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Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)

Test Name: Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)
Publisher: The Psychological Corporation
Publication Date: 1996
Test Type: Developmental
Content: Intelligence
Language: English
Target Population: Native Speaker of English
Grade Level: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
Administration Time: 31-45 minutes
Standardized: Yes
Purpose: Identification; Proficiency; Progress

The purpose of the UNIT is to meet the needs of educators and psychologists who must evaluate the intellectual functioning of children and adolescents (5-18 years) who cannot be assessed readily on a verbally loaded measure of intelligence. The UNIT was designed to be most useful for students who do not speak or understand English or speak English as a second language, and those with specific language-related handicapping conditions (e.g., hearing impairments, deaf, receptive or expressive language disorders). The UNIT is administered in pantomime and requires only construction or pointing from the examinee; therefore, the test requires no language on either the examiner's or the student's behalf. The UNIT employs eight common, fairly universal gestures to communicate to the examinee expected responses and conditions (e.g., pointing to stimuli to be attended to; raising hands and shrugging shoulders to indicate a solution is sought). In addition to these gestures, the UNIT administration employs: examiner demonstrations to illustrate the approach to each item type; non-scored sample items to allow the examiner to determine whether the examinee understands the problem; corrective responses when the examinee fails to respond appropriately to sample items; and, checkpoint items, which are scored items that allow the examiner to correct examinees' incorrect responses. In its entirety, the UNIT requires approximately 30 to 45 minutes to administer, and yields a comprehensive Full Scale IQ, as well as subscale and subtest standard scores. Of the six UNIT subtests, three assess short term memory and three assess reasoning. Additionally, three of the UNIT subtests are symbolic in nature (e.g., related to language, but these subtests do not require receptive or expressive language from the examinee). For example, the Analogic Reasoning subtest uses an analogy format that is presented in a pictorial format and requires a pointing response; however, the concrete and abstract analogies are best solved through examinee subvocal mediation. Though the instrument presents a nonverbal assessment paradigm, the subtests (and scale structure) is sensitive to the verbal/performance dichotomy of the Wechsler scales. The UNIT has been cross-validated on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills/4 with subtest correlations in the .40s and .50s. Correlations with the Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Ability Score are in the .60s.

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