K-ABC see Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

KAIT see Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test

Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test


The Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT) is an individually administered general intelligence test appropriate for adolescents and adults, aged 11 to over 85 years.


The KAIT is intended to measure both fluid and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence refers to abilities such as problem solving and reasoning, and generally thought not to be influenced by one's cultural experience or education. Crystallized intelligence refers to acquired knowledge and is thought to be influenced by one's cultural experience and education.

The KAIT was developed by Alan S. Kaufman and Nadeen L. Kaufman as a method of measuring intelligence assuming broader definitions of fluid and crystallized abilities than assumed by other measures. Also, they wanted a test based on theories that accounted for developmental changes in intelligence. Although the Kaufmans had earlier designed a test for younger children, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), they did not consider the KAIT to be an extension of this test. They believed that the developmental and neuropsychological changes specific to adults and adolescents warranted a different testing approach than did the changes relevant to younger children. Thus, a different approach was used when developing the KAIT, although the K-ABC was also based somewhat on the split between fluid and crystallized intelligence.

Theoretically, the KAIT is most influenced by Horn and Cattell's formulation of the distinction between fluid and crystallized intelligence, sometimes referred to as Gf-Gc theory. Gf refers to general fluid abilities and Gc refers to general crystallized abilities. The KAIT is also influenced by Piaget's theory of cognitive development, specifically the formal operations stage experienced in adolescence. During this stage, adolescents begin to perform more complex mental operations and are better able to transform and manipulate information. Another theoretical influence of the KAIT is Luria's theory of planning ability. This theory attempted to explain developmental changes occurring in early adolescence that influence decision making and problem solving.


There are very specific rules governing administration of the test that must be adhered to for scoring to be accurate. Thus, administrators must be properly trained to administer the KAIT. Specifically, for all subtests there is a discontinue rule, instructing administrators when to stop administering test items.

The KAIT is not appropriate for children younger than 11. A test more appropriate for younger children, such as the K-ABC, should be given instead. The K-ABC is appropriate for children up to the age of 12 years and six months, so there is some overlap between the two tests, specifically for children between 11 and 12 years and six months old.


The KAIT includes two components, a core battery and an expanded battery. The core battery consists of a fluid scale, a crystallized scale, and six subtests, and takes about 65 minutes to complete. The expanded battery includes the core battery elements, as well as four additional subtests, and takes about 90 minutes to complete.

The following core battery subtests are related to fluid intelligence: logical steps, a test of sequential reasoning; mystery codes, a test measuring induction; and Rebus learning, a test of long-term memory. The following core battery subtests are related to crystallized intelligence: definitions, a test of word knowledge and language development; double meanings, a measure of language comprehension; and auditory comprehension, a test of listening ability.

The expanded battery also includes memory for block designs, a measure of visual processing related to fluid intelligence; famous faces, a test of cultural knowledge related to crystallized intelligence; auditory delayed recall; and Rebus delayed recall. The two delayed recall subtests provide a general measure of delayed memory.

There is also an optional supplemental mental status exam included in the KAIT battery. This subtest is only given to examinees with suspected mental impairment.

One strength of the KAIT is that most of the subtests are presented in both visual and auditory formats. This gives test takers more variety and allows for measurement of intelligence in different contexts. Also, the test was designed in a way to keep test takers active and engaged.

In contrast to other adult-specific or adolescent-specific intelligence tests , the KAIT is appropriate for a wider age range. This allows for more accurate tracking of intelligence changes between adolescence and adulthood.


The KAIT yields several different kinds of scores, including raw scores, scaled scores, and intelligent quotient (IQ) scores. Raw scores and scaled scores are calculated for each subtest (six for the core battery; 10 for the expanded battery). Raw scores are calculated first, and simply refer to the number of points achieved by the examinee on a particular subtest. Raw scores are converted to scaled scores to ease comparison between sub tests and between examinees. The subtest scaled scores are standardized to have a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of three.

Three IQ scores are obtained: composite intelligence, fluid intelligence, and crystallized intelligence. The IQ scores have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. The fluid intelligence IQ score is based on the sum of the three fluid intelligence subtests (logical steps, mystery codes, and Rebus learning). The crystallized intelligence IQ score is based on the sum of the three crystallized intelligence subtests (definitions, double meanings, and auditory comprehension). The composite intelligence IQ score is based on all six core subtests. The expanded battery subtests are not utilized when computing the three IQ scores.

Overall, the KAIT has high reliability and validity. Studies have indicated that in relation to other general intelligence tests, the crystallized, fluid, and composite IQ scores are accurately and consistently measured. Data looking at trends related to age show that average subtest and IQ scores are fairly consistent across the age range in which the KAIT is administered.

The KAIT yields IQ scores in a relatively wide range, from much lower-than-average intelligence to much higher-than-average intelligence. Because of this, the KAIT is often used as an assessment of individuals with exceptional abilities, such as gifted children.

There have been factor analysis studies comparing the KAIT to the widely used Wechsler scales of intelligence, (the Wechsler intelligence scale for children and the Wechsler adult intelligence scale ). The KAIT crystallized IQ has been shown to measure abilities similar to those measured by the Wechsler scales' verbal intelligence factor. However, the KAIT Fluid IQ has been shown to measure abilities considerably different from those measured by the Wechsler performance factor, which is thought to be a measure of fluid intelligence.

See also



Groth-Marnat, Gary. Handbook of Psychological Assessment. 3rd edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Kline, Paul. The Handbook of Psychological Testing. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Lichtenberger, Elizabeth O., Debra Y. Broadbooks, and Alan S. Kaufman. Essentials of Cognitive Assessment with KAIT and Other Kaufman Measures. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000.

McGrew, Kevin S., and Dawn P. Flanagan. The Intelligence Test Desk Reference. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1998.

Sternberg, Robert J. Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

Ali Fahmy, Ph.D.

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