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Do IQ Tests Really Work?


Dec 07, 2018

IQ or intelligence quotient tests can be a fun way to impress friends, family, and coworkers. They can be helpful for measuring the intellectual growth of certain children who show extraordinary intelligence.

However, an IQ test cannot be a true measure of intelligence since its limited by the scope of questions asked per test. Does it mean they hold zero value? Of course not. They make an excellent starting point for exploring intelligence in children and adults. IQ tests might have more value for children. Unlike an aptitude test that calculates strength and weakness, an IQ test evaluates material knowledge, comprehension, and retention. In some advanced IQ tests, they can assess application of knowledge, but that mostly occurs in the fields of science and mathematics. Test takers must read, comprehend, and possess the ability to execute mathematical formulas.

Different IQ tests exist too. In-person facilities offer the tests to adults and children. People can also take tests online. IQ tests assess a person’s general knowledge based on a scope of questions ranging from remedial to advance. For in person tests, the test designers have created their assessments to challenge rather than entertain. Internet based ones seem to vary, and some are moderately difficult to pass with a high score.

Do IQ Tests Really Work?

A gray area surrounds IQ tests, according to some educators and scientists. First, understand these tests measure human intelligence based on what humans perceive as measurable intellect. This means a single IQ test cannot truly determine a person’s complete intelligence.

Secondly, type of test matters. Some tests are online only, taken in person and written, verbally given, or a combination of testing styles. Taking a wide variety of IQ tests and determining a personal average is more helpful at measuring intelligence than a single test.

Just remember a single IQ test can only measure intelligence based on that test. This is one reason researchers and professionals will claim they’re not accurate measuring tools. However, the precursory method to the IQ test was to measure brain size, but science has since debunked that. A series of IQ tests is currently one of science’s best method of general intelligence assessment.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Why was the IQ Test Created?

A: Little is unknown behind the original reason for IQ tests except to scientifically measure intelligence. Researchers and scientists found an immediate use for placing children, discovering mental disability, and in some fields, such as the US Army during WWI, the government used it for job placement.

Q: Is There a Universal Grading Scale?

A: No. Currently, there are seven types of grading scales. Most do have similarities in their scaling, but some offer higher range classifications.

Q: What’s a High IQ?

A: A score of 115 or greater is a high IQ.

Q: What’s the Average American IQ?

A: The range for most Americans is 85-115.

Can People Study for an IQ Test?

A: Generally, no, but people can study up on general knowledge in subjects that will likely appear on the test. Math, science, history, English, grammar, and spelling are the subjects common on IQ tests. Remember, the levels will vary greatly. A test taker might see chemistry, algebra, and specific history based questions in addition to others.

Q: Are Online Test Results Accurate?

A: The problem with online tests is their results are only as accurate as the test maker, who is typically unknown. These are best for entertainment.

Q: Are In-person Test Results Accurate?

A: Yes, these test types are accurate since an administrator ensures there is no cheating, and the test designers have the training and knowledge to create a test capable of measuring intelligence.

Q: Does IQ Change?

A: Yes, it certainly does. The more knowledge a person possesses, the more chances they have at scoring a higher IQ bracket on their next test.

Q: Is There Anything IQ Tests Do Not Measure?

A: A normal IQ test cannot measure emotional intelligence or maturity.

Q; Why Would Anyone Use an IQ Test?

A: Major organizations use results as a factor for admittance, like Mensa International, which requires applicants to score in the 98th percentile. Other reasons for an IQ test are academic placement for children. While a low IQ score is not enough to determine a learning disability, the test results can be an indicator for parents to look into for their children.

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