BCS70 – Age 10 – Friendly Maths Test

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The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 10 sweep using the Friendly Maths Test.

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Mathematics
Measures:Mathematical competence, ranging from early awareness of number operations to expected mathematics ability at 13 years old, including arithmetic, number skills, fractions, measures, algebra, geometry and statistics.
CHC:Gq (Quantitative Knowledge)
Administrative method:In schools; pen and paper
Procedure:The test consisted of a total of 72 multiple choice questions. Within each of the areas covered, the questions increased in difficulty. The test was stopped if the child failed six consecutive items.
Duration: 30 minutes
Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BCS-1980-Reading-Tests.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:72 items (Basic arithmetic skills (36 items), measures (16 itemns0, algebra (6 items), geometry (10 items) and statistics (4 items)
Item-level variable(s):i4001 - i4072
Total score/derived variable(s):BD3MATHS
Age of participants (months):Mean = 121.88, SD = 2.67, Range = 117 - 139
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 11,633
Range = 1 - 72
Mean = 43.95
SD = 12.32
(click image to enlarge)
Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:Specifically designed for BCS70 age 10, due to a lack of a fully acceptable mathematics test appropriate for ten year olds at the time.
Technical resources:Parsons, S. (2014). Childhood cognition in the 1970 British Cohort Study, CLS Working Paper. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Siegler, R. S., Duncan, G. J., Davis-Kean, P. E., Duckworth, K., Claessens, A., Engel, M., ... & Chen, M. (2012). Early predictors of high school mathematics achievement. Psychological Science, 23(7), 691-697.
McKnight, A. (2015). Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the 'glass floor'. London: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.