NSHD – Age 15 – Mathematics Test

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The MRC National Survey of Health of Development (NSHD) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 15 sweep using the Mathematics Test.

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


Domain:Verbal (arithmetic)
Measures:Mathematical ability/knowledge
Mathematical achievement
CHC:Gq (Quantitative Knowledge)
Administration method:Teacher; face to face; pen and paper
Procedure:Participants were administered a 47-item mathematics test, which tested arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra.
Duration: The total time of administration was approximately 30 minutes (25 minutes working time). Data were heavily positively skewed, indicating the test was too difficult.
Link to questionnaire:https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk/NSHD/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=questionnaires:1961_sm_nf4.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:One mark for each correct item (0 - 47)
Item-level variable(s):Not currently available
Total score/derived variable(s):M15R, M15R61, M1561, M15N
Descriptives:Raw scoreNormalised score
N = 4,015N = 4,015
Range = 0 - 46Range = 69 - 158
Mean = 14.26Mean = 102.59
SD = 10.21SD = 15.30
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants (months):Mean = 174.54, SD = 2.12, Range = 172-182
Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:Pigeon DA. Details of the fifteen years tests. In: Douglas JWB, Ross JM, Simpson HR, eds. All Our Future. London: Davies, 1968; Appendix 1.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Richards, M., Shipley, B., Fuhrer, R., & Wadsworth, M. E. (2004). Cognitive ability in childhood and cognitive decline in mid-life: longitudinal birth cohort study. BMJ, 328(7439), 552.
Cooper, R., Richards, M., & Kuh, D. (2017). Childhood cognitive ability and age-related changes in physical capability from midlife: Findings from a British birth cohort study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 79(7), 785.

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