Army Alpha and Beta tests - American EducationA battery of tests to determine intelligence of U.S. Army recruits in World War I. Developed by Stanford University psychologist LEWIS M. TERMAN and a committee of the American Psychological Association, they were designed to help the Army place recruits in jobs appropriate to their intelligence and skills, a task that had become overwhelming when the United States started drafting recruits to go to war and the size of the military mushroomed from 180,000 to nearly 3 million. The Army Alpha Intelligence Test was a verbal test to measure intelligence of literate recruits, and the Army Beta Intelligence Test was a nonverbal test for the roughly 25% of recruits who were illiterate, either because they had been unschooled or because they were non–English-speaking immigrants swept up in the draft.
The tests were among the first intelligence tests developed in the United States. When they were released for civilian use following the war, they sired hundreds of other tests used in schools and businesses to evaluate intelligence and aptitudes.