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Terman-Merrill test

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The Terman-Merril test is one of the so-called IQ tests; whose purpose is to evaluate intelligence by identifying those relevant factors in the cognitive development of people.

It is one of many inteligence tests available in the market (like Wonderlic )and one of the oldest in use.

Development of the Terman-Merril test

The Terman test was developed in 1916 by Lewis Madison Terman (American psychologist, Stanford University, born 1870) and Maud Amanda Merril (American psychologist, professor at Stanford University).

The Terman-Merrill scale comes from an improvement of the Binet-Simon test. The review used was published in 1937. The test can be applied from 2 years to adulthood.

Purpose of the Terman-Merrill 

The objective of the test is to measure a series of abilities and skills, all related to general intelligence. These capacities are under human cognition and are the intellectual capacity (general intelligence), the analytical capacity, the synthesis capacity, and the organizational capacity.

The test has 122 heterogeneous items consisting of verbal and non-verbal tasks. There are two parallel forms, L and M, which allow successive applications without any learning effect. It is a scale of intellectual development widely used today.

It consists of a set of ten structured tests. The objectives of the measurement are:

• Common sense to enjoy social situations

• Development of comprehension skills

• Concepts expressed in words

• Knowledge of the language

• Ability to summarize and connect abstract, essential ideas.

• Development of the ability to concentrate and work under pressure

• Anticipate situations to predict the future and mentally imagine the solution to a problem. Each series has a time limit, and the test requires 27 minutes.

The test is divided into 6 main areas:

• General intelligence

• Quantitative reasoning

• Fluid reasoning

• Visual-spatial processes

• Work memory

• Knowledge

The activities of the Terman Merril test that integrate these 6 areas are of different types, through which two values ​​are obtained: the IQ (Intellectual Quotient) and the degree of learning of the subject.

The activities that make up the test include judgments, concentration tasks, analogies, abstract reasoning, language, and memory, among others.

The areas are addressed through ten subtests including tasks that measure verbal and non-verbal intelligence. When the results are obtained, they are valued with the equivalence tables of the test to specify the final assessment of the subject.

Measurements and use of the test

The Terman Merril test assesses intelligence and determines the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) through a set of subtests with different tasks, with a total duration of between 40 and 50 minutes.

On the other hand, the test measures general knowledge, planning, and decision-making. In a more academic sense, the test assesses skills such as numerical, verbal, comprehension, and academic performance.

Its use is intended for the evaluation of individuals with a minimum level of education, which allows them to understand the approaches throughout the test.

The subtests measure different abilities, all related to intelligence. The test allows two very-special measurements to be obtained: intelligence and learning ability. In addition, it allows an interpretation of the scores and a diagnosis of the person examined.

From each of these measures (intelligence, learning capacity, interpretation, and diagnosis), different scores are obtained that allude to four values ​​or ranges and that allows the subject to be “classified”. These values ​​are five:

• Poor

• Below average

• In the way

• Above average

• Higher


As we have said, the Terman Merrill test evaluates intelligence in 6 main areas. The subtests are:


It measures long-term memory, as well as the level of information that it is capable of collecting from its surroundings. It is related to the association capacity of the individual when using the data.

This part tries to determine the intellectual interest of the subject, in addition to his degree of culture.

Judgment or understanding

It is related to understanding, common sense, and the ability to solve everyday problems. Likewise, the management of the reality of the subject and its adaptation to social norms. Furthermore, it is related to previous habits to function.


Evaluate the presence or absence of abstract thought, the cultural level, and analysis of the various concepts. Likewise, it evaluates the subject’s ability to communicate. In addition to his ability to read.

Synthesis or logical selection

It measures the reasoning, the abstraction capacity, and the inferences that the individual makes through logic.

It allows us to know the ability to interpret and evaluate reality objectively, the ability to synthesize, connect ideas, and reach conclusions.

Arithmetic or concentration

Evaluate processing, concentration, and resistance to distractions. It is the degree of attention under pressure.

Analysis or practical judgment

Determines if the subject can break down the information in a problem and explain the underlying causes.


It measures the comprehension of information and the ability to generalize. It is related to the ability to connect different ideas to conclude.

Its purpose is to understand the ability to select between different options, as well as the precision in the use of abstract and complex concepts.


It assesses planning, organization, attention to detail, anticipation, and imagination. It also relates to the subject’s capacity for logical classification.


It measures the ability to detect problems and their ability to solve them. Also, consider a good use of time.

Anticipation, attention, and seriousness

Measures the ability to interpret and verify specific numerical calculations, such as the concentration, especially under pressure.

In conclusion, we will say that the purpose of the Terman test is the precise measurement of a set of abilities and skills related to general intelligence. Among them are the intellectual capacities, such as analysis, synthesis, and organization.