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Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test

Second Edition

The whole is greater than
the sum of its parts.

Developed in 1938

A Visual Motor Gestalt Test and Its Clinical Use
- Lauretta Bender
Gestalt function
Biologically determined
Responds to stimuli as a whole
Measures visual-motor integration skills in children and
adults from 4 to 85+ years of age
One of the most frequently used instruments in
psychological assessment
Development & Revision

Revision Goals:
Extend measurement scale significantly easier and
significantly harder items were added
Obtain a large and representative sample to reflect
visual-motor skills across
a lifespan (N = 4,000)
Retain as many original
Bender-Gestalt Test items as
Clinical Uses

Adience-Abience Scale
Measures development of defenses and coping
operations of the personality
Items relating to space and size, organization, changes
in the Gestalt form, and distortion
Psychopathology Scale
Items related to
organization, changes
in the Gestalt form,
and distortions of the

The test consists of nine figures, each on its 3x5 card.

Copy the figure into a single piece of paper.

The test is not timed, although the standard

administration time is typically 10-20 minutes.

After the testing is complete, the results are scored

based on accuracy and organization.
Test Description

Administration of the Bender-Gestalt II consists of
two phases:
Copy Phase
Examinee is shown stimulus cards with designs and
asked to copy each of the designs on a sheet of paper
Recall Phase
Examinee is asked to redraw designs from memory

Motor and Perception supplemental tests screen for

specific motor and perceptual abilities/difficulties
Observation Form

Examinee InformationName, gender, hand preference
Physical ObservationsSensory impairments or movement
Test-Taking ObservationsCarelessness, indifference,
inattentiveness, unusual or unique behaviors
Copy ObservationsExaminees approach, drawing process
RecallAmount of time needed to recall designs and the order
in which designs are recalled
SummaryOverview of information collected
Administration Process

Administer test on a table, seated across from the
examinee if possible
Supply one pencil and one sheet of paper (vertically in
front of examinee)
Show the stimulus cards to the examinee one at a time
(aligned with the top of drawing paper)
Administer stimulus cards in the correct numeric
sequence and do not allow examinee to turn or
manipulate them.
Begin test with the appropriate card:
Ages Start Item End Item
4yr 7yr 11mo 1 13
8yrs and older 5 16
Administration Process
Copy Phase:

Inconspicuously measure how long the examinee takes to
complete the items record time in minutes and seconds
Document your observations carefully note the
examinees approach to drawing each design

Recall Phase:
Administered immediately following the copy phase
Examinee is given a new sheet of paper an asked to draw as
many of the designs that were previously shown
Administration Process

Administration Process

Motor Test:
2 4 minutes
Draw a line between the dots in each figure without
touching the borders

Perception Test:
2 4 minutes
Circle or point to a design in each row that best
matches the design in the box


Global Scoring System used to evaluate each design
the examinee draws during the Copy and Recall
5 point rating scale
Higher scores better performance
The Global Scoring System
0 No resemblance, random drawing, scribbling, lack of design
1 Slight vague resemblance
2 Some moderate resemblance
3 Strong close resemblance, accurate reproduction
4 Nearly perfect

Using the different areas of the Observation Form:
Total the raw scores
Record any observations noted during administration
The examinees age
Testtaking times for the Copy and Recall phases
Supplemental tests scores
Percentile ranges
Now refer to the appendixes in the manual for the
corresponding standard scores, percentile ranks, and
other scores.

Scoring the supplemental tests:
Motor Test
Criteria for Scoring the Motor Test
1 Line touches both end points and does not leave the box. Line
may touch the border but cannot go over it.
0 Line extends outside the box or does not touch both end points
Perception Test
Each correct response is scored one (1) point
Each incorrect response is scored zero (0) points

Test Scores

Raw scores for Copy and Recall phases are converted
into scaled scores and percentiles
Mean = 100 Classification Labels for Standard Scores
SD = 15 145 - 160 Extremely high or extremely advanced
130 144 Very high or very advanced
Standard 120 129 High or advanced
110 119 High average
Score can
90 109 Average
range from 80 89 Low average
40 to 160 70 79 Low or borderline delayed
55 69 Very low or moderately delayed
40 54 Extremely low of moderately delayed
Test Behavior

Information gained through observation of test-
taking behaviors is crucial
Global Scoring System integrated (age, education,
ethnicity, IQ, test performance, and behaviors)
Indicators of potential behavioral or learning
difficulties: length of task, tracing with finger before
drawing, anchoring, frequent erasures, motor
Internal Consistency

Split- Half Reliability
A group average coeffient of .91
Standard Error of Measurement of 4.55
Test-Retest Reliability
Varied from .80 to .87 when corrected for the first

Overall good reliability

Inter-rater Consistency

Correlation of scoring between examiners was high
Copy Phase: .83 to.94 (average of .90)
Recall Phase: .94 to .97 (average of .96)

This test is easy and straight forward to score


Correlation with other visual motor tests:
When matched with the Beery VMI:
.65 for the Copy Phase
.44 for the Recall Phase

Do you consider this valid?


Correlation with other tests
Tests of achievement: WJ-III _ACH and WIAT
Ranges from .20 to .53 for the Copy Phase
Ranges from .17 to .47 for the Recall phase

Correlations with other tests
Tests of intelligence: Stanford Binet 5 and WAIS
Ranged from .47 to .54 for the copy phase
Ranged from .21 to .48 for the recall phase

These scores suggest that there is more than

one construct being measured
Standardization and

Standardization Sample

Based on a carefully designed, stratified, random
plan that closely matched the U.S. 2000 census
4,000 individuals from 4 to 85+ years of age
Additional samples were collected for validity
studies (e.g., individuals with mental retardation,
learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, Alzheimers
disease, and examinees identified as gifted)
Data was collected over a 12-month period in 2001
through 2002
Normative Specifications

Utilizing U.S. 2000 census data, the Bender-Gestalt II
normative sample was designed to be nationally
representative and matched to percentages of the U.S.
population for four demographic variables:

1. Age
2. Sex
3. Race/Ethnicity (including Hispanic origin)
4. Geographic Region:
(Northeast, Midwest, South, and West)
5. Socioeconomic Level (Educational Attainment)
Age and Sex

21 age groups, differing in size and age, were defined

More refined age categories used at the earliest and

latest age groups because of higher rate of change in
scores due to age-related development or decline

The Bender-Gestalt II standardization included
approximately equal percentages of males and
females for each age group except for ages 60 and
above where differences in sex also occur in the

60 69 Females (55.5) and Males (44.5)

70 79 Females (61.0) and Males (39.0)
80+ Females (66.0) and Males (34.0)

Examinees racial and ethnic origins were identified
on the consent forms by the examinees or their
parents or legal guardians
American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native
Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander
Black or African American
Multiple ethnicities (classified as Other)
Geographic Region and
Socioeconomic Level

Four regions: Northwest, Midwest, South and West
Examinees home or residence was used to define his
or her geographic regions
Educational attainment was used as an indicator of
socioeconomic level
Adults: levels measured by years of education
Minors: levels measured by the years of education
completed by their parents or guardians
Clinical Populations

Clinical and Special Populations

Mental Retardation:
Significant sub-average intellectual functioning as
measured by an IQ score of more than two standard
deviations below the mean
Concurrent deficit in adaptive behavior
Designation by a local, county, or state education
agency that the individual is qualified for special
services for mental retardation
Qualified classifications referenced in the DSM-IV-TR
Clinical and Special Populations

Specific Learning Disabilities
Academic achievementsubstantial discrepancy from
intellectual capacity with both achievement and IQ
Specific learning disabilities: discrepancies in any of seven
areas as originally defined in Public Law:
Mathematics calculation, mathematics reasoning, basic
word reading, reading comprehension, listening
comprehension, spoken or written expression
DSM-IV-TR emphasizes:
315.00 Reading Disorder, 315.1 Mathematics Disorder, 315.2
Disorder of Written Expression, and 315.9 Learning
Disorder NOS

For inclusion in the category of ADHD, examinees were
required to provide a documented formal diagnosis of
ADHD utilizing DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for the
following codes:
314.01 ADHD
Combined Type
314.00 ADHD
Predominately Inattentive Type
314.01 ADHD
Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
314.9 ADHD NOS
Serious Emotional Disturbances

For inclusion in the Serious Emotional Disturbance
category, examinees were required to have a documented
condition exhibiting one or more of the following
Inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual
sensory, or health factors
Inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal
relationships with peers or teachers
Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal
Pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
Diagnosis of schizophrenia
Autism and Alzheimers Disease

Examinees included in this category were required to
exhibit a documented developmental disability that
significantly and adversely affected verbal and
nonverbal communication and social interaction as
they relate to educational or occupational performance
Alzheimers Disease:
Examinees were independently diagnosed prior to
testing. Diagnosis was primarily based on DSM-IV-TR
294.1x criteria

For inclusion in the Giftedness category, examinees
were required to provide documentation for both of
the following criteria:
Performance on an individually administered IQ test
with a score of more than two SDs above the mean
> 130, M = 100, and SD = 15
Official designation by a local, country, or state
education agency that the individual is qualified for
gifted/talented school services