UGM Psychology Launced a Test to Detect Children’s Potential

The Faculty of Psychologi in Gadjah Mada University has finished developing and has now launched AJT Cognitive Test, an early measure of the cognitive potential of children. Developed for 5 years, this test is to be used in the field of education to maximize children’s development in fields that they are good in.

“This test can reveal abilities of each children and will let us know exactly what a child is great at, so a child can develop optimally in a the field appropriate to his or her ability,” said Dra. Retno Suhapti, S.U., M.A., the Project Manager for AJT Cognitive Test at the press conference this Wednesday (4/4).

Mrs. Hapti explained that before this test was developed, psychological measurements or IQ tests used in Indonesia are still limited and dominated by ones from outside Indonesia, making the testing less culturally fair.

Therefore, in developing AJT Cognitive Test, the experts used the Indonesian context as the basis of the test development by involving around 5000 Indonesian children as respondents. According to Mrs. Hapti, the involvement of Indonesian children as the normative population of AJT Cognitive Test increases the validity of the measurement’s scoring interpretation.

“The questions/test items is based upon experiences in Indonesia, using examples popular here instead of examples that not all Indonesian children understand,” she remarked.

Lecturers in UGM’s Faculty of Psychology develop this test along with the cooperation of Dharma Bermakna Foundation and PT Melintas Cakrawala Indonesia. Representatives from the foundation, Ir. Abi Jabar, MBA., said that the idea behind the making of this test came from the experience of George Tahija and his family, who found that methods to measure cognitive ability that have been applied in several countries can help children who are facing difficulties in learning.

“George Tahija thought, why couldn’t Indonesia have a method like that? When we started out with this project, we saw that UGM is our most promising hope, so in 2013 we signed the MoU and began this project,” he added.

Not only because this test uses a different approach, AJT Cognitive Test’s is also superior because the scoring components are more comprehensive to clearly reflect and illustrate children’s cognitive ability. This, according to Mr. Abi, can help children find their interest and aptitude while developing their sense of self-confidence.

He explained further, “A lot of children feel that they are not smart, causing them to leave school. This is because the grading system in schools doesn’t encourage children to realize their potential in fields that they are bound to be great in. It’s wonderful that now we can detect that potential early on and let children know that they shouldn’t feel inferior, because each child has their abilities.”

Kevin S. McGrew, Ph.D. is an expert in Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory, who worked as a consultant in the development of this test. Based on his evaluation, this test was developed with a strong theoretical foundation. He also praised the end result of the development as being very comprehensive.

Commenting on the test, Mr. McGrew said, “This is one of the most comprehensive tests that really can understand a person’s ability. As an academician, I can say that this test is indeed world-class.”

The Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Prof. Dr. Faturochman, MA., stated that the launch of this cognitive test is an effort from psychology faculties in Indonesia in fulfilling their role to develop psychological science and give high quality, accurate, and thorough psychological services for people using excellent instruments.

“The presence of this test can hopefully contribute to the development of cognitive assessments in the national and global scale,” stated Mr. Faturochman. (Humas UGM/Gloria)