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McCarthy Screening Test (MST)

Author(s): Dorothea McCarthy
Screen children for early learning difficulties
Administration: 20 minutes
Qualification level: B-Level
Publication Date: 1978
Ages / Grades: 4 through 6.6 years

Product Summary


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.

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.


The subtests—Verbal Memory, Right-Left Orientation, Leg Coordination, Draw-A-Design, Numeric Memory, and Conceptual Grouping—measure the cognitive and sensorimotor functions that are central to the successful performance of school tasks.