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DIFFERENTIAL APPTITUDE TESTS (DAT)

By: Mubashra Hafeez (M.Sc. Applied Psychology) Dated: 15th Feb, 2012

Introduction

The original form of DAT were developed in 1947 to provide an integrated scientific and well standardized procedure for measuring the abilities of boys and girls in Grade 8 through 12 for the purpose of educational and vocational guidance. The differential aptitude were revised and re-standardized in 1962 and again in 1972. The 1962 revision of test was directed primarily at making the test easier to administer. The 1972 revision retained the earlier changes and in addition substantially updated five of eight tests.

Not Ability But Abilities

Subsequent to the 1920s there was a growing recognition of need for measures of many aspects of mental abilities. The research and theories of Thorndike, Spearman, Thomson and other have made us increasingly aware that so called intelligence is not a unitary trait it is composed of many abilities which are present in different individuals in varying amount. Till 1920s there were a lot of tests developed for the measurement of behavior such as Minnesota Paper form Test, Stenquists echanical aptitude tests e.t.c.but in 1930s there were need to develop a test for measuring the vocational abilities of individuals.
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Definition of Aptitude

The definition of aptitude which Bingham prepared for Weterns dictionary of psychology is an excellent starting point for elucidation of concept. Aptitude a condition or a set of characteristics regarded as symptomatic of an individuals ability to acquire with training some knowledge, skill or set of responses such as the ability to speak a language, to produce music.

Definition of Aptitude Contd..

A complete appreciation of this definition eliminate a number of misunderstandings which are prevalent. First there is no assumption of here that aptitudes are hereditary. The expression born that way is fallacy which skill is heard even among educated people. Aptitude is the result of interaction of heredity and environment. An individual is born with certain potentialities and begins to learn immediately.

Definition of Aptitude Contd..

A second important feature of definition is that it is extremely broad. It implies that aptitude embraces any characteristic which predisposes to learning including intelligence, achievement, personality, interest and special skills. It is therefore misleading to limit the use of term aptitude to specialize learning capacities such as those for music or engineering. The total concept can perhaps be summaries by regarding aptitude as simple a capacity to learn.
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Disadvantages of Assemble Batteries

Each such test has been developed singly and no matter how sound the individual standardization, the relationship of the test to each other has left much to be desired statistically and in term of practical interpretation. The separate tests in the team may have be developed for particular purposes e.g. guidance, employment or particular level e.g. school, adult or particular ranges of talent and therefore may not be best adapted for use within the range of age or schooling of those to be tested.
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Disadvantages of Assemble Batteries Contd..

As a practical matter, the formats, the administrative procedures, the use of answer sheets, the time limits etc. frequently are not optimum in assembled batteries.

Aptitude to be Measured

In 1947, it was necessary to decided what aptitude should be measured by the battery. The attempt was made to include tests in the battery each of which would be useful in many areas rather than in only one or two, and each of which would provide meaningful source readily interpretable by informed Counselors and Teachers. The most important goal was to satisfy the needs of Counselors and others who must make practical applications of test scores.
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Batteries of DAT

Verbal Reasoning. Numerical Ability. Abstract Reasoning. Clerical Speed and Accuracy. Mechanical Reasoning. Space Relations. Spelling. Language Usages
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Principle Governing the Test Construction

Each should be an independent test.

Because of varied situations in which guidance and personal selection take place, it was determined that each of abilities to be measured should tested separately. While it is intended that the whole battery be given for educational and vocational counseling, there are other situations in which only part of battery is required or desired. Therefore the tests were made so that they could be given independently.

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Principle Governing the Test Construction Contd..

The Tests should Measure Power.

The purpose of measuring the persons particular ability is usually to discover the level at which he can perform. A mathematician is one who can solve complex mathematical problems; a person who can add two place numbers rapidly and accurately may be skilled clerk, but not necessarily a mathematician. For most purposes to which tests results contribute the evaluation of individuals power in the particular ability or skills is of primary concern.

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Principle Governing the Test Construction Contd..

The Test Battery should Yield a Profile.

The eight separate scores yielded by DAT are convertible to percentile ranks and can be plotted a profile chart to facilitate interpretation. Since the percentile rank for every test are based on the same population, the points on the profile are comparable. One combination of scores is also offered: Verbal Reasoning plus Numerical Ability. This combination serves the same purpose as would tests of scholastic aptitude and make administration of later unnecessary.
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Principle Governing the Test Construction Contd..

The Norms should be Adequate.

The Norms are presented separately for bys and girls, to reflect sex differences which appear in some of abilities measured by tests. Norms are also presented separately for fall and spring semester administrations.
The materials for DATs are designed with administrative convenience in mind e.g. the format of the test booklets has changed over the year of accommodate changing needs.
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The Tests Material should be Practical.

Principle Governing the Test Construction Contd..

The Tests should be easy to Administer.

The basic directions for taking each test are printed the test booklet. They are to be read aloud by the examiner and silently by the persons being tested. The two governing principles in planning the administrative features of DAT were that the tests should be an administrable by teachers or industrial employment personnel with the minimum of special training, and that the directions and illustrations should be clear to the persons taking the test. Alternative form should be available.
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Description of the Eight Tests

Verbal Reasoning

Ability to reason with words to understand ideas expressed in words. Important in academic courses also for job requiring much written and oral communication and for jobs involving a lot of responsibility such as supervisory position. Ability to reason with numbers, to understand and work with ideas expressed in numbers. Generally important in school work, especially for subjects, such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Engineering. Useful in such jobs as Engineer, Laboratory Technician, Shipping Clerk, Carpenter and Statistician
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Numerical Ability

Description of the Eight Tests Contd..

Abstract Reasoning

Ability to understand ideas that are not presented in words or numbers, to see relationships among things, such as objects, patterns diagrams, or designs. Useful in shop drafting and laboratory work, also in mathematics, in electrical or mechanical repair work, and in computer programming.

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Description of the Eight Tests Contd..

Clerical Speed and Accuracy

Quickness and accuracy in comparing and marking simple letter and number combinations. Important in paper work in school, in office, laboratories, stores, warehouses, filed or checked. Sometimes, a low scores on this test combines with higher scores on the other may actually indicate a great concern with accuracy not a true lake of ability to work quickly.

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Description of the Eight Tests Contd..

Mechanical Reasoning

Understating of mechanical principles and devices, and of the law of every day physics. Courses in the physical sciences, technical studies or manual training shop are easier for those who score high in this test. So are mechanical repair work and a variety of factory and engineering tasks.

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Description of the Eight Tests Contd..

Space Relations

The item type devised for the space relations test represent the combination of two previous approaches to measurement of this ability. Ability to think in three dimensions to picture mentally the shape size and position of objects when shown only a picture or pattern. Drafting, shop courses, some kinds of mathematics and some art or design courses are among those requiring this ability.

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Description of the Eight Tests Contd..

Spelling

An important skill in school And college work, and in many jobs. This score is one of the best predictor of how easily and quickly you can learn typing and short hand. Ability to distinguish between correct and improper grammar, punctuation and capitalization. An excellent predictor of grades in most high school and college courses. Well developed language skills are needed in most all jobs requiring a college degree.
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Language Usage

Steps in Administrating the Tests

Introduction

Try to put the students at ease by explaining briefly why the tests are being administered. This tests may be done a day or so in advance. Students should be told not to be discouraged, if some of the questions are too difficult. Before each test state in few simple words what the particular test is about. Concise statement which illustrate the distinct nature of each of the eight tests appear on the individual report form and these may be used for this purpose.
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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Pencils

See that each student should have two soft lead pencils with erasers. The examiner should have additional pencils on the hand to meet any emergencies before the clerical speed and accuracy tests, it is especially important to check pencils on students hands since this is a speed test.

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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Answer Sheets and Booklets Distribute the answer sheets, then test booklets. Make certain that each students has both answer sheets before distributing the booklets make the following announcements Do not Open your booklet until I tell you to do so. The examiner should have a copy of test booklet and answer sheet.

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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Answer Sheets and Booklets contd.. Examiner should give following instructions to the students at the very beginning of test:

On the line beginning with name at the top of answer sheet, print your name, last name first. Then fill in todays date Be sure to make a heavy black mark filling the entire circle. Dont go outside the circle if you make a mistake erase very carefully You must mark all your answers with a lead pencil You will write nothing in the booklet but will mark all your answers in the answer sheets
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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Reading Directions

The examiner should read the directions aloud, from a copy of the booklet while the student read them silently. Each student must understand what he is to do before beginning of the test. When the questions have been answered, read the final paragraph of directions page for the test being given and add the following sentences:

You should keep in mind that you are to mark only one answer to each question, if you mark more than one answer, you cannot receive the credit for that question.
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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Timing

When all the directions have been read and the questions answered, say, in clear voice Turn the page and begin and start timing. At the end of the time say Stop, please put down your pencils

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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Timings for Each batteries


Verbal Reasoning 30 mins Numerical Ability 30 mins Abstract Reasoning 25 mins Clerical Speed & Accuracy Part-I 03 mins Part-II 03 mins (The timing for speed test must extremely accurate to the second) Mechanical Reasoning 30 mins Space Relations 25 mins Spellings 10 mins Language Usage 25 mins
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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Subsequent Tests and Collection of Material

When one test has been completed, tell the students to turn the directions page for next test to be given in the booklet. At the close of each testing session, all answer sheets and booklets are to be collected.

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Steps in Administrating the Tests Contd..

Testing Log

Immediately following each testing session, the examiner should prepare a memorandum, giving pertinent information, such as group tested, room, date, proctors, timing, any deviation from regular procedures and further information which might help in interpreting the test results. A good practice is to provide each examiner with a form which make this recording convenient.

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Scoring Procedure

All answer sheets designed for use with DATs can be scored either by hand or machine. If answer sheets are scored by hand, they must be scored with the aid of key design for the form administered and for the type of answer sheet utilized. The score for each test is the number of right answers, there is no correction for guessing.

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Scoring Procedure Contd..

The maximum possible raw scores for each test is given below:

Verbal Reasoning Numerical Ability Abstract Reasoning Clerical Speed & Accuracy Mechanical Reasoning Space Relations Spellings Language Usage

50 40 50 100 70 60 100 60

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Scoring Procedure Contd..

Hand Scoring

When scoring is done by hand, it is necessary first to inspect the answer sheet to determine whether the student marked two or more choices for any item. If two or more choices have been marked, that item item should be omitted from scoring. The most efficient way to handle these multiple marked items is by drawing a horizontal Red Line through all of the multiple responses to the item.

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Scoring Procedure Contd..

When the scorer places the key over the answer sheet the red marks will show through, and those items are then easily omitted from the count. The scorer should make sure that the form marked by the student on the answer sheet agrees with that printed on the scoring key used. The key must be correctly placed over the answer sheets and the scores record in appropriate places.

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Reliability

Reliability is an important characteristic of any test, and it is critical for the test design in individual guidance. One of the aim in constructing DAT was accordingly to secure scores as reliable as possible without exceeding limits of testing time. The appropriate way of determining the reliability is through alternate form of test.

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Validity

The DAT were designed for practical application in counseling, selection and placement. Tests used in such situations must have technically satisfactory norms and level of reliability, be easy to administer and straight forwarding format. In addition to these requirements, however, a test instrument can be practical value only in so far as it has been shown to be valid in application.

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THANK YOU
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