The Beery-Buktenica visual-motor integration test is a neuropsychological
test that analyzes visual construction skills. It identifies problems with
visual perception, motor coordination, and visual-motor integration such
The Beery-Buktenica Test, also known as Developmental Test of Visual-Motor
Integration or VMI, is designed to identify deficits in visual perception,
fine motor skills
, and hand-eye coordination. It may be used to diagnose
disorders in young children through an analysis of visual construction
skills. It can be administered to individuals from age two through young
adulthood and can also be used to test adults of all ages, particularly
those who have been disabled by
, injury, or Alzheimer's disease.
The Beery-Buktenica VMI test is used by physicians, psychologists,
neuropsychologists, learning disability specialists, counselors,
educators, and other professionals. It can be effectively used for the
One of the basic aspects of an individual's ability to think and
know (cognition) is how one is able to perceive certain stimuli. Assessing
perception skills—observing how individuals may respond to things
they see, hear, and touch—is, therefore, a basic part of assessing
cognitive function. Children with possible
may be tested for their perception of visual, auditory, and tactile
stimuli, not just to understand their ability to see, hear, and touch, but
to understand how they perceive stimuli and what conclusions they make as
a result. This information can help pediatricians and child psychologists
evaluate the child's nervous system
(neurological) functioning and psychological development. Visual testing
may include color perception, object recognition, visual organizational
abilities, and the ability to differentiate figures from the background
against which they appear. It also includes visual construction tests.
Some visual construction tests are designed to test memory by asking the
child to draw a familiar object. Others, such as the Beery-Buktenica test,
are designed to test visual motor skills as a factor of visual perception
Visual-motor integration or VMI can be evaluated as a factor in child
development by providing the child with geometric designs ranging from
to more complex figures and asking that the designs be copied. The
construction skills used in the test have been shown to indicate visual
motor impairment, such as problems with fine motors skills of the hand and
hand-eye coordination. The developers of the test, Keith E. Beery and
Norman A. Buktenica, have established adequate norms for visual motor
performance by children in various age groups. The test is considered
especially useful to help evaluate children with other disabilities or
disabling conditions. It can also be used for the evaluation of motor
skills such as handwriting.
The Beery-Buktenica test is usually administered individually but can also
be given in groups. The child is given a booklet containing increasingly
complex geometric figures and asked to copy them without any erasures and
without rotating the booklet in any direction. The test is given in two
versions: the Short Test Form containing 15 figures is used for ages three
through eight; the Long Test Form, with 24 figures, is used for older
children, adolescents, and adults with developmental delay. A raw score
based on the number of correct copies is converted based on norms for each
age group, and results are reported as converted scores and percentiles.
The test is untimed but usually takes 10–15 minutes to administer.
There are no precautions involved in visual motor testing.
More successful testing is achieved when no preparatory steps are taken.
The test can be explained briefly to the child beforehand.
No particular care is recommended after administration of the test.
Further testing may be recommended as well as specific intervention to
help correct any deficits noted. Depending upon the specific deficits
found, intervention may include occupational therapy, physical therapy,
counseling, behavior modification,
therapy, and medication for certain neuropsychological disorders.
There are no risks associated with taking the Beery-Buktenica VMI test.
—The act or process of knowing or perceiving.
—A shortfall or slowdown in development, possibly related to a
disorder that slows or interrupts normal childhood development.
—Referring to the growth process, particularly the growth
patterns and associated skills acquired in childhood.
—The failure of a child to meet certain developmental milestones,
such as sitting, walking, and talking, at the average age. Developmental
delay may indicate a problem in development of the central nervous
Motor coordination (MC)
—Related to movement of parts of the body, particularly the use
of the hands and coordination of eye-hand motion.
—Relating to the brain and central nervous system.
—Referring to the interaction between the nervous system and
cognitive function, the influence of one function on the other.
—The ability to locate objects in a three-dimensional world using
sight or touch.
Visual perception (VP)
—The ability to perceive or understand what is being seen; the
integration of an image with an idea of what it represents.
Children who do not perform well on VMI testing may have impairment of
visual-motor skills including the following types:
Parents may be apprehensive about the performance of their child in the
Beery-Buktenica testing process. Results are carefully analyzed, and
parents are advised not to judge the child's skills until they have
discussed the test with the pediatrician, neurologist, or psychologist who
will use the results in conjunction with other developmental tests in
order to make a diagnosis or recommendations for therapy.
Fine motor skills
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892. Web site:
"Beery-Buktenica Development Test of Visual-Motor
Psychological Assessment Resources Inc. (PAR).
Available online at http://www.parinc.com (accessed October 28,
Available online at
http://www.pearsonassessments.com/tests/vmi.htm (accessed October