A small Massachusetts company claims to have manufactured the first CD-Rom to offer home IQ tests for children.
Virtual Entertainment, which introduced a home IQ test for adults two years ago, produced the junior package after scores of parents asked if one was available, a spokesman said.
The company has shipped 20,000 units of the test, including the CD-Rom and an 80-page manual. It was written by Pro-Ed, an educational products firm in Austin, Texas, and uses sound-effects and interactive cartoons to test children from kindergarten through their teens.
Educationists interviewed in the New York Times were far from enthusiastic.
"We already over-rely on test scores as a measure of progress," said Barbara Kiefer, an associate professor of reading at Columbia University Teachers' College. "This kind of thing increases the test-taking frenzy."