February 1st, 2013
TTCT stands for Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
If your child is scheduled for an upcoming TTCT test, you may be wondering about test preparation. The TTCT, or Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, are a creativity test that was developed in the 1960s by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance.
Unlike many other tests used during advanced placement testing or entrance examinations, the TTCT test does not require much prep work. Instead of measuring subjects which are taught in school, these tests measure creative thinking. Although it’s difficult to “prepare” for a creativity test, you can cultivate your child’s creativity in everyday life by asking him to express himself in novel and imaginative ways. You can also spur creative thinking by asking your child to tell a story about things he witnesses (“What is that lady doing holding her dog up above her head like that?”); tell a story about what happened during a famous historical event (“What did George Washington say before he chopped down the cherry tree?”); or imitate someone reacting to an event (“Show me what you would look like if I told you you could pick out 100 new toys!”). You can also cultivate your child’s creativity by having her draw out verbalized situations or think of alternative ways of performing common tasks.
There are two versions of the test, the Figural and Verbal versions. Your child may take both, although the Verbal version is only approved for children in first grade and up.
Studies have shown that highly creative children are often some of the most intelligent, and so the information gained through these tests can be extremely helpful in gifted programs. Some of the traits tested by the TTCT are visualization, expressiveness, humor, and storytelling. You can read more about the tests at http://www.indiana.edu/~bobweb/Handout/d3.ttct.htm.
Aside from school settings, these tests are also used in institutional and clinical settings to assess creativity in adult subjects. Subjects of all ages are asked to recall past events and describe them, among other creative-thinking exercises. Common results translate into lower scores, while highly imaginative results with rich detail and imagery score higher.