Differential Ability Scales-II

The Differential Ability Scales™ (2nd ed., DAS™–II) is unique in that it goes beyond cognitive ability testing to give insight into how a child processes information. Developed for psychologists, this child-friendly test provides information that enables you to predict their likeliness to succeed in education and to craft appropriate interventions and/or recommendations for the classroom and home. With out-of-level testing and child-appropriate start points, this time-tested assessment gives you the speed and flexibility you need for children who may struggle with longer tests.
DAS–II NU School-Age 2023 has officially launched. Order now.
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DAS-II Early Years Spanish Supplement Administration and Technical Manual (Digital)
A103000321265 Qualification Level C

Once ordered, the digital asset is accessible by logging into Q-global and visiting the Q-global Resource Library. It is a view-only digital file.




Publication date:
DAS–II 2007, DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement 2012, DAS–II NU School-Age 2023
Age range:
DAS–II: 2:6–17:11 years,  DAS–II Early Years Spanish: 2:6–6:11 years,  DAS–II NU School-Age: 7:0–17:11 years
Standard scores and percentiles by age
Qualification level:
Completion time:
Core battery: 45–60 minutes; diagnostic subtests: 30 minutes
Scoring options:
Manual scoring; Q-global® for DAS–II NU School-Age, DAS–II Early Years, and DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement
DAS–II Early Years, 2007; DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement, 2012; DAS–II NU School-Age, 2022
Other languages:

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Product Details

DAS™–II NU School-Age  |  DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement  |  DAS–II

The DAS™–II NU School-Age

DAS-II is getting a refresh! The DAS-II NU School-Age retains all of the great features psychologists expect, but its updated school-age norms and NEW digital scoring are sure to be a welcome change!

The existing items, subtests, and test structure did not change so customers familiar with the existing DAS-II product line will be comfortable administering the normative update without additional training.

Current DAS-II customer? You can update your existing DAS-II materials with the DAS-II NU School-Age kit containing a DAS-II NU School-Age Manual and new School-Age Record Forms. Or, if your materials are wearing down and you want a new complete kit, we’ve got you covered. You can order a DAS-II Complete kit with the new school-age norms and online scoring with Q-global — everything you need to refresh your DAS experience.

What’s “NU School-Age”?

  • Updated norms for school-age children (ages 7:0–17:11) 
  • Digital scoring on Q-global 
  • Choice of updating your materials with an NU School-Age kit or a complete DAS-II kit 

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What’s “NU School-Age”?

Normative Update Kits Available:

Clinical Studies

New studies

  • Intellectually gifted
  • Mild intellectual disability
  • Autism spectrum disorder with language impairment

Updated studies

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • ADHD and learning disorder
  • Deaf or hard of hearing children who communicate via American Sign Language
  • Expressive language disorder
  • English learners
  • Mathematics disorder
  • Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder
  • Reading and written expression disorder
  • Reading disorder

Validity Studies

New studies

  • DAS–II
  • KBIT™–2 Revised
  • PPVT™–5/EVT™–3
  • WIAT®–4
  • WRAML3

Updated studies

  • KTEA™–3
  • Retest
  • WJ® III

Did you know? DAS™–II NU School-Age can be purchased using IDEA funding resources!

DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement

Differential Ability Scales™ (2nd ed.) (DAS™–II) Early Years Spanish Supplement provides a more accurate picture of Spanish-speaking children’s cognitive strengths and needs by assessing them in their primary language. Assess cognitive strengths and needs of Spanish-speaking children across a wide range of domains.


  • Accurately identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop appropriate intervention strategies and progress monitoring
  • Use subtests from either level of the battery, depending upon the child’s performance on the age-appropriate subtest
  • Supplements the DAS–II Complete Kit to provide in-depth analysis of learning abilities across a wide range of domains


During the translation and adaptation of the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement, professionals were engaged to address any cultural or language issues that might affect the assessment. The following countries, as well as specific geographic areas of the United States, were represented: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela. 

Additional features

  • New items and four new subtests: Recall of Sequential Order, Rapid Naming, Phonological Processing, and Recall of Digits–Backward
  • Expanded clinical samples of children with a variety of special classifications
  • More engaging and contemporary artwork
  • Raw scores are equated to the English raw scores for the DAS–II and then converted to a weighted ability score


The DAS™–II is an individually administered clinical instrument for assessing the cognitive abilities that are important to learning. Use DAS–II to identify learning disabilities and intellectual disability and properly evaluate English learners, deaf or hard of hearing children, as well as assess giftedness.


  • Identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses so the appropriate IEP goals, intervention strategies, and progress monitoring can be developed.
  • Predict achievement on the basis of ability equally well for African American, Asian, Hispanic, and White/Non-Hispanic children.
  • Compare performance on the subtests, tapping similar constructs from each battery to test hypotheses about the reasons for high or low scores. 
  • Compare ability scores over time, even when normative scores cannot be obtained for a child of a given age.
  • Can be used with Children’s Memory Scale or NEPSY to incorporate information on memory function.


The DAS–II is built upon the strong cognitive foundations of the original DAS. It has 20 cognitive subtests, including 17 subtests from the original DAS. Two of the original DAS subtests, Block Building and Pattern Construction, have been combined and four new subtests added.

The subtests are organized in two batteries based on age: Early Years and School-Age. The subtests in each battery are subdivided into core and diagnostic subtests.

Additional features include:

  • Updated normative sample representative of the general US population: the Early Years and School-Age batteries were normed for overlapping age ranges, and both were standardized with children ages 5:0–8:11
  • Four new subtests: Recall of Sequential Order, Rapid Naming, Phonological Processing, and Recall of Digits–Backward
  • Subtests map onto neuropsychological constructs and reflect recent research in working memory and reading acquisition
  • Clinical samples expanded to include children with a variety of special classifications: developmental risk; reading, writing, and math learning disabilities; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); specific language impairment; limited English proficiency; mild to moderate intellectual disability; and gifted and talented
  • Modified administration and scoring procedures to enhance the user-friendliness
  • Spanish language translation of directions for nonverbal subtests

Clinical Studies

  • Developmental risk
  • Intellectual disability, including children with Down syndrome
  • Learning disorder in reading
  • Learning disorder in reading and writing
  • Learning disorder in math
  • Expressive language disorder
  • Mixed receptive/expressive language disorder
  • ADHD and a combination of learning disabilities
  • ADHD
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Deaf and hard of hearing

Validity Studies

  • Bayley–II®
  • WISC®–IV
  • KTEA™–II 
  • Woodcock-Johnson® III
  • Bracken School Readiness
  • Ready to Learn


The following resources are available for DAS–II NU School-Age, DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement, and DAS–II. Any questions, please contact Consultative Assessment Support or call +1 (800) 627-7271.

DAS–II NU School-Age


DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement




DAS-II Extended Norms Tables

Sample Reports

The DAS–II provides five types of norm-referenced scores: ability scores,T scores, cluster scores, composite scores and percentile ranks


Select a question below to see the response.

New Features

What’s new with the DAS–II NU School-Age?

The DAS–II NU School-Age provides updated normative information for the DAS–II collected on a present-day sample of children and adolescents. No changes were made to the content of the original DAS–II enabling the use of current materials for administration with the exception of a new School-Age Record Form. A new DAS–II Normative Update School-Age Manual offers details on the new sample, norms development, evidence of reliability and validity, school-age norm tables, and ability-achievement tables for the WIAT–4 and the KTEA–3. The outdated DAS–II scoring assistant CD has been replaced with Q-global scoring and reporting for both the Early Years battery and the School-Age battery.

Why were only the school-age norms updated?

The DAS–II NU School-Age sample was collected during 2022 when there were COVID-19 restrictions in place for many U.S. school districts and counties. The early years age group (2:6–6:11) may be updated at a later time.

Is the DAS–II NU School-Age available through Q-interactive®?

Not currently, but digital assets and scoring are available on Q-global.

Will the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement be on Q-global?

Yes. The norms were not updated but were moved from a scoring assistant CD to the Q-global platform.

What changes have been made to the NU School-Age Record Form?

  • The Abilities Measured by the Subtests table was modified to reflect the updated CHC theory taxonomy from 2018.
  • The outdated Ability-Achievement Analysis page was removed.
  • Pattern Construction (Alternative) procedure was not renormed. The 2007 norms for ages 2:6–17:11 remain available in the DAS–II Early Years Normative Data Tables Manual for those who wish to use the untimed procedure. However, because the alternative procedure T score is based on old norms, the score cannot be used interchangeably with the standard procedure to derive standard scores with the DAS–II NU School-Age battery.
  • The critical values on the Normative Score Profiles page were updated to reflect the new normative data.

Do I need to purchase new NU School-Age Record Forms or can I use my old School-Age Record Forms?

We recommend you purchase new record forms as there were changes in this normative update. If you are using Q-global for scoring, it is less critical to update your record forms at this time.

Will Q-global allow you to select the older norms for school-age administration?

Q-global only supports new norms for the School-Age battery. Previous norms for school-age subtests are used for ages 5:0–6:11 out-of-level testing which is designed for certain situations. The Introductory and Technical Manual provides further details on out-of-level testing.




Are the DAS–II assessments considered IQ tests?

The DAS–II assessments cover a range of abilities and processes, including types of verbal and nonverbal reasoning, visual and auditory memory, working memory, language expression and comprehension, perceptual-motor skills, and speed of information processing. Although the assessments provide a General Conceptual Ability (GCA) composite, their primary purpose is as a tool for identifying and understanding the cognitive strengths and weaknesses of individuals. When describing an individual’s performance, it is recommended that you primarily focus on these patterns of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, rather than the GCA score.

How can I make it easier to transport the DAS–II Comprehensive kit?

Pack only the components you'll need to administer the test in your new DAS–II rolling bag. Leave the Interpretive and Technical Handbook and any protocols you won't need in your office.


Scoring and Interpretation

What type of test scores are provided with the DAS–II assessments?

Each provides five types of norm-referenced scores: ability scores, T scores, cluster scores, composite scores, and percentile ranks. Confidence intervals are available for the cluster and composite scores. The composite score reflects conceptual and reasoning abilities, cluster scores measure more specific ability areas (verbal comprehension, nonverbal and spatial reasoning). Standard error of measurement information and age equivalents are provided for the subtest ability scores. Individual subtest scores represent a range of diverse abilities. For a quick overview of the types of scores available for subtests and composites, click here.

How do the DAS–II assessments guide me in determining if a client has a learning disability?

Tests of cognitive ability are used extensively in school settings to evaluate the specific cognitive deficits that may contribute to low academic achievement, and to predict future academic achievement. To facilitate the assessment of learning disabilities, the original DAS–II was linked with WIAT–II to provide information on cognitive abilities and academic achievement in children ages 6:0–17:11. The new DAS–II NU School-Age was linked with WIAT–4 and KTEA–3. Used together, the ability and achievement measures provide valuable information for both eligibility and educational intervention purposes.

The DAS–II and DAS–II NU School-Age diagnostic subtests can be used in combination with other instruments specialized for the assessment of cognitive deficits that underlie particular learning problems. For instance, poor performance on the Phonological Processing and Rapid Naming subtests may signal problems with the development of fundamental reading skills. Pairing the DAS–II/DAS–II NU School-Age with the PAL–II provides corroborative information on processes and skills predictive of early reading ability, difficulties, or failure, while parsing out effects from other developmental conditions (e.g., ADHD or a central auditory processing disorder). The PAL–II also provides a means of tracking a child’s progress in early intervention and prevention programs. Using DAS–II and DAS–II NU School-Age results with the PAL–II enables the examiner to go beyond the traditional use of ability-achievement discrepancies to determine eligibility for services, and helps school districts to more effectively respond to the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA).

Without a training CD, how can I complete the Copying and Recall of Designs scoring exercises?

Please consult appendix B of the Administration and Scoring Manual for more detailed guidelines on scoring the drawing tasks. For practice, you can apply the scoring criteria to the sample drawings. The fact that the drawings have been photographically reduced does not affect pass/fail judgments.

Why should a child have different ability scores from two different item sets?

To answer this question, we will use a scoring example drawn from the Recall of Designs subtest. Here's a question posed by an examiner:

"A 6-year-old child gets 22 points in Item Set 1–12. You reach the decision point at Item 12, and because the child has apparently passed all but two items with maximum scores, you go on to the next decision point at Item 16. The child gets no more points. The child's ability score for a raw score of 22 on Item Set 1–12 is 106. The child's ability score for a raw score of 22 on Item Set 1–16 is 95. Why is it so different?"

The child, earning 22 out of a possible 24 raw-score points, has missed only 2 points on Item Set 1–12. The first thing to note is that the ability score of 106 falls within the shaded area on the Raw Score to Ability Score table. This indicates that having only two missed points does not give us sufficient information for us to make a reliable estimate of the child's ability. Note here that the standard error of measurement (SEM) is 8 (the SEM is the small number in parentheses next to the ability score). A larger SEM is another indication of a less reliable score. So we need to continue to administer additional items (13–16), as the examiner did, and then base the scoring on all responses from 1 to the next decision point, after Item 16.

On Items 13–16, the child scores 0 points. At Item 16, she therefore has a raw score of 22, with an ability score of 95 (SEM = 5) for Item Set 1–16. Note that this raw score and this ability score are in the white, unshaded area. Also, the SEM for this ability score is lower than that of the score we obtained that fell into the shaded area. Quite correctly, testing discontinues at this decision point.

The general rule for deciding which ability scores (and corresponding T scores) to use is this: When you have a choice of two or more ability scores from different item sets, use the one with the smallest SEMIn this case, the ability score with the smaller SEM is from Item Set 1–16 (Ability Score = 95, SEM = 5). The smaller SEM indicates that we have greater confidence in the accuracy and reliability of that ability score. It is that score that should be used as the basis for reporting the child's normative T score.

Here's another general rule to help you decide which ability score to use: If you have a choice of two item sets with identical SEMs for the two ability scores, use the one that included the most items. In our example above, the child actually could be scored for Item Set 4–16, on which she obtained a raw score of 16 (Ability Score = 94, SEM = 5). Even though the SEM is the same (i.e., 5) for the ability scores estimated from Item Sets 1–16 and 4–16, the ability score for Item Set 1–16 should be used because it covers more items.

Wherever possible, you should not stop testing if you find that converting a child's raw score to ability score falls into a shaded area on the Raw Score to Ability Score table. The shaded areas indicate very few passes (at the lower end) or very few failures (at the upper end) on the item set. They also indicate that an easier or more difficult item set is available and should be used. However, carefully following the administration rules for Decision Points will prevent a score from falling in the shaded area, except when it is unavoidable because the child cannot pass the first few items or passes the most difficult items on the subtest. However, a key issue remains in the question: "WHY are the two ability estimates so different?"

There are two possible influences at work here.
First, it may just be due to random error of measurement. Measures of human abilities are never perfectly precise. We must remember that we are always making estimates. And the very few points missed in Item Set 1–12 of this example make us relatively uncertain about where the child's ability truly lies. In other words, Item Set 1–12 was too easy to provide an accurate measurement for this child, as shown by the shaded-area scores and relatively high SEMs.

The second influence at work may be something more systematic. Look again at the Raw Score to Ability Score table on the front of the School-Age Record Form. In our example, the child achieved a raw score of 22 on Item Set 1–12. With an ability score of 106 (all other things being equal) we would expect her to obtain a raw score of about 26 on Item Set 1–16; if you look at the second column of the table, you will see that this is the raw score corresponding to an ability score of 105. In other words, if a child was able to obtain an ability score of 106 for Item Set 1–12, we would have normally expected that child to obtain an extra 4 points on Items 13–16 so that the ability score would be close to, or the same as, that obtained by the earlier item set.

However, the child's inability to score any additional points after Item 12 may tell us something about the child and her approach to problem solving. Sudden and unexpected failure of this kind can often be observed in children who have had much experience with failure. They hit something challenging and cave in, saying they can't do it. That's one possible clinical hypothesis to explain this sort of sudden failure.

One might also observe behavioral indications supporting such an interpretation of sudden failure on relatively difficult items. For example, the child may show signs of visual avoidance of the problem (looking away after a very brief look at the item), or may respond impulsively on items that clearly require more thought and analysis. A frequent strategy used by some children is just to say, "I don't know" or "I can't remember" without attempting a response.

Most children respond roughly according to prediction; however, it is the students who do not respond in the classroom according to expectation who are typically referred for assessment. We need to be alert for unusual item response patterns!

To summarize our recommendations:

  • Never be tempted to report a score based on an ability estimate that falls within the pale green or blue shaded bands in the Raw Score to Ability Score tables on the Record Form. Do this only if it was impossible to administer additional items.
  • When you have a choice of two or more ability scores from different item sets, use the one with the smallest SEM.
  • When you have a choice between two ability scores that have the same SEM, use the item set with the greatest number of items administered.


I have a child whose age spans both batteries. Which battery should I administer?

The DAS–II Early Years and School-Age batteries were originally normed for overlapping age ranges, and both were standardized with children ages 5:0–8:11. The DAS-II NU School-Age did not update the norms for the overlapping age ranges; therefore, the out-of-level norms are printed in the DAS–II Early Years Normative Data Tables Manual. Select the appropriate subtests based on your clinical judgment. For children who may have below-average cognitive ability, administer the Early Years battery because of the lower floor for this age range. For children of above-average ability, consider administering the School-Age battery because of the higher ceiling. The Early Years battery is appropriate for most children ages 6:0–6:11 of average ability. The School-Age battery is appropriate for most children ages 7:0–8:11. By definition, the majority of children are in the average ability range.

I have a child in the 7:0–8:11 age range with a language impairment. May I still administer the DAS–II?

Administering the verbal portion of the Early Years battery to older children with language impairments or verbal or expressive difficulties may reduce the confounding effects of language or the demand of complex verbal expression on composite scores. Please refer to the DAS–II Introductory and Technical Manual for information on how to use the test and compare results with the results of studies with clinical groups with known language impairments.


Specific Populations

May I use the DAS–II assessments to diagnose intellectual disability?

Although the design structure of the DAS–II facilitates the assessment of children of very low ability, the most accurate diagnoses are derived from multiple data sources, including assessment of the individual's functioning at home, at school, and in the community. The DSM–5-TR and American Association on Intellectual Disabilities have defined diagnosing intellectual disability as the combination of significantly low performance on general cognitive ability and limited adaptive behavior ability. Pairing the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (3rd ed.) (ABAS–3) or Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (3rd ed.) (Vineland–3) with the DAS–II provides information on cognitive and adaptive functioning, both of which are required for the proper diagnosis of intellectual disability. In addition, assessment of cognitive functioning provides useful information for placement and training decisions.

Are the DAS–II and DAS–II NU School-Age appropriate to use with a child from a culturally and linguistically diverse background?

The Fairness section in chapter 9 of the DAS–II Introductory and Technical Handbook outlines the steps taken to ensure that DAS–II is a culturally relevant, sensitive, and valid measure. As documented, no evidence of systematic racial/ethnic and gender bias was found in the DAS–II. The great diversity and dynamic nature of American culture and the many languages spoken in the United States preclude compiling a list of adaptations for test administration for children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. When evaluating or making intervention recommendations for these children, examiners must be sensitive to any issues that may be affecting the child and his or her family.

May I administer the DAS–II and DAS–II NU School-Age to a child who has limited English proficiency?

If you are certain that the child has limited English proficiency, you may administer the nonverbal subtests and communicate the instructions in the child’s primary language or by gesture. Given that this is an accommodation and not a modification, you can still use the norm-referenced scores available for children who are proficient in English. The DAS–II/ DAS–II NU School-Age also provides translations for standard administration directions to accommodate children who speak Spanish or use sign language, rather than spoken English, to communicate. As always, any departure from standardized administration procedures should be noted and described on the Record Form and considered when interpreting test results.

Are the DAS–II and DAS–II NU School-Age appropriate for children who are deaf/hard of hearing?

Many DAS-II and DAS–II NU School-Age subtests are appropriate for testing children who are deaf/hard of hearing, but several are not. Please consult your DAS–II Introductory and Technical Handbook, chapter 9, for more information about the appropriateness of DAS–II subtests with this diverse population.

Can a severely impaired child, age 9:0 or older, be tested with the Upper Early Years level of the battery?

Yes. When a child age 9:0 or older is unable to establish a sufficient work sample (at least three items correct) on more than one subtest from the School-Age battery, it may be appropriate to administer the Upper Early Years level of the battery. When you do so, you need to obtain the extended norms for children ages 9:0 and above from the DAS-II Early Years Normative Data Tables Manual.

When administering a battery out of level, can I still make substitutions?

No. It is not permitted because the School-Age normative data were updated, and the Early Years were not.

May I administer the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement to a bilingual child?

The DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement is individually administered and designed for use with monolingual Spanish and bilingual Spanish/English-speaking children, ages 2:6–6:11 years, with out-of-level testing available for children 7:0 –8:11 years. The DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement yields a composite score that reflects overall conceptual and reasoning abilities, cluster scores that reflect more specific abilities, and individual subtest scores that represent a range of diverse abilities. The wide range of abilities measured enables examiners to obtain a reliable and valid profile of a Spanish-speaking child’s strengths and weaknesses across a range of cognitive abilities.

May I use an interpreter to administer the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement?

Yes. The DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement kit comes with an Interpreter’s Handbook. This handbook was designed to facilitate the use of an interpreter within the practice guidelines set forth by National Association of School Psychologist, American Psychological Association, and National Academy of Neuropsychology. The best practices recommended for using interpreters in clinical assessment are not prescriptive; they are guidelines for obtaining more accurate, reliable, and valid results. The experience of clinicians, interpreters, and children varies across assessments, so clinicians need to adapt their approaches to assessment accordingly.

Does the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement provide a measure of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN)?

Yes. The subtest Rapid Naming measures the automaticity of integration of visual symbols with phonologically referenced naming. RAN is useful for examining potential learning-to-read difficulties and measurement of the ability is required in some states. The subtest instructions and items were translated to Spanish and allows Spanish or English responses to be scored as correct if they meet the criteria. However, the translated subtest should not be administered to children who do not speak Spanish. At the current time, the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement is the only assessment that includes a measure of RAN that can be administered in Spanish.

How do we know the scores on the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement are equivalent to the scores on the DAS–II Early Years?

The DAS–II was translated and adapted for use with preschool and early school-age Spanish-speaking children in the US. The Spanish language edition was required to be equivalent to the DAS–II in terms of constructs assessed, response processes required, and normative scores produced. The appropriateness of the instrument for use in assessing Spanish-speaking children from diverse linguistic backgrounds, including Caribbean, Mexican, and South American language variations, also was desired. The current translation and adaptation (published in 2012) focuses on the US Spanish-speaking population. The ability scores obtained on the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement were equated with those from the English version, so the psychometric properties of the normative scores are equivalent. Therefore, most pertinent validity data gathered for the DAS–II is applicable to the DAS–II Early Years Spanish Supplement. Chapter 2 of the DAS–II Spanish Administration and Technical Manual explains how the equivalency was established.



The following training events are available for DAS-II.