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SON-R 5.5- 17

SON-R 5.5- 17 comprises seven different sub-tests which are administered in the order below:

Name of subtest and Description

1. Categories: Three pictures of objects have an underlying concept in common. From a series of five pictures, two must be chosen that have the same
thing in common.
2. Mosaics: Copying mosaic patterns in a frame using red and white squares.
3. Hidden Pictures: A search object is printed on the flap of a main picture. This object is hidden a number of times in the main picture.
4. Patterns: Each pattern consists of one or more continuing lines that each has its own systematic pattern. The middle part is missing and the respondent is required to fill this in.
5. Situations: One or two pieces are missing from a drawing of a situation. The correct piece(s) must be selected from a number of alternatives.
6. Analogies: Solving an analogy problem by applying the same rule as in the example.
7. Stories: A number of picture cards are placed in the wrong sequence. The respondent is required to discover the story and place the cards in the correct sequence.
The first three of the sub-tests are multiple choice; the other four are performance tests based on observation of activity.

In terms of their content, the sub-tests can be divided into four groups; abstract reasoning (Categories and Analogies), concrete reasoning (Situations and Stories), spatial ability (Mosaics and Patterns) and perceptual ability (Hidden Pictures).

An adaptive test procedure is used which reduces by half the number of items that would otherwise need to be used.

An important way in which SON-R tests differ from most intelligence tests is that after each item feedback is given by telling the test taker whether the solution was correct or incorrect. The test administrator provides help in the case of incorrect solutions by demonstrating what the correct answer should be. One of the advantages of this is that the test taker has the opportunity to adjust his or her strategy. In traditional tests where no feedback is allowed the test taker may assume incorrect answers are correct and continue using a faulty strategy. The disadvantage of giving feedback is the fact that receiving negative feedback can be demotivating. This drawback is partly compensated for through the adaptive nature of the test procedure.

Software for scoring and analysis is available. After the raw scores, the test date and the date of birth have been entered, the standard scores are calculated and a profile can be printed out.


Authors: P. J. Tellegren, M. Winkel & J. A. Laros
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Languages: English
Suitable For: 5.5 to 17 years
Used For: Assessing a broad spectrum of cognitive abilities without involving the use of language.
Qualification Levels: Level 2
  • The internal consistency of the individual sub-tests across the age group ranges from 0.71 - 0.82
  • the average reliability of the sub-tests is 0.76
  • The reliability for the overall score on the test is 0.93
  • For test takers with hearing impediments scores on SON-R 5.5-7 years show a correlation of 0.76 with scores on previous editions of the SON administered more than three years earlier.
  • There are clear relationships with various indicators of school performance.
  • Data is also provided on relationship of scores with time of administration, regional differences, sex differences and ethnic groups.


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Last modified:25/02/2019