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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge was awarded a contract from Pearson Assessment to undertake the full UK schools standardisation of the Ravens Progressive Matrices and Vocabulary Scales. This lead to the publication of the Raven's Educational versions of the SPM+ and the MHV, as well as the CPM and CVS scales in 2008.

The Ravens assessments

The Raven's Progressive Matrices and Vocabulary Scales are among the most widely used international tests of intelligence. They are key instruments in intelligence research and inform the debate about the Flynn Effect, the decade by decade increase in IQ scores worldwide that was the subject of Professor Jim Flynn's Psychometrics Centre lecture

The Matrices measure the ability to make sense and meaning out of complex or confusing data; the ability to perceive new patterns and relationships, and to forge (largely non-verbal) constructs that make it easy to handle complexity. They come in 2 formats:

  • Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM) (for use with children under 8 and and elderly people)
  • Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) (for use with children of 8 and above as well as the general population) 

The associated vocabulary scales measure the ability to store, process and utilise a culture's store of (largely verbal) information and knowledge. They are the:

  • Crichton Vocabulary Scale (CVS) (for use with the CPM)
  • Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale (MHV) (for use with SPM)

The project

The Psychometrics Centre produced UK versions of the Coloured Progressive Matrices (for 4-7 year olds), the Standard Progressive Matrices (for 7-18 year olds) and their linked vocabulary tests. Basing their sample on 2001 census data the Centre has assessed 1600 children and young people and carried out a full psychometric analysis of the data and contributed to the new manuals for these tests. Young children were assessed individually, while those of 8 years or older were tested in small groups. The project was completed in April 2008.

The Psychometric Centre's director, Professor John Rust commented: "Our relationship with Pearson Assessment goes back nearly 20 years and we're very pleased they've asked us to work on the newly-acquired Raven's materials. They're very robust, well-researched and contribute to the move to international testing.  We work on the Wechsler range of materials as well, so the Centre is handling some of the key international tests that are used as the basis for key educational decisions in the UK."

The Ravens Progressive Matrices are published in the UK by Pearson Assessment.

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