Raven's Vocabulary Scales

Pearson Assessment

Summary of Test Review

General description of Test


Test Review Summary

Test Name:Raven's Vocabulary Scales
Authors of Original Test: J. C. Raven
J. H. Court
I. Raven
Local test distributor / publisher:Pearson Assessment
Date of Current Review:2003
Date of Publication of Current Review / Edition:07 May 2009
Type of Test:Verbal Ability
Main Area of Use:Psycho-neurological
Work and Occupational
Constructs Measured:Reproductive ability: one of the two components of general ability or "g".
Administration Mode:Supervised Group administration
Response Mode:Paper and pencil
General Description of Test:The RVS comprises: the Mill Hill Vocabulary Scales; the Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale, Short form; and the Crichton Vocabulary Scale. The scales are designed to measure what is termed reproductive ability, that is, being able to master, recall and reproduce largely verbal information. The Crichton Vocabulary Scale is not discussed in relation to occupational use. The Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale (MHVS) is based on two parallel lists of words (set A and set B). The sets are presented in four forms: Definitions; Combined Open Ended Set A and Multiple Choice Set B; Combined Multiple Choice Set A and Open Ended Set B; All multiple-choice version. The ‘Definitions’ form requires people to explain the meanings of words in both sets A and B. It consists of 88 words split into the two sets. Respondents are asked to write down the meaning of the words. This format is also used for the Crichton Vocabulary Scale, which has a total of 80 words. The ‘open ended’ part of the combined forms also require individuals to explain the meaning of words in that set. The ‘multiple choice’ part of the combined forms requires selection of a synonym from a group of six, for each word in the multiple choice set. No fixed time is set for completion of the test and the option to administer orally is available. Each form is wholly contained in a record form (i.e. the word lists and answer sheet are combined). Junior versions have some of the more difficult words removed, while Senior versions have some of the simpler words removed. Interpretation largely emphasises development of verbal skills in relation to similar age groups. The Short form presents 17 words from the original scale and respondents are asked to define the meaning of the words in more detail and to use the words in two sentences. Total scores are converted to percentile grades. The manual is produced in self contained sections. In addition to the manuals for each of the RVS forms, there is a general overview which gives in-depth information of the theoretical basis of both Raven’s matrices and the Vocabulary Scales.


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