The Raven IQ Test

The Raven IQ test—known more formally as Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) or Raven’s Matrices—refers to a nonverbal test that aims to measure an individual’s intelligence and abstract reasoning. In other words, it specifically tests for general intelligence, but has a degree of inclination in its focus on fluid intelligence.

What is Fluid Intelligence?

Psychologist Raymond Cattell’s psychometrically-based theory of General Intelligence is widely acknowledged by field experts worldwide. In this regard, intelligence can be seen as consisting of two separate aspects: Fluid Intelligence and Crystalized Intelligence.

Fluid Intelligence can be defined as the ability to solve unique reasoning problems, and is used in reference to logic processes that require minimal prior learning and assimilation. On the flipside, crystalized intelligence can be defined as the ability to infer derivative relational abstractions via applying previously-learned primary abstractions.

In that sense, fluid intelligence can be said to be the aspect of intelligence that is independent of experience, education, and past learnings. It is thus conceptualized as being ‘fluid’ in nature, and is in relation to one’s adeptness at perceiving new patterns and relationships to construct abstract concepts or frameworks that grants ease in the handling of complexity.

Raven’s Progressive Matrices

This particular group of IQ tests revolves around getting participants to analyze incomplete patterns, and thereby determine what the missing element should be. As the name suggests, RPMs are also progressive in nature, as in the questions get more difficult as one progresses through them.

The RPM can be found in three different formats: Colored Progressive Matrices (CPM); Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM); and Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM).

Colored Progressive Matrices

The CPM is designed specifically for the testing of younger children, elderly, and those with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. It entails three sets of 12 items each, with each of them presented on a colored background for greater visual stimulation, save for the last few questions, which are presented in black-on-white (this is to ease those more ‘gifted’ into the SPM, where the patterns are no longer colored.

Standard Progressive Matrices

The SPM is the original form of the Raven IQ test. It consists of five sets of 12 items each, presented in black items on a white background.

Advanced Progressive Matrices

The ADM is made for testing of adults and adolescents with above-average levels of intelligence. It consists of two sets, the first having 12 questions, and the second 36.

But aside from these three main forms, there are also published parallels that had been designed due to the possible premature familiarization of test takers due to the overt popularity of the original CPM and SPM.

If you’re curious about crystallized intelligence, which is a factor unelaborated upon in this article, you can read up on General Intelligence and its Two Constituents—Fluid & Crystalized Intelligence, or simply click here for a full list of related topics.