The Draw-A-Person Intellectual Ability Test for Children, Adolescents, and Adults (DAP:IQ) provides a common set of scoring criteria to estimate intellectual ability from a human figure drawing. Until now, measurement of cognitive ability by scoring drawings of human figures focused mainly on children and adolescents. The DAP:IQ applies this form of evaluation to adults as well, allowing for a more direct, continuous measurement of a common construct across the age range.
The DAP:IQ improves the practice of evaluating human figure drawings (HFDs) as a measurement of cognitive ability by scoring elements representative of universal features of the human figure. The collection of a HFD is easily standardized with a set of simple, easily understood instructions, and requires a very short period of time.
This flexible assessment is for use by psychologists, school counselors, and professionals working with special-needs populations. The DAP:IQ allows you to derive reliable, quantitative ability estimates by using the largest single collection of normative data on this task ever gathered. Psychometric data, including normative reference data, are provided for ages 4 years to 89 years and are based on a total sample of 3,090 individuals across the United States. The validity and utility of this test lie in the scoring system¹s emphasis of concepts over artistic skill and motor coordination.
Features of the DAP:IQ
  • Standardized instructions for the task are easy to derive
  • Standardized scoring systems emphasize conceptual aspects of drawings, not artistic quality
  • Drawings collected in a rapid, efficient manner
  • Few people are hesitant to do the drawing once they are assured that the artistic quality is not being evaluated
  • Drawings can be obtained in even the most challenging of clinical situations (such as the assessment of autistic or severely hyperactive children, non-reading or non-English speaking clients)
  • Scoring criteria have less cultural specificity than most intelligence tests, verbal or nonverbal (culture-reduced)
  • All you need to give and score of the DAP:IQ is the test manual, the Administration/Scoring Form, and a sharpened pencil.
  • The drawing is evaluated on 23 features. The scores for each feature range from 0-4 points, with a total of 49 points possible. The drawing is not evaluated on its aesthetic or how neatly it is drawn.

Interpreting the Results of DAP-IQ
Standard Score: This system is based on deviations from the mean, or average, of a standard score of 100. The bell curve (see below) shows the distribution of scores, with scores above 100 recognized as above the average and scores below 100 recognized as below the average. The percentiles on the image of the bell curve reveal the amount of the population that falls with in the standard score range (do not get this confused with the percentile rank, which is described below.)


Percentile :The percentile rank indicates the percentage of the population scoring at or below the designated score level. For example a percentile ranking of 70% means that 70%, or 70 out of 100 people at this age level earned lower scores.
Cross-cultural research with DAP-IQ
Still, there is little research in other countries; some research in
To help you better understand the bell curve:
Here is a link to help you understand the purpose and use of ability or aptitude tests, like the DAP-IQ:

Recent Scientific Evidence Recommends Ending the Use of DAP-IQ Due to Inaccurate Results.
Here is a link to the article in the scientific journal PLoS One entitled, "Drawing a Close to the Use of Human Figure Drawings as a Projective Measure of Intelligence."
This article's abstract states:
"The practice of using children's human figure drawings (HFDs) to assess their intellectual ability is pervasive among psychologists and therapists in many countries. Since the first systematic scoring system for HFDs was published in 1926, their continued popularity has led to the development of several revised versions of the test. Most recently, the Draw-A-Person Intellectual Ability Test for children, adolescents, and adults (DAP:IQ) was published. It is the most up-to-date form of HFD test designed to assess intellectual functioning across a wide age range. In the present study, we assessed the validity of the DAP:IQ as a screening measure of intelligence in both children and adults. In Experiment 1, 100 4- to 5-year-old children completed the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition. In Experiment 2, 100 adults completed the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. In both experiments, we found only weak to modest correlations between scores on the DAP:IQ and the Wechsler tests. Furthermore, when we compared individual's scores on the two tests, the DAP:IQ yielded high false positive and false negative rates when screening for borderline and superior intellectual functioning. Based on these findings, and based on the lack of validity of previous HFD tests, we conclude that practitioners should not rely on HFD tests as a projective measure of intelligence."