IQ Tests – Purpose, Procedure, and Results

IQ, formally known as ‘Intellectual Quotient’ comes in various forms. Broadly, it has the capacity to measure intellectual disabilities and the intellectual potential one may possess.

IQ tests are among the most commonly conducted psychological tests and their popularity prevails in all fields of life. From Medicine to Army, all of the Institutes use IQ tests to measure the cognitive abilities of the being.

Generally, IQ tests are standardized but few have open-ended questions in order to analyze various personality traits of the candidate. Each test also has a different scoring method that may not be the same as other IQ tests. The most common is:

Purpose of IQ Tests

IQ tests are used for a wide range of purposes:

  • Educational enrollment or placement
  •  Various researches measuring cognitive abilities
  •  Job placement
  •   Job performance evaluation
  •   Assessment of intellectual or cognitive disabilities
  •    Assessment of skills such as memory, speed to perform a particular task, and ability to focus.

How to measure IQ

Modern IQ testing originated from the work of psychologist Henry Herbert Goddard. He translated Binet’s French IQ test into English. This test, designed by Alfred Binet, was made to evaluate the intellectual abilities of students in school settings. It served as an effective tool to highlight those students who had mental health problems.

With the success of this test, a wide range of research studies was conducted in this field. A large number of IQ tests were conducted over a period of several years. The main purpose of all the tests designed was to analyze people’s problem-solving ability, reasoning skills, and cognitive skills.

Some of the most commonly used IQ assessments are:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Kids
  •  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Grownups
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • Differential Ability Scales 

All these tests are required to be purchased by licensed psychologists. All the tests are different from one another and have several parts. They are normally divided into various subsets.

Each subset measures the different aspects of human personality such as mathematical skills, analytical skills, language ability, memory, speed to process the information given. The results are further combined in a form of a single score that is known as IQ Score.

Results of IQ Tests

The IQ score of 100 is considered a standardized average score. While the research studies have shown that, those students with cognitive and mental disabilities have IQ scores between 55 and 70. They have an average IQ score around 60 to 65, generally not more than that.

High IQ Scores

100 and beyond score is considered as a high IQ score. Those having 100 and above IQ scores are considered highly intelligent people. Whereas those who are considered extraordinarily intelligent have IQ scores of 130 or above.

It is assumed that those having such a high IQ score are smart people with a lot of potentials. They have a lot of mental capacity to solve complex problems and to deal with complicated situations.

Low IQ scores

Individuals having IQ scores below 100 are considered below-average beings. While the score of 70 or below is considered highly low. Such a low score causes a concern that some intervention needs to be done to increase the IQ level.

History has shown that IQ tests have proven to be an effective tool to highlight intellectual disabilities. If a particular child has an extremely low score, he/she must be taken to the doctor.

The doctor then further analyzes the child via blood tests, adaptive skills screening, ultrasound of the brain, and mental health screening.

Screening of parents can also detect intellectual disability in a child even before he or she is born. The mothers having the age above 35 are more likely to have babies with cognitive disabilities. Those who are exposed to excessive drugs usage or alcohol have more chances to deliver babies having an intellectual disability.

In case, intellectual disability is identified at such a young age, doctors or consultants can undergo the required IQ assessment. This may bring the solution at a very early stage.

Drastic Rise in IQ Scores

Since the 1900s, the average IQ score around the world has increased in most parts of the world. This particular phenomenon is known as the “Flynn effect” named after the scientist who discovered it.

He noticed that the same test used by U.S. Military in the 1980s brought better results as compared to the 1950s. After deep research Flynn discovered that the average IQ score around the world is increasing with time. It is increasing at the rate of three points or more per decade.

Scientists and researchers believe that this increase in IQ scores is due to an increase in the ability to think logically. The world is evolving and with every development, humans are developing the capacity to solve their problems in a logical way. It can also be due to an increase in the quality of formal education, better diet, and nutrition, better environment, and vaccinations available.

Concluding Thoughts

IQ tests have come a long way and one thing is for sure that they are here to stay. Usage of IQ tests is involved in nearly all fields of life. These tests are used by Army, Military Personnel, Educational Institutions, Medicine, and the corporate world.

The actual purpose of IQ tests is to measure the intellectual potential one may possess. But over time, these tests have also become highly controversial. Several research studies have claimed that IQ scores solely cannot determine intelligence. There are several other factors that are associated with intelligence and they must be taken into consideration while measuring the intelligence of an individual.

An IQ score probably does not tell the whole story. It just shows a single side. It fails to measure a few broader aspects of a human’s personality such as level of creativity, curiosity an individual may have, and social intelligence.

So, if a person doesn’t have a good IQ score that does not mean he or she will never be able to succeed in life. Success depends on several other factors as well.