A recent study suggests children who have motor deficits associated with amblyopia and strabismus are at a disadvantage when taking timed standardized tests with multiple-choice sections. A group of researchers asked 47 children with amblyopia treated for strabismus, anisometropia or both, 18 children with nonamblyopic strabismus and 20 normal control subjects to quickly transfer correct answers from a standardized reading achievement test booklet to a multiple-choice answer form without making mistakes or reading the text. They then recorded the amount of time each group took to complete the task and analyzed their findings.

Compared with children in the control group, children with amblyopia and nonamblyopic strabismus needed 28% more time to fill out the multiple-choice answer form.

The researchers concluded that children with amblyopia or strabismus take longer to complete multiple choice answer forms and, therefore, are not able to perform to their full potential on timed standardized tests that include these sections, hindering their academic success.

Kelly KR, Jost RM, De La Cruz A, et al. Multiple-choice answer form completion time in children with amblyopia and strabismus. JAMA Ophthalmol. June 14, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].