Letter about Test For Genius

© February 1996 Paul Cooijmans

To the Editor:

A short explanation to the Dutch article about me that appeared in OATH 36: it contains roughly the same biographical information I already gave in OATH 31 and OATH 35. And it explains about my Test For Genius. On the bed behind me [picture] you can see a large number of envelopes. These were of the letters, sent to me by people who requested the test. I believe there were one or two letters of OATH members among them. Until now, ten OATH members have reacted to my calls regarding the test. In total, almost 200 persons from 20 countries responded. Answers have been sent in to about 80 tests. I also got comments on the test, ranging from "You must have done a lot of research and read a lot of books in order to come up with such fascinating and stressful tests" through "I took one look at it and threw it right away" to "Go to the asylum!". The latter was anonymous, unfortunately. Other reactions were "Without doubt the most difficult test I ever encountered" and "Never seen anything like it".

I expect to be able to norm the test this Spring. The 2-page version, that is. There is an expanded (7-page) version as well now, that I decided to make when the original version turned out to be so difficult that I started feeling a Dutch uncle every time I wrote a score report. The 7-page version consists of the original difficult items, and of new less difficult items. A Mensa member in Australia is putting the verbal and numerical subtests of the 7-page version on the Web - whatever that may be. I don't have a computer myself yet.

Someone said that my pose (on the newspaper picture) reminds of the great ancient philosophers. The article further briefly mentions my Graduator, which is a kind of checklist (to be filled in by me) for guitarists, both classical and electric. It gives an indication of a guitarist's advancedness, and shows where one stands among a certain group (first year students, amateurs, etcetera). I have applied it to about a hundred guitarists. The maximum raw score is 300. The highest score reached so far is 237, the certificate is hanging on my wall behind one of the guitars (Gibson ES335 Dot Cherry '87), you can see it on the picture. You won't believe it, but the Graduator also includes a composing system (algorithms are written out on paper and have to be executed by hand by me), that translates any score profile (out of 2300) into A MUSICAL COMPOSITION. As far as my knowledge reaches, this is unique in psychometrics. I once executed the composition that corresponds with my score profile, it was a big success [a recording can be found here under op. 39]. The instrumentarium comprised guitar voice, slide tube, cello bow and bull roarer. I have thought about a way of translating existing compositions back into score profileS, thus creating artificial guitarists, that perhaps could perform simple tasks like putting on new strings or practicing scales. I have not succeeded in that until now.