Thurstone Test of Mental Ability – Verbal Form

Helps assess an individual’s ability to learn, comprehend, solve problems and follow instructions.

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As of February 20, 2020 The TMA Verbal is available again.

What does it do and what problem does it solve?

This assessment is a general mental ability test to help assess an individual’s learning and comprehension abilities.  Use it to assess applicants for a variety of roles for industrial and clerk positions. Use the Search function (upper right) to find similar tests including the “Thurstone Temperament Sorter” and “General Reasoning Test”.

Special Announcement

Form A (only) of this assessment is now only available online.  It is no longer available for purchase in paper.   We apologize for the inconvenience that this creates for current users.  We will be glad to help you select an alternate product in the meantime – if a suitable substitute exists.  Please contact us for recommendations.


The Verbal Form helps measure general ability to learn and comprehend.

Job Types: Wide variety of occupations.
Administration: Paper and pencil or computer.
Scoring: Hand-scored carbon format. Yields two separate scale scores plus one overall total score.
Time: 15 minutes.

The Verbal Form provides a test of general mental ability for a wide variety of occupations. This shorter version of the TMA™ test (see the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness) helps assess an individual’s ability to learn, comprehend, solve problems and follow instructions. The Verbal Form also helps assess an applicant’s ability to mentally adjust quickly and effectively to changing situations.

The test consists of two scales:

Quantitative. Items consist of arithmetic reasoning and number-series problems.
Linguistic. Items consist of same-opposite word meanings and definitions.

Normative Data. Percentile industrial norms are listed for the following job classifications:

  • bank tellers
  • computer programmers
  • department store personnel
  • engineers
  • firefighters
  • first-line supervisors
  • general adult sample
  • managerial personnel
  • police
  • retail store managers
  • sales personnel
  • scientists
  • secretaries
  • secretary
  • service personnel
  • skilled trades
  • stenographers

Percentile education norms are listed by linguistic, quantitative and total scores for ages 12-16, and for age 17 and over.

Validation Studies. Validation studies have been conducted in various companies and the scores on the Verbal Form were found to be related to job performance in the following jobs:

  • chemical operator
  • claims auditor
  • claims examiner
  • clerk (insurance)
  • clerk (quantitative)
  • clerk (various industries)
  • electrician
  • freight car repairer
  • gas serviceperson
  • high-level clerk
  • keypunch operator
  • telegrapher
  • telephone service representative
  • yard clerk

The Verbal Form was the subject of validation studies in an educational setting and was found to be related to educational achievement for 9th- through 12th-grade students. There are two forms, A and B, for the Verbal Form. They are comparable and can be used to retest applicants.



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Additional information

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