow and white crayons to match the existing red ones in the design. At the other end of the scale, abstract, complex designs are used.

Another visual test involves recreating designs using three kinds of diamond chips.

The WRIT has been tested nationally through a network of psychologists associated with Wide Range Inc. to ensure its reliability. The sampling of 2,000 adults and children follows census figures, in terms of sex, education and racial balance.

"One of our goals was to make the test interesting and fun, and so I visited toy stores to get ideas on what children like. We have tried to be original in our designs, and, unlike many IQ tests, we use bright colors in the visual part and actual chips that are diamond shaped, V-shaped, or what I called lightning bolts, instead of just paper testing," Glutting said.

"The reaction of those who have taken the test has been positive. People like it. It's user friendly, like playing a game, short and holds their interest," he said.

Glutting will make a presentation on the WRIT at the meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists in April.

A graduate of Tarkio College, with a master's from Indiana University and a doctorate in school psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Glutting was an elementary school psychologist for several years. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on testing kindergarten students and worked for an educational testing company before joining the UD faculty 12 years ago.

He has developed other tests such as the Student Styles Questionnaire, which assesses children's personalities in a positive manner.

--Sue Swyers Moncure