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General Ability Measure for Adults (GAMA)

Jack A. Naglieri, PhD, and Achilles N. Bardos, PhD

Non-verbal assessment of an individual's general intellectual ability

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Technical Information

Age range: 18 years and older

Qualification level: B

Year: 1997

Administration time: 25 minutes

Administration type: Individual - Self Administered

The GAMA test (General Ability Measure for Adults) is a self-administered, timed test that uses abstract designs, shapes, and colors to help measure general ability. Normed on a census-based sample of 2,360 adults, it can be effective with a variety of populations and can be administered to individuals or groups. The GAMA IQ score helps estimate an individual’s general intellectual ability and the 4 subtest scores provide additional information about the individual’s performance.

The GAMA test can be used by clinical professionals and psychologists in a variety of settings, including:

  • As part of a psychological evaluation when a brief tool is needed to help assess general cognitive ability
  • When evaluating people who speak English as a second language or who read at a low level
  • With special populations such as deaf adults, the elderly, and individuals with learning disabilities, mental retardation, or traumatic brain injury
  • For neuropsychology and forensic evaluations
  • For large-scale assessment, e.g. with correctional or military populations
  • In counselling and psychotherapy settings to help choose interventions that match a client’s intellectual ability
  • For counselling to facilitate vocational decisions

 Key Features

  • Its brevity enables clinicians to include the test as part of a complete cognitive assessment.
  • Administered individually or with groups.
  • Highly correlated with other measures, the GAMA test helps provide convenience without sacrificing quality.
  • Nonverbal format overcomes language, cultural and educational barriers, making it useful for diverse populations
  • Requires less training for administrators than many other general abilities tests.

Test Items

The GAMA test’s nonverbal item content helps overcome language, cultural, and educational barriers.
The GAMA test design allows you to test people who were previously difficult to test. GAMA test items require a person to apply reasoning and logic to solve problems that exclusively use abstract design and shapes. This design minimises the effects of knowledge, verbal expression, and verbal comprehension on test scores.
The GAMA test uses four types of test items and subscales:

  1. Matching - The examination of the shapes and colors of stimuli to determine which response option is identical.

  2. Sequences - Requires the analysis of the interrelationships of designs as they move through space.

  3. Analogies - Involves the discovery of the relationships in a pair of abstract figures and the recognition of similar conceptual relationships in a different pair of figures.

  4. Construction - Involves the analysis, synthesis, and rotation of spatial designs to construct a new figure.

GAMA Test Results Provide an Efficient Description of General Ability

An individual’s GAMA IQ test score is based on the four subtest scales scores. Using hand-scoring materials or computerized scoring, you will generate a graphic representation of the person’s total score with a 90% confidence interval. An Ability Classification (from Well Below Average to Very Superior) and a Percentile rank are also reported. Subtest scores include a classification, a deviation score, and Strength/Weakness indications.


The GAMA test was normed on a census-based sample of 2,360 adults stratified by age, gender, race or ethnic group, educational level, and geographic region. The sample was partitioned into 11 age groups. The age groups and sample sizes are listed below. In addition, studies were undertaken during the development of the GAMA test to enhance its usefulness with special populations such as deaf adults, adults with learning disabilities or traumatic brain injury, or mentally retarded adults, and the elderly.

Report Option

Profile Report

The report includes narrative and graphic information on the GAMA IQ score, based on the four subtest scores, plus:

  • A graphic representation of the respondent’s total score with a 90% to 95% confidence interva
  • An Ability Classification (from Well-Below-Average to Very-Superior) and a Percentile rank.
  • The four subtest scores and a classification, a deviation score, and a Strength/Weakness indication for each subtest.

Technical Information

Now Available on Q-global

Q-global® Administration Options

This product is available on Q-global with the following administration options:

Manual Entry - Scoring and Reporting Only (ME)

These assessments are administered in paper-pencil format only, and can be scored by entering raw data into Q Global for scoring and reporting.

If you would like more information, please visit the Q-global product page,