McCarthy Screening Test (MST)

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McCarthy Screening Test manual

Key information

Screen for early identification of learning difficulties


Dorothea McCarthy

Publication Year:


Age Range:

4 years to 6 years 5 months


Individual - 20 minutes

Qualification Code:


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Quickly and easily identify children who may be at risk for learning problems with the McCarthy Screening Test (MST). With six component scales drawn from the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities, MST is predictive of a child's ability to cope with schoolwork in the early grades.

Measure the cognitive and sensorimotor functions that are central to the successful performance of school tasks with the following subtests:

  • Verbal Memory
  • Right-Left Orientation
  • Leg Coordination
  • Draw-A-Design
  • Numeric Memory
  • Conceptual Grouping.

Screen for Handicaps: Poor performance on MST may indicate further assessment is needed for one or more of the handicaps outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Assesses Key Abilities: The MST assesses abilities critical to a child's success in school, including ones that lie within the sensorimotor, as well as in the cognitive domain.

Easy to Administer: Although interpreting MST requires training in psychology, it can be easily administered and scored by the classroom teacher or trained paraprofessional.


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