Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)
What is the Torrance Test?
The TTCT (Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking) assess how creatively a child’s mind works and are often given to children to determine advanced placement or as part of an entrance examination. They are very different from intelligence and reasoning tests your child may have already taken. Instead of traditionally taught subjects such as reading or math, these tests assess creativity. Children are scored on a number of aspects. This includes:
- Creative titles for pictures
- and Humor
Therefore, your child hasn’t “learned” the content that will be tested on the Torrance, since it involves more ambiguous concepts than the ones that are driven home in the classroom. As the name suggests, the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking test, in large part, how creative and imaginative your child is.
The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) is designed to identify and evaluate creative potential using two parts – a Verbal test and a Figural test.
Verbal Test for Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
The Verbal test contains seven subtests. Each subtest in the TTCT Verbal test measures different facets of creative thinking, making it a comprehensive tool for assessing an individual’s creative abilities. Importantly, while the TTCT is a robust measure of creativity, it’s most insightful when used alongside other measures and observations.
- Asking – This subtest evaluates the individual’s ability to formulate questions about a specific picture or situation. This skill is crucial for creative thinking as it involves curiosity, exploration, and the ability to seek out new information. The individual is encouraged to ask as many questions as they can about the picture, challenging them to think deeply and critically.
- Guessing Causes – Here, the individual is presented with a picture or scenario and asked to guess the possible causes of the situation. This tests their ability to hypothesize and think analytically, a crucial aspect of problem-solving and innovative thinking. It also promotes divergent thinking, or the ability to generate multiple solutions or responses.
- Guessing Consequences – Similar to the Guessing Causes subtest, but in this case, the individual is asked to imagine potential outcomes of a specific situation or event. This challenges their ability to anticipate, imagine, and think ahead, key elements of creativity and strategic planning.
- Product Improvement – In this subtest, the individual is presented with an object or product and asked to think of ways it could be improved. This test assesses creative problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and the ability to innovate and add value.
- Unusual Uses – This subtest involves presenting the individual with a common object, and asking them to think of as many unusual uses for that object as possible. It measures the individual’s flexibility of thought, their ability to think divergently, and to see beyond conventional uses or constraints.
- Unusual Questions – The individual is asked to create as many unusual questions as possible about a given picture or scenario. This subtest encourages curiosity, and the ability to think outside the box. It reflects an individual’s capacity to look at situations from unique and varied perspectives.
- Just Suppose – This subtest asks the individual to imagine a hypothetical, often fantastical, situation and speculate what would happen in such a scenario. This subtest measures the individual’s ability to think abstractly, to stretch their imagination, and to conceive of realities outside their direct experience.
Verbal test Subtests are scored on the basis of fluency, flexibility, and originality (with a score on elaboration as optional), and these scores are accumulated across all subtests. The totals may be converted to standard T scores if normative reference is desired.
Figural Test for Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
The Figural test has three subsets. The Figural Test, which evaluates non-verbal, graphic creativity. The Figural Test consists of three activities, which include Picture Construction, Picture Completion and Parallel Lines. Here is a detailed overview of each section:
- Picture Construction (from a marked cue) – In this subtest, the examinee is provided with a small shape or cue (for example, a squiggle or an abstract mark) and is asked to incorporate this cue into a larger, more complex picture. The goal here is to assess how an individual can build upon a simple visual stimulus and transform it into something more elaborate and creative. The participant’s creativity is evaluated based on the originality, complexity, and the narrative quality of the constructed picture. This subtest is designed to tap into an individual’s divergent thinking, imaginative storytelling, and visual creativity.
- Picture Completion (again with cues) – For this subtest, the examinee is given several incomplete pictures or cues, and they are asked to complete these in the most imaginative way possible. These cues might be abstract lines or shapes, and the individual’s task is to complete the pictures in a way that adds meaning, innovation, and creativity. This subtest evaluates an individual’s ability to think divergently, their propensity for elaboration, and their fluency in generating creative solutions.
- Parallel Lines – In this activity, the examinee is given a page with several pairs of parallel lines and is asked to create unique images or pictures using these lines as the starting point. This activity is designed to assess the participant’s ability to look at a familiar shape (parallel lines) in novel ways, encouraging innovative, divergent thinking. This subtest assesses an individual’s ability to generate original, unique, and elaborate concepts from simple visual cues.
The first of these Figural test subtests is scored on originality and elaboration while the remainder are scored on fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Totals are then accumulated across subtests to provide overall scores for Figural fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. These scores, as in the Verbal test, can be converted to a standard T score.
More Information on the Torrance Test
The tests are given in a game-like manner to catch children’s interests. The scoring of the tests is by hand and requires careful attention to the manual for reliable results. However, “streamlined” guides are available and are helpful in developing greater familiarity with the test and its scoring procedures for Grades K through graduate school.
Many school districts include some kind of creativity testing as part of their assessment of gifted children, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking are one of the most commonly given. The TTCT test is a series of figural exercises (thinking with pictures) and verbal activities (thinking with words) that students do to showcase their creative abilities. The full test is a series of individual exercises that are administered by a psychologist over a 90-minute period. While it isn’t the perfect creativity test, it has proved to be highly reliable over the years as a predictor of successful, creative individuals of all ages.
This test is used by both businesses and schools. Often, in a school setting, a few of the exercises from the TTCT test are chosen to be administered along with other intelligence or achievement tests. They might choose one figural and one verbal activity to include in their evaluation if they are looking for children who are both highly creative and intelligent to be part of their program.
To get started with all of the Torrance testing material offered by Testing Mom, check out our 100 Free Questions.
My child’s school will use a creative test, what test is this?
The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is commonly given alongside many cognitive abilities tests to asses a child’s creativity. The TTCT is the one of the most common tests used to assess creativity.
Other Torrance Testing Formats
The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking can also be given to adults. There are two versions, Figural and Verbal. While the Figural test is approved for kindergarten students, the verbal test begins at first grade. By assessing creative thought, these tests often provide useful insight for administrators regarding student placement. Children who produce rather boring or common results are scored lower. The more detail, imagination, and fantasy that is incorporated into an answer, the higher the results. Studies have shown that highly imaginative and creative children are often (not always) some of the very brightest.
While it’s harder to prepare for creative tests than it is for tests that measure aptitude and knowledge, there are a number of ways to get your child thinking more creatively. One way is to ask him to tell you a story every day, or have her talk about the funniest (or strangest or creepiest or most interesting) thing that happened to them that day!
More details can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrance_Tests_of_Creative_Thinking.