Normed for ages 5:0 to 17:11 (Usual age range is 6:0 to 7:11; Out of level
age range is 5:0 to 5:11).
This subtest assesses mental speed. Examiners use one of three booklets:
Booklet A for ages 5:0 to 8:11; Booklet B for ages 9:0 to 12:11; and Booklet C
for ages 13:0 to 17:11. The child uses a pencil to mark the correct answer (the
circle with the most boxes or the highest number in a particular row of
numbers). Each booklet contains 2 non-scored teaching items followed by 6 pages
of scored items. The task is a relatively simple one, and one on which almost
all children should succeed. The differences in abilities are measured by the
speed in which the child completes the task. Children earn from 0 to 6 points
per page depending on the speed of correct responses.
Factor analytic findings
The Speed of Information Processing subtest is considered a poor measure of g
for all ages (r = .28). Specificity is ample for all age groups.
Reliability and correlational highlights
Speed of Information Processing is considered to possess high overall
reliability (r = .91), with reliability coefficients ranging from .86 to .94
across all of the age groups It has low correlations with all other subtests
(mean r =.17) in the battery.
In the Broad stratum definition of abilities, Speed of Information Processing
is considered to be a logical measure of both Processing Speed (Gs). In the
Narrow stratum of abilities, it is considered to be a probable measure of Mental
Comparison Speed (R7) and a logical measure of Rate-of-test-taking (R9) (McGrew
& Flanagan, 1998, p. 128).
Administrative and interpretive considerations
The Speed of Information Processing subtest is described on pages 255 to 260
in the DAS Administration and Scoring Manual and discussed on pages 70 to
73 in the DAS Introductory and Technical Handbook. This is the only DAS
subtest that does not utilize a decision point. All children take all items in a
specific booklet unless they reach an alternative stopping point. Children using
Booklets B or C who make two or more uncorrected errors per page on two of the
first four scored items, are discontinued on that booklet. Examiners should then
drop back to an easier booklet.
It is important for both administration and timing that the examiner, and not
the child, turns the pages of the booklet. Timing begins when the child had made
a mark in the first row of items and stops when the child makes a mark in the
last row. Examiners should encourage the child to respond quickly throughout the
On this subtest, Items are actually entire pages that contain either 5 or 8
rows of target figures or numbers. Scoring the subtest requires evaluating not
only the correctness of the entire page (3 or more uncorrected responses is
scores as 0) but also the speed in which the child performs the task.
Uncorrected errors are incorrect row responses or a skipped row not corrected
within the time limit. The Total raw score is the sum of 6 scores on the scored
The examiner checks each page before administering the next. This checking
should be done fairly ostentatiously with comments to the child as explained on
p. 257 of the Manual. Otherwise, the child may learn to rush without concern for
Because this subtest is intended to measure the speed of accurate information
processing, interpreting the results must be done carefully. Although most
children will make very few errors, when a child does have numerous errors
throughout the subtest, the subtest is probably not tapping what is intended. In
this case, the subtest, and any resulting score, should be disregarded.