Age Equivalent Test Scores: Everything You Need to Know
Mental age or age equivalent test scores are a topic of discussion among psychologists and educators. While most would assume their age equivalent test scores would match their age, that isn’t always true. So, what does it all mean? What happens if your child’s mental age doesn’t tally with their current age?
Creating the Criteria for Age Groups
Typically, sample tests are given to a group of children and their age scores are found by the mean test scores. These selected children represent their age group, and their test results are used to compare other tests for those of similar ages. This test is how experts came to the theory of age-equivalent test scores. Unfortunately, that can have a profound impact on all children.
Some experts dislike this test because it’s difficult to establish criteria. The design and interpretation are open to discussion and basic things are not considered. For example, the content of the test, the child’s capacity for tests, and the standard of errors are not considered before results are shown. That means mental capacity is put to one side with age-equivalent tests. With an aptitude test, this wouldn’t happen. So, focusing on the age group lacks a certain something. It worries parents unnecessarily and creates confusion for educators.
Understanding the Results of Mental Age Tests
Parents panic when they see their 10-year-old is underperforming because they have a score a 9-year-old should have. It’s the same if the child’s score is 11. Your child might not be smarter than others in his class. Remember, the age equivalent test focuses on the questions specific to the grade level of the child. Most topics would have been covered in class, so if the child scores high, it doesn’t guarantee they’re able to handle tougher materials.
It’s also important to remember that people have off days. Your child might have done miserably on the test for a variety of factors, such as feeling unwell or just tired. Mental age tests are useful, but they may not be as accurate as aptitude tests. Some children just overthink what’s in front of them.
The Grade Equivalent Exam
These exams tend to be a little more useful for students because it focuses on content designed for the grade level, such as second grade. Again, if your child scores high, it doesn’t mean they are ready for third or fourth-grade content. It is about what a child has learned in their education.
Parents get anxious over test scores and exams; it’s natural. You want your children to succeed, even at an early age. However, most age-equivalent tests only offer a brief look at the mental capacity of the child. These are contested exams and may not provide the real picture of a child’s abilities. While you want to see your child score high on every test, age-equivalent exams are up for debate.