Since 2002, 4 million visitors plus:
hit counters
search engine optimization service

  Appletcollection Vertical Menu java applet, Copyright 2003 GD

Verbal Comprehension

Normed for ages 2:6 to 6:11 (Usual age range is 2:6 to 5:11; Extended age range is 6:0 to 6:11).

Verbal Comprehension assesses the child’s understanding of the language through the receptive mode. None of the items on this subtest requires an oral response. Items tap a child's ability with syntax and prepositional and relational concepts; the ability to formulate and test hypotheses; the ability to follow verbal directions; and short-term auditory memory.

There are 36 items on this subtest. Children aged 2:6 to 3:11 start with item 1, while all others start at item 13. All items are scored as 1 or 0. Although some items require the child to acknowledge more than one item (e.g., item 15 requires that the child give to the examiner 3 toys that share some common characteristic), no partial credit is given on any item.

The first items use a picture of a Teddy Bear on which the child points to several features. Next the child is shown an array of toys which samples the child’s understanding of names, of commands, and of functions. The next level measures the child’s ability to understand prepositions, and the final items demonstrate the child’s ability to understand complex instructions.

Factor analytic findings

The Verbal Comprehension subtest is considered a good measure of g across all ages (overall r = .76). For ages 2:6 to 4:11, it has good g loadings, while from ages 5:0 to 6:11, it is considered to have fair g loadings. This subtest contributes substantially to the Verbal factor (loading = .81). Specificity is ample for all age groups.

Reliability and correlational highlights

Verbal Comprehension is considered to possess medium overall reliability (r = .84), with reliability coefficients ranging from .74 to .86 across all of the age groups. It correlates best with Naming Vocabulary (r =.64) and least with Recall of Objects (r = .18). It has a moderate correlation with the GCA (r = .79).

Gf-Gc classification

In the Broad stratum definition of abilities, Verbal Comprehension is considered to be a logical measure of Crystallized intelligence (Gc). In the Narrow stratum of abilities, it is considered to be a probable measure of Language Development (LD) and Listening Ability (LS) (McGrew & Flanagan, 1998, p. 98).

Administrative and interpretive considerations

The Verbal Comprehension subtest is described on pages 72 to 77 in the DAS Administration and Scoring Manual and discussed on page 45 in the DAS Introductory and Technical Handbook. For this subtest, all the words spoken by the examiner are printed on the protocol itself. All instructions may be repeated once if the child has not responded to the initial instruction or if the child asks for repetition. Examiners should say "Listen carefully" if necessary to gain the child's attention.

Sixteen of the 36 items begin with the words, "Give me . . ."For these items, the examiner should hold out an open hand so the child will place the object(s) there. It is permissible for the child to simply push the object toward the examiner.

Items 1 through 6 require the child to point to parts of a pictured Teddy Bear. Although most of the directions ask the child to indicate plural parts (e.g., Teddy's eyes), the child is given credit if he or she indicates either one or both of the body parts. Items 7 through 18 utilize the box of toys. Be sure to take the items out of the box but do not name the items. The box should remain on the table through these items. Items 19 through 29 use objects nested in an inset tray. The examiner names the objects before administering item 19. Positioning of objects (laying them flat or standing them up) and taking items out of the inset tray or leaving them in the inset tray do not effect the scoring of the items. Before administering the final items (30-36) with colored, plastic chips, the examiner must make sure the child can identify the shapes and colors. If the child cannot, the test is terminated. If the child cannot identify the colors on request, the child should, as a precaution, be tested for color vision.

If the examiner observes language difficulties on this subtest, it would be prudent to attempt further language assessment. The Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS) (Carrow-Woolfolk, 19xx) offers relatively brief receptive and expressive language testing that can be administered by a psychologist as well as by a speech and language pathologist.

Word Definitions Similarities Matrices Sequential & Quantitative Reasoning
Recall of Designs Pattern Construction Block Building Verbal Comprehension
Picture Similarities Early Number Concepts Naming Vocabulary Copying
Back to DAS Subtest Page