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Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM)

Assesses intelligence nonverbally in children and adults.

The Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) is a group or individually administered test that nonverbally assesses intelligence in children and adults through abstract reasoning tasks. It is sometimes called Raven's, although the SPM is only one of three tests that together comprise Raven's Progressive Matrices. Appropriate for ages 8-65, the SPM consists of 60 problems (five sets of 12), all of which involve completing a pattern or figure with a part missing by choosing the correct missing piece from among six alternatives. Patterns are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. The test is untimed but generally takes 15-45 minutes and results in a raw score which is then converted to a percentile ranking. The test can be given to hearing and speech-impaired children, as well as non-English speakers. The Standard Progressive Matrices is usually used as part of a battery of diagnostic tests, often with the Mill Hill Vocabulary Scales. The SPM is part of a series of three tests (Raven's Progressive Matrices) for persons of varying ages and/or abilities, all consisting of the same kind of nonverbal reasoning problems. The SPM is considered an "average"-level test for the general population. The Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM), which includes the two easiest sets from the SPM and a dozen other questions of similar difficulty, is designed for five- to 11-year-olds, persons with mental or physical handicaps, and non-English speakers. The Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) is generally for ages 11 to adult or, specifically, for gifted students. It consists of a practice and screening test (Set I) and a 36-problem series for use with persons of above-average intellectual ability.

Further Reading

McCullough, Virginia. Testing and Your Child: What You Should Know About 150 of the Most Common Medical, Educational, and Psychological Tests. New York: Plume, 1992.

Shore, Milton F., Patrick J. Brice, and Barbara G. Love. When Your Child Needs Testing: What Parents, Teachers, and Other Helpers Need to Know about Psychological Testing. New York: Crossroad, 1992.

Walsh, W. Bruce, and Nancy E. Betz. Tests and Assessment. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.

Additional topics

Psychology EncyclopediaPsychological Tests & Methods