Looking for a standardize test for measuring a child's "learning to learn" skill. While IQ, EQ, etc. is related, I'm looking for a test built for the sole focus of measuring these skills.

  • One of the biggest arguments against standardized tests is that it does not measure student's ability to learn or think, just regurgitate information or even just to be a particularly good test taker. In my 11 years in all levels of education, I have never heard of such a test and even if you find one, I would have no faith in the results. What are you trying to measure and to what end?
    – Erin
    Nov 17, 2011 at 3:43
  • I'm not clear on the difference between "learning to learn" and IQ, which can be seen as a measure of "ability to learn". The closest I can parse "learning to learn" is that perhaps it refers to how quickly and easily a child would learn specific study habits? If so, I do not see how this could be measured in a standardized fashion (which study habits do you use as a standard? how do you establish benchmarks based on those study habits?). I think this question still needs further definition before it can be properly answerable.
    – user420
    Nov 17, 2011 at 13:15
  • @Beofett IQ is only one component of the "ability to learn". In techie terms, think of IQ as the power of the processor in the machine, and "ability to learn" as ease in programming that machine -- which is a combination of processor speed and architecture, working memory (RAM), long-term memory (hard disk space and performance), and the worldview (operating system) and skillset (interpreter/compiler) that the child brings to learning.
    – HedgeMage
    Nov 17, 2011 at 14:31
  • I know that people have indeed published serious test-style attempts to evaluate "learning skills" that are much more abstract than a typical multiple choice test, and more specific than "IQ". So your question is certainly valid. I can't immediately find where I last saw them (approximately a year ago), but if I do run across them again I'll post here in the form on an answer. As I recall though, they seemed pricy and it wasn't trivial to get a preview to see if they looked like nonsense, or semi-insightful.
    – Kilo
    Nov 20, 2011 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


A standardized test cannot measure how well a child learns, because you can't standardize the material or the environment and get a true measure of how the child learns.

No one can learn material they lack the prerequisites for; e.g. even the brightest 5-year-old won't pick up calculus, not having had all the levels of math leading up to it. Similarly, presenting material the child has already seen won't tell you anything about how they learn, just what they know. Learning happens on the edge of what is known and what is unknown, and that edge is somewhere different for every child.

Every child learns differently. Some need quiet, others need noise. Some need to try things out hands-on, and learn directly from experience alone, others learn more from following instructions. Some take in information best by reading, others through pictures/video, and still others by being talked to.

IQ is extremely hard to measure, and it represents a much simpler mental facility -- raw processing power -- than the ability to learn. I'm afraid that learning ability is completely beyond our ability to put a concrete number to.

  • This comes off rather condescending... I'm certain the asker is intelligent enough to know and judge these things for him/herself. The question is a factual one: do you know of such a test? (whether or not you endorse it, or the whole endeavor.)
    – Kilo
    Nov 20, 2011 at 22:57

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