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MCS – Age 3 – Bracken School Readiness Assessment-Revised (BSRA-R)

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 3 sweep using the Bracken School Readiness Assessment-Revised (BSRA-R).

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.

Domain:Basic knowledge in preparation for school
Measures:The BSRA-R is used to assess the 'readiness' of a child for formal education by testing their knowledge and understanding of basic concepts. The cohort members completed six sub-tests of the BSRA-R:
1. Colours: represents both primary colours and basic colour terms.
2. Letters: measures knowledge of both upper- and lower-case letters.
3. Numbers/Counting: measures recognition of single- and double-digit numbers, and samples the ability to assign a number value to a set of objects.
4. Sizes: includes concepts that describe one, two, and three dimensions.
5. Comparisons: measures ability to match and/or differentiate objects based on one or more of their salient characteristics.
6. Shapes: includes one, two, and three-dimensional shapes. The one-dimensional category includes linear shapes; two-dimensional shapes are represented by concepts such as the circle, square, and triangle; and three-dimensional shapes include concepts such as the cube and pyramid.
All sub-sets are designed to measure 'readiness' concepts which a child should have mastered before they commence formal education.
CHC:Gc (Crystallised ability)
Gv (Visual processing)
Gq (Quantitative Knowledge)
Administrative method:Interviewer; face to face: non-verbal and interviewer records on CAPI
Procedure:The exact tasks varied but, in essence, the cohort members were shown a page containing a number of visual stimuli, and were asked to point to the one that matched what the interviewer?s read out. The CAPI script managed the scoring system for the assessments, which determined when one sub-test was terminated and the next one begun, based again on the patterns of correct and incorrect answers. (Unless the interviewer over-rode the script), each cohort member attempted at least some of each of each sub-test. Interviewers also had the option, based on how the cohort member was reacting, to terminate any sub-test, or the whole assessment, at any time.
Duration: 10 - 15 minutes
Link to questionnaire:For copyright reasons, the Bracken assessment is not freely available. BASR-3 available at: (opens in new tab)
Scoring:88 items in total, 6 sub-sets with varying number of items. 1 point for each correct response and 0 for incorrect response. Raw scores are provided for each sub-scale and are added together to provide a composite raw score, known as the School Readiness Composite (Bracken, 1998). To account for the differing number of items within each of the subscales, a percentage score (raw score relative to the number of items) score is also provided. In addition to the raw total score, there are also age-adjusted standardised scores (based on a US norming sample), percentiles and a normative classification which categories scores into a grouping based on the standardised composite score.
Item-level variable(s):bcco0100 - bcco1100 (11 colours)
bcle0100 - bcle1600 (16 letters)
bcno0100 - bcno1900 (19 numbers)
bcsz0100 - bcsz1200 (12 sizes)
bccm0100 - bccm1000 (10 comparisons)
bcsh0100 - bcsh2000 (20 shapes)
bcrknage (age in months)
Total score/derived variable(s):bdcosc00, bdcmas00 (colours: raw and percentage score)
bdlesc00, bdlmas00 (letters: raw and percentage score)
bdnosc00, bdnmas00 (numbers: raw and percentage score)
bdszsc00, bdsmas00 (sizes: raw and percentage score)
bdcmsc00, bdomas00 (comparisons: raw and percentage score)
bdshsc00, bdhmas00 (shapes: raw and percentage score)
bdbsrc00, bdsrcm00 (total: raw and percentage score)
bdsrcs00 (standardised)
bdsrcp00 (percentile)
bdsrcn00 (normative classification)
Age of participant (months):Mean = 37.71, SD = 2.53, Range = 32 - 55
(raw score)(adjusted % subtest/items)(age adjusted and standardised)
Range0 - 880 - 10056 - 149
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Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:6 subsets of Bracken, B. (1998). Bracken Basic Concept Scale Revised: Examiner's Manual. London: The Psychological Corporation.
Technical resources:Bracken, B.A. (2002). Bracken School Readiness Assessment: Administration Manual. San Antonio, Texas: Psychological Corporation.
Connelly, R. (2013). Interpreting Test Scores. Millennium Cohort Study Data Note 2013/01. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Kiernan, K. E., & Huerta, M. C. (2008). Economic deprivation, maternal depression, parenting and children's cognitive and emotional development in early childhood. The British Journal of Sociology, 59(4), 783-806.
Jokela, M. (2010). Characteristics of the first child predict the parents' probability of having another child. Developmental Psychology, 46(4), 915-926.
Schoon, I., Hope, S., Ross, A., & Duckworth, K. (2010). Family hardship and children's development: the early years. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 1(3), 209-222.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.