Vienna Test System: Adaptive Spatial Ability Test (A3DW)


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 9th August 2007

Description of the Test:

The Vienna Test system is a computerised collection of tests and assessments that can be used alone or combined as batteries of tests. The system currently contains some 74 instruments covering work, health and education and categorised as Intelligence, General Ability, Special Ability, Personality Structure, Attitudes and Interests and Clinical Tests. Many of these tests are multilingual with the majority being in German and English. The tests that are produced in the English Language and have not been reviewed elsewhere by the BPS are reviewed here as individual tests. A3DW is an individual test which features in the Vienna Test System, it is an adaptive spatial ability test, which has been designed to assess an individual’s ability to perceive and transform spatial elements. It is a computerised version of an existing paper-based test, 3DW. Spatial perception or spatial ability is said to be “one of the primary dimensions of intelligence” as defined by Thurstone, “gaining in practical importance due to the increasing technization of our modern world” Within the VTS it is characterised as one of the “Special Intelligence “Tests”.The item bank from which the test items are drawn consists of 142 “dice” items. In each item, 6 “answer” dice figures are compared with a single “test” die to assess whether any of these could represent the test die viewed in a different orientation. A response must be made using the multiple-choice answer options, either by selecting one of the answer dice or by choosing one of the two verbal answers, “no die matches” or “I don’t know the answer”. A3DW, as an adaptive test, operates on the basis that the presentation of subsequent items depends on the responses to previous items. In that sense there are any number of versions of this test that can be administered, drawing on the pool of items scaled according to Rasch (1-dimension Item Response Theory) principles. This permits a shortened test length compared with the paper based test. There are three forms of the A3DW test that vary in their measurement precision – the screening, standard and long forms. The screening form is only for use when testing has no consequences for the individual and only a brief overview of his / her spatial ability is required. The long form (S3) is designed only to be administered when increased measurement precision is necessary (for example, in court assessments). Testing time is between 10 and 30 minutes.The test has been created for use with adolescents aged 13 and over and adults. Its main areas of application are performance-oriented aptitude diagnostics, counselling (regarding school, college and career), industrial and organisational psychology including aviation and traffic psychology, clinical psychology and research.

Authors: G. Gittler

Test Publisher: SCHUHFRIED GmbH

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