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World War I Intelligence Test (1918)

Testing the troops

During World War I, more than 1.7 million American soldiers took intelligence tests like this one filled out by a 31-year-old "farmer and minister" named Charley F. Crow. The test measured such things as a recruit's ability to follow instructions. However, many recent immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were unable to read the test's English instructions. They were given a different test, one that required them to spot patterns, solve mazes, and complete pictures. Scores on both types of tests ranged from "A" all the way down to "E." Most soldiers registered low scores. As shown on his psychological record, Charley F. Crow--who had just four years of schooling--was listed as a "D."


On public display in NMAH

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Site last updated: July 7, 2016