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Binet Kamat Test of Intelligence: A Simple and Valid Measure of IQ


Binet Kamat Test of Intelligence: A Simple and Valid Measure of IQ




The Binet Kamat Test of Intelligence (BKT) is one of the widely used tests in India to measure the intelligence or IQ of a person. It is based on the original Binet-Simon Scale developed by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon in France in the early 20th century. The BKT was adapted and standardized by S.K. Kamat in 1967 for the Indian population.




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The BKT consists of 10 subtests that assess verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, visual reasoning, vocabulary, and short-term memory. The subtests are arranged in order of difficulty and are administered according to the chronological age (CA) of the examinee. The BKT can be used for children and adults aged 3 to 22 years. The administration time varies from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the age and ability of the examinee.


The BKT yields two scores: the mental age (MA) and the intelligence quotient (IQ). The MA is the average age at which a given level of performance is expected. The IQ is calculated by dividing the MA by the CA and multiplying by 100. The BKT uses a standard deviation (SD) of 18.7 for calculating IQ, which is different from the usual SD of 15 used in most IQ tests. Therefore, the BKT IQ scores need to be adjusted to match the common IQ scale.


The BKT has several advantages over other IQ tests. It is simple to administer, score and interpret; economical in terms of cost; and still a valid measure of intelligence despite being standardized several decades ago. It is also suitable for clinical settings where a quick assessment of intellectual functioning is needed. However, using BKT without understanding some of the key issues can result in arriving at erroneous IQ and/or wrong conclusion about the intelligence of the examinee. Some of the issues and concerns that are relevant and need consideration in using BKT are: ratio IQ, Flynn effect, higher SD, profile analysis and so on.


The BKT is a useful tool for measuring IQ, but it should be used with caution and awareness of its limitations. It should also be supplemented by other sources of information, such as behavioral observations, academic records, and personality tests, to get a comprehensive picture of the examinee's cognitive abilities and potential.


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One of the issues that need to be considered when using BKT is the ratio IQ. The ratio IQ is based on the assumption that the MA increases linearly with the CA. However, this is not true for all age groups. For example, a child of 6 years with a MA of 9 years has a ratio IQ of 150, while an adult of 30 years with a MA of 45 years has a ratio IQ of 150. But it is not fair to say that both have the same level of intelligence, because the MA does not increase at the same rate across different ages. Therefore, the ratio IQ is more suitable for younger children than for older children and adults.


Another issue that needs to be addressed when using BKT is the Flynn effect. The Flynn effect is the phenomenon of rising IQ scores over time due to environmental factors, such as better nutrition, education, health care, and exposure to technology. This means that the norms of BKT, which were established in 1967, may not reflect the current level of intelligence of the Indian population. Therefore, the BKT IQ scores may be inflated and overestimate the intelligence of the examinee. To correct for this effect, some researchers have suggested to use updated norms or to apply a correction factor to adjust the IQ scores.


A third issue that needs to be considered when using BKT is the higher SD. The BKT uses a SD of 18.7 for calculating IQ, which is higher than the usual SD of 15 used in most IQ tests. This means that the BKT IQ scores are more spread out and less precise than other IQ scores. For example, a BKT IQ score of 100 can range from 81.3 to 118.7, while a common IQ score of 100 can range from 85 to 115. This also means that the BKT IQ scores are not comparable with other IQ scores that use a different SD. Therefore, the BKT IQ scores need to be adjusted to match the common IQ scale by using a formula.


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