Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2

Use the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 when you need to obtain quick ability estimates, screen for cognitive dysfunction, or qualify participants for research studies.

About this Test

Use the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 when you need to obtain quick ability estimates, screen for cognitive dysfunction, or qualify participants for research studies.  

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Since its original publication in 1940, the Shipley Institute of Living Scale has been widely used to assess cognitive functioning and impairment. Revised and restandardized in 2009, this enduring test continues to offer a brief yet robust measure of both crystallized and fluid intelligence—now with updated norms, an expanded age range that includes both children and adults (7 to 89), and a new, nonverbal Block Patterns scale. The Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 (Revised) is an excellent choice whenever you need a quick estimate of cognitive ability. Brief and easily administered to individuals or groups, it is well suited to educational, clinical, rehabilitation, geriatric, neuropsychological, forensic, and human resource applications.

The Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 is a brief measure of crystallized and fluid abilities and like the original test, the Shipley-2 measures two aspects of cognition:

  • Crystallized knowledge – that gained through education and experience
  • Fluid reasoning – the capacity to use logic to learn and acquire new information or solve problems

Because it assesses both kinds of ability, the Shipley-2 can be used not only to obtain a quick estimate of overall intelligence but also to reveal cognitive impairment. Research shows that crystallized ability is relatively stable, while fluid reasoning is affected by aging, injury, and psychopathology. By uncovering discrepancies between the two, the Shipley-2 can provide evidence of cognitive deterioration.

Two Options for Measuring Fluid Ability
To measure crystallized ability, the Shipley-2 includes a 40-item Vocabulary scale. Each item requires the respondent to look at a target word and then choose from four options the word that is closest in meaning.

To assess fluid ability, the test offers two options: the Abstraction scale, which presents 25 sequence-completion items similar to those in the original Shipley; and the new Block Patterns scale, composed of 12 multiple-choice items based on the well-known Kohs cube designs. While the Abstraction scale has the advantage of being familiar to Shipley users, the Block Patterns scale is a good alternative when you need a nonverbal measure of fluid ability or when you prefer the simplicity of a multiple-choice response format. The Manual offers guidance in selecting one over the other.

Easy Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation
The Shipley-2 can be administered to individuals or groups in just 20 to 25 minutes, and scored in 5 minutes more. Norms are based on a sample of 2,826 individuals representative of the U.S. population in regard to ethnicity, gender, and educational level. They are presented separately for children (7 to 19) and adults (17 to 89) and stratified by age.

The test produces standard scores for the scales administered, as well as percentiles, age-equivalents, and confidence intervals. It also provides a Composite score, which is formed by combining the Vocabulary score with either the Abstraction score or the Block Patterns score.

Composite A
Vocabulary score + Abstraction score

Composite B
Vocabulary score + Block Patterns score

Composites A and B are interpreted very similarly. Both are standard scores that reflect overall cognitive ability.

In addition, the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 provides a useful Impairment Index. Calculated only for adults, it represents the discrepancy between vocabulary and abstract thinking.

The Manual offers detailed interpretive guidance related to issues of response validity, differential cognitive functioning, item analysis, and retesting over time. Case studies from various settings are also included.

Quick, Simple, and Useful in Multiple Settings
Because it is straightforward and brief, the Shipley-2 is an excellent choice when you need to obtain quick ability estimates, screen for cognitive dysfunction, or qualify participants for research studies. Yet it also functions well as a component of more complex assessments in neuropsychological, clinical, and forensic settings.

New in the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2:

  • Unlimited-Use Scoring CD
  • Expanded Age Range (7 to 89)
  • Current, Nationally Representative Norms
  • Block Patterns scale (nonverbal alternative to the Abstraction scale)

This revision retains the Shipley’s simplicity while expanding its utility in varied applications. It is ideal for intake screening, assessing brain injuries, determining eligibility for disability benefits, measuring the effects of toxic exposure, guiding treatment and rehabilitation, informing educational or job placement decisions, identifying cognitive problems, monitoring cognitive decline, and more.

The Shipley is one of those rare instruments that has withstood the test of time, and its continuing use testifies to its value as a quick yet accurate measure of general intellectual functioning.

Unlimited-Use Computer Scoring CD

Quick, Accurate Scoring – You can substantially reduce scoring time while minimizing the chance of error–whether you’re scoring paper-and-pencil or computer administrations. Scale and composite scores are calculated instantly.

On-Screen Administration – You can now administer the Shipley-2 directly on your computer. Convenient and user-friendly, on-screen administration duplicates the paper-and-pencil test experience–but eliminates the need for test forms.

Flexibility – You can administer the Vocabulary, Abstraction, and Block Patterns scales individually or in any combination. You can also choose between timed or untimed administration.

A Clear and Complete Score Report – You get a clear, accurate, and complete record of test results, including a graphical representation of standard scores and percentile ranks for each scale and for Composites A and/or B.

C-LEVEL Psychological Product Available Only To Qualified Users

C-Level Requirements:

MA (psychologist, SLP, OT) A master’s degree (MA, MS, MSW, CAGS) in
psychology, school counseling, occupational therapy, speech–language pathology, social work, education, special education, or related field.


BA (occupational therapist) A bachelor’s degree (BA, BS) in fields
listed above strong> and License or certification from an agency/organization that requires training and experience in assessment.

Additional information

Appropriate For

Administration Time


Scoring Options


SKU: 395 Category:

Use the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2 when you need to obtain quick ability estimates, screen for cognitive dysfunction, or qualify participants for research studies.

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