Bender Motor Gestalt Test (II)

By Gary Brannigan and Scott Decker

BENEFITS: Provides a quick measure of both visual-motor development and psychological functioning
AGES: 3 to 85+ years
ADMIN TIME: 5-10 minutes; 5 minutes each for the supplemental visual and motor tests
FORMAT: Reproduction of simple line drawings
NORMS: Based on a sample of 4,000 individuals, representative of the U.S. population

Originally published in 1938 by Lauretta Bender, MD, the Bender Visual–Motor Gestalt Test is one of the most widely used psychological tests. The second edition (Bender Gestalt II) updates this classic assessment and continues its tradition as a brief test of visual–motor integration that can provide useful information about an individual’s development and psychological functioning.     Appropriate for ages 3 to 85+ years, the Bender Gestalt II is a reliable way to assess visual–motor development. It is also a useful introduction to any battery of educational, psychological, or neuropsychological tests. The Bender Gestalt II provides helpful information in preschool screening as well as geriatric assessment. And it can offer insight into many conditions, including ADHD, intellectual disability, giftedness, learning disabilities, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.    The Bender Gestalt II consists of a series of stimulus cards, each displaying a unique figure. The individual is asked to draw each figure as he or she observes it. The stimulus card is not removed until the drawing is complete. This edition of the test adds items and extends the range of ability assessed. New recall procedures to measure visual–motor memory ensure a more comprehensive assessment of visual–motor skills. And supplemental tests of simple motor and perceptual ability help identify specific visual–motor deficits. An optional timing component allows the examiner to time each drawing, and scoring is now quicker and easier. Conformed with the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition, the Bender Gestalt II was standardized on more than 4,000 individuals ranging in age from 4 to 85+ years. The composition of the standardization sample corresponds to the 2000 U.S. population.  The Bender Gestalt II is an ideal way to start an extended psychological test battery. With its simple design and administration, the test is a nonthreatening way to warm up to more challenging assessments.