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People reading this document may find the following documents useful:
- "An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself." (Albert Camus; French novelist, essayist and playwright, who received the 1957 Nobel Prize for literature.)
- "When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." (Albert Einstein; German and American theoretical physicist; 1879–1955.)
Both of the quotes given above have to do with a person learning about and knowing about him or her self. Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences includes Intrapersonal Intelligence—self-awareness; knowledge of self.
Certain parts of self-assessment come from metacognition and introspection. However, most people find it is also helpful to examine data from external sources.
For example, think about your ability to throw a ball. Introspection may help you to understand if you can trow various kinds of balls well enough to meet your personal needs. A different approach is to have some sort of measurements of how well you can throw a ball. A softball player might be interested in distance, speed, and accuracy. A basketball play would certainly include data on throwing the ball through the hoop. A bowler would want to collect data his or her bowling scores.
How about questions such as your reading speed and level of understanding when reading various types of material? How about your level of physical fitness? How about your social skills?
It is easy to list a large number of areas in which you might want to have an increased level of knowledge and understanding about yourself. This Web document presents some instruments that are available free on the Web and that can be used for self-assessment.
Here is an article that you might want to read:
- Kruger, Justin and Dunning, David (1999). Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. Journal of Personality and social Psychology. Retrieved 11/23/08: http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf.
Quoting the abstract of the research article:
- People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.
Some Self-assessment Instruments Available on the Web
WARNING: The instruments listed below vary in quality. The results obtained through use of these instruments may not be accurate measures of what you hope is being measured. User discretion is advised.
Quoting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention:
- Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources.
- Attention is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Attention remains a major area of investigation within education, psychology and neuroscience. Areas of active investigation involve determining the source of the signals that generate attention, the effects of these signals on the tuning properties of sensory neurons, and the relationship between attention and other cognitive processes like working memory and vigilance. A relatively new body of research is investigating the phenomenon of traumatic brain injuries and their effects on attention.
See a self-assessment instrument at http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/take_test.php?idRegTest=3361.
There are many different kinds of intelligence, such as cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence. In each area there are a variety of theories and measures. You might be curious as to how well you compare with others in various areas or types of intelligence.
For example, consider cognitive intelligence. The idea of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is now more than a hundred years old. Continuing challenges and/or controversies include:
- Multiple intelligences versus a single intelligence factor—usually called "g."
- The effects of nature (genetics) versus nurture (environment, including diet, exercise, and schooling). Can you change your IQ?
- How to accurately measure IQ?
- What difference does a person's IQ make to the person? For example, suppose that the concept of IQ had never been developed. What difference would this make to you and your life? Or, how does IQ relate to possible careers?
Cognitive intelligence is a huge area of study. A 10/24/2013 Google search of the expression mental OR cognitive intelligence produced over 140 million hits. There are quite a few free IQ test instruments available on the Web.
A recent Google search of the quoted expression “free IQ test” produced about over 500 thousand hits.I found a reasonable level of consistency in my personal results from several of these tests. My explorations included the GIGTest and a 30 minute Classical IQ Test from Psychology Today. If you are interested in your personal IQ, I recommend that you get three or four measures using different tests, and that you avoid the very short (very quick) tests.
Gain some insight into the general topic of Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. The self-assessment instrument is designed to help you learn which of the multiple intelligence areas you may be stronger or weaker in. See http://depts.gallaudet.edu/TIP/manual/tutors/MIChecklist.pdf.
Daniel Goleman is the author of the 1995 book Emotional Intelligence. A recent Google search of the quoted expression “free Emotional Intelligence test” produced about 850 hits. For example, see http://www.ihhp.com/testsite.htm. See a a short video, and a somewhat longer video.
A recent Google search of the quoted expression "social intelligence" produced over 300 thousand hits. Quoting from the Wikipedia:
- Social intelligence according to the original definition of Edward Thorndike, is "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations" . It is equivalent to interpersonal intelligence, one of the types of intelligences identified in Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences, and closely related to Emotional intelligence. Some authors have restricted the definition to deal only with knowledge of social situations, perhaps more properly called social cognition.
Daniel Goleman has written a book on Social Intelligence. See a 4:10 video presentation by Goleman.
Empathy Quotient (EQ)
Empathizing involves the ability to understand other humans, who are a very important sub-set of the organic and inorganic world. Empathy occurs when we suspend our normal single-minded focus and instead adopt a double-minded focus of attention. It thus defines our remarkable ability to infer and appropriately respond to someone else’s feelings, thoughts, and intentions. This ability is commonly called Theory of Mind. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind. A 60 item self-assessment instrument is available at:
- Baron-Cohen, S. (n.d.). Empathy Quotient. Retrieved 5/20 2013 from http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/EmpathyQuotient/EmpathyQuotient.aspx.
Systematizing Quotient (SQ)
Systematizing involves the ability to recognize, analyze, and manipulate predictably changing patterns—in effect, to figure out how things work and how to make them work better. Understanding repetitive patterns allows us to predict the future, and also to manipulate variables in order to modify and improve a function. A 60 item self-assessment instrument is available at:
- Baron-Cohen, S. (n.d.). Systematizing (SQ). Retrieved 5/20 2013 from http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/SystemizingQuotient/SystemizingQuotient.aspx.
PositScience is a for profit company specializing in brain research and in developing products based on this research. See http://www.positscience.com/braingames/speech-in-noise for a self assessment titled "Speech in Noise" as well as other self-assessment games/tests.
See http://sommer-sommer.com/braintest/ for a test to determine the dominant hemisphere of your brain. Here is a comment from Robert Sylwester (a brain science educator and prolific author) about this test:
- Interesting, but we actually both of our cerebral hemispheres (not brains) collaborate on almost everything.
- The right hemisphere is more active initially in processing novel challenges and developing creative responses.
- The left hemisphere is more active initially in identifying familiar challenges and activating established routines for dealing with them.
- But both novelty and familiarity are evident in most challenges we confront.
- Which hand/arm do you use to carry a suitcase? But if that shoulder is sore, you use the other hand. No big deal. We don't need a test to establish that. Many of the key parts of our body/brain are doubled in case we lose function in one of them. That some specialization occurs (kickers in football tend to favor one leg over the other) simply suggests that it makes evolutionary sense to not have the two arms "argue" with each other over this and that.
Adult ADHD Test
Harvard Medical School has developed an Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) screening test for adults. It is available in a number of different languages. See http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/asrs.php.
Quoting from http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-adults:
- Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within time limits. If these difficulties are not managed appropriately, they can cause associated behavioral, emotional, social, vocational, and academic problems.
- ADHD afflicts approximately 3% to 10% of school-aged children and an estimated 60% of those will continue to have symptoms that affect their functioning as adults.
- Prevalence rates for ADHD in adults are not as well determined as rates for children, but fall in the 4% to 5% range.
- ADHD affects males at higher rate than females in childhood, but this ratio seems to even out by adulthood.
ADHD is not easy to correctly diagnose in children. See http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-tests-making-assessment. Quoting from that site:
- Medical science has come a long way in its ability to recognize and treat ADHD. Still, there's no single ADHD test available to help doctors diagnose this common disorder.
Our schooling system places considerable emphasis on literacy. From time to time the U.S. federal Government gathers data on adult literacy. Quoting from http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/sample.asp:
- The National Assessment for Adult Literacy Test Questions Tool provides easy access to the questions and answers from the 1985, 1992, and 2003 assessments that are released to the public. There are now 146 questions available in this tool.
The website includes data on the percent of adults who correctly answered the various questions.
There are many occupations that require a relatively high level of physical fitness, and there are a variety of physical fitness tests available on the Web. Would you like to become an FBI agent? Quoting from their application site:
- To ensure that FBI Special Agents are fully prepared to meet their responsibilities as leaders in the law enforcement community, applicants must pass a standardized Physical Fitness Test. The test consists of four mandatory events that are administered in the following order:
- Maximum number of sit-ups in one minute
- Timed 300-meter sprint
- Maximum number of push-ups (untimed)
- Timed one and one-half mile (1.5 mile) run
The Marine Corps physical fitness test is somewhat similar, but more demanding.
Interpreting Health Symptoms
Calculate an estimate of how long you will live. A recent Google search of the quoted expression “life expectancy” produced over 11 million hits. A number of them include detailed questionnaires used to make an estimate of your life expectancy. See, for example, http://www.livingto100.com/ and http://www.nmfn.com/tn/learnctr--lifeevents--longevity.
Basic Mass Index (BMI)
There are many no hassle sites that are easy to use to calculate your BMI. This gives a general indication if your weight falls within a healthy range. For example, see the National Institute of Health.
Readability of Materials You Write
Test the readability level of materials you have written. Test the readability level of a Web site you have developed. I have made frequent use of http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php.
Reading Speed and Reading Comprehension
Do you know answers to the following questions?
- How fast do you read in different subject areas?
- What is your level of comprehension when your are reading in different subject areas?
- What is your online reading speed as compared to your off line (reading from hardcopy) reading speed?
Many Websites can help you determine your general reading speed and level of comprehension. I enjoyed the site http://www.readingsoft.com/iq-test/. This site indicates that on average, people read about 25% slower from a computer screen than when reading hardcopy from good quality paper. I also enjoyed the self-assessment at https://rocketreader.com/cgi-bin/portal/fun_tests/perception.
Short Term Memory
- Short-term memory, also known as primary or active memory, is the information we are currently aware of or thinking about. In Freudian psychology, this memory would be referred to as the conscious mind. The information found in short term memory comes from paying attention to sensory memories.
- Most of the information kept in short-term memory will be stored for approximately 20 to 30 seconds, but it can be just seconds if rehearsal or active maintenance of the information is prevented. While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue on the next stage - long-term memory.
- Short-term memory is often used interchangeably with working memory, but the two should be utilized separately. Working memory refers to the processes that are used to temporarily store, organize and manipulate information. Short-term memory, on the other hand, refers only to the temporary storage of information in memory.
For a self-assessment instrument, see http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/stm0.html.
Readers of this section of the Brain Science document will likely also be interested in Sensory Memory (the memory capabilities of our sensory systems). See whttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_memory
Undoubtedly you have developed personal strategies for when and how to study. You may have developed some techniques that help you to memorize a list—such as a list of names, a list of dates, or a list of spelling words and their definitions. However, there is a good chance that what you have discovered on your own does not adequately reflect the research on effective practices. A recent Google search of the expression self assessment "study skills" produced about 145,000 hits. The Virginia Tech site for college students at http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html includes the self assessment instruments:
- Where does time go?
- Study skill checklist.
There are many Websites that give instruction on study skills. For example
- http://students.berkeley.edu/apa/staff%20training%20and%20development/handouts/math_study_skills.html is a short summary of some important math study skills.
- The site http://www.csupomona.edu/~rosenkrantz/skills2.htm includes a math study skills self-assessment instrument.
- http://www2.yk.psu.edu/learncenter/acskills/mathstud.html is a short summary of some important math study skills.
Try out some sample questions at http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/ged-test-on-computer.
Do you have some color blindness? See http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-Ih4JnILr0y0/test_your_eye_color_blindness_test_www_dabfly_com_wmv/. This self-test is done via a 4:07 video. Also see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42982961/ns/technology_and_science-science/. This is a shorter video-based test.
Hand Steadiness in Using a Mouse
See The Maze. The game starts with the mouse cursor being a small blue square. Your goal is to move this cursor to the red target without hitting the wall of the maze.
A recent Google search of the quoted expression “reaction time” produced about 2.9 million hits. Many of the sites contain computer-based tests of reaction time in various settings. For example, see http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html, http://getyourwebsitehere.com/jswb/rttest01.html, and http://www.mathsisfun.com/games/reaction-time.html.
Information Literacy Skills
Multiple choice questionnaire designed for use at 6th grade and 9th grade levels. Developed by the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education. See http://www.trails-9.org/. Quoting from the Website:
- TRAILS is a knowledge assessment with multiple-choice questions targeting a variety of information literacy skills based on sixth and ninth grade standards. This Web-based system was developed to provide an easily accessible and flexible tool for library media specialists and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in the information-seeking skills of their students.
The General Topic of Self-report Inventory
A recent Google search of self-report personality inventory produced over 400 thousand hits. There are many different kinds of self-report inventories. Quoting from the Wikipedia:
- A self-report inventory is a type of psychological test in which a patient fills out a survey or questionnaire with or without the help of a mental health professional. Self-report inventories often ask direct questions about symptoms, behaviors, and personality traits associated with one or many mental disorders or personality types in order to easily gain insight into a patient's personality or illness.
- The biggest problem with self-report inventories is that patients may exaggerate symptoms in order to make their situation seem worse, or they may under-report the severity or frequency of symptoms in order to minimize their problems. For this reason, self-report inventories should be used only for measuring for symptom change and severity and should never be solely used to diagnose a mental disorder. Clinical discretion is advised for all self-report inventories.
Myers Briggs and Other Personality Tests
A recent Google search of Myers Briggs produced over 900 thousand hits. The top-listed hit was the Myers & Briggs Foundation. There you can learn about this instrument and take a free test.
Quoting from the Website:
- The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
- Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only reasonable for them to differ correspondingly in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.
There area variety of other personality type instruments. A recent Google search on the quoted expression "free personality test" produced more than 225,000 hits.
Career Information Tests
A recent Google search on the quoted expression "free career test" produced about 1.5 million hits. In addition, many states make available career information services. Typically, one can only gain access to these services and instruments through a registered agency (such as a precollege or higher education institution) in the state.
College Placement Tests
Students entering college are typically required to take placement tests designed to measure their preparation for various courses. Many colleges and other organizations offer sample tests.
Do a Web search of math placement test and you will get a number of hits. For example:
Do a Web search of reading placement test and you will get a number of hits. For example:
Just for Fun
Which Are You?"
The "Which are you" fad is quite popular. For example, which fantasy or science fiction character are you? Take a short quiz and have fun with the results! Here are some examples.
Music Play List
Select an artist or a song you like, and Pandora creates a play list of similar songs based on deep data about melody, harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation. Pandora. The site is ad-supported.
Gewertz, Catherine (2/19/2010). Gates Awards 15 Grants for Common-Standards Work. Education Week. Retrieved 2/19/2010 from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/02/18/22gates.h29.html?tkn=OPYFtGyQ%2BJkWWbODelzqalxSIP8MgIsyQIva&cmp=clp-edweek. Quoting from the article:
- In a bid to help schools translate pages and pages of common academic standards into real classroom work, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $19.5 million to the development and piloting of new instructional tools and assessments.…
- The money is intended to help develop an array of teaching resources such as course outlines, diagnostic tools, and assessments. It also will be used to find ways to establish how well the standards reflect college-level expectations.
Kruger, Justin and Dunning, David (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Retrieved 11/23/08 from http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf.
Noyce, Pendred (6/27/2011). Putting Virtual Assessments to the Test. Education Week. Retrieved 6/29/2011 from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/27/36noyce.h30.html?tkn=UWQFqcIe5nB7feMi7L3cG7rszBD5vHqkyNpH&cmp=clp-sb-edtech.
Virtual Performance Assessment is an important component of the future of assessment in education. Quoting from the article:
- With everyone from the nation’s top CEOs to President Obama stressing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, learning in order to prepare students for a competitive 21st-century workforce, we need better measures of how well students are mastering those subjects. Science and other complex subjects are not served well by conventional testing; answering A, B, C, D, or “all of the above” doesn’t lend itself to measuring science proficiency, scientific thinking, or deeper knowledge and understanding.
- While traditional paper-and-pencil testing gauges student knowledge on distinct facts or concepts, virtual performance assessments allow students to actually use scientific inquiry and problem-solving through interactions with their virtual environments. In a VPA, students, represented by computer-generated icons, or avatars, make a series of choices. They tackle authentic science problems, investigate causal factors, and choose which virtual experiments to conduct in a virtual lab. The assessment is no longer focused on a single right answer, but on the result of decisions and knowledge applied by the student. This approach allows a finer measure of students’ understanding and provides a truer assessment of what students know and don’t know about complex science content.
NCTM (n.d.). About the framework to evaluate large-scale assessments of mathematics. Retrieved 5/18/09 from http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=12286. Quoting from the Website:
- An assessment system is made up of many components:
- * Content standards describing the mathematics that students should know and be able to do, including the mathematical activities that are taught and learned.
- * Performance standards describing what students are expected to know about each of the content standards at specific times.
- * One or more testing instruments. Each test or assessment instrument will be able to measure only a subset of the content standards; a framework should describe what is measured by each instrument.
- * Materials that accompany each instrument, such as scoring guides and reports of assessment results.
- Each component has a framework and accompanying materials and reports. All components of a high-quality assessment system are aligned, meaning that they describe the same expectations for the mathematics that students should know and be able to do.
Author or Authors
The initial version of this document was developed by David Moursund. Readers are encouraged to make additions to this document.
This Document is a Work in Progress
- Tests in each academic discipline. There is special need for tests that high school students can take that help them decide whether they are adequately prepared for the reading, writing, math, and computer use requirements in in a college or university that they might eventually want to attend.
- Here are some Math references:
- GED for a number of different subject areas. http://www.testprepreview.com/ged_practice.htm
- Test for spatial intelligence. (Two and three dimensional?)
- Test for manual dexterity.
- Test for musical pitch ability.
- Test for reading area interests.
- Test for number span memory.
- Test for hearing.
- Movie preferences.
- Music preferences.
- Test for Asperger's. Google Asperger's syndrome symptoms. See http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/asperger_syndrome/symptoms.htm.
- Eye test.
- Test for depression.
Here is some text that probably should be integrated into the beginning of this document:
- The Total Expertise Portfolio is based on self-assessment. You are not asked to compare yourself to others. You are asked to make rough, personal comparisons.
- Self-assessment can be done more precisely in many areas. Here’s an example. When you read a page in this book, how fast do you read and how well do you learn from what you read? It’s easy to calculate your reading rate. In addition, a number of Websites provide a reading rate and reading understanding test. See how good you are at finding some of these.)
- What’s your resting pulse rate? What ’s your blood pressure? What’s your resting respiration rate? What’s your reaction time? How well do you see? Do you have some color blindness? How healthy are you? How long does it take you to run a hundred meters? How long does it take you to swim 50 meters? How high can you high jump?
- You probably detect a pattern in these questions. It is possible to measure many things about yourself. Some of these things can be changed by diet and exercise. Some can be changed training and education. For things that you cannot change (such as color blindness), you can learn to accommodate.
- In all cases, you can think about whether your performance meets your own needs. In some areas, you can learn how your performance compares with others.
Here is an interesting reference and quote:
Sheehy, Kelsey (11/26/2013). College with the Highest Freshman Retention Rates. US News. Retrieved 11/27/2013 from http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2013/11/26/colleges-with-the-highest-freshman-retention-rates.
The point is we have lots of different tests that students can take for free that will provide information about whether they are ready for college. We need students to learn to take advantage of these tests.