IQ Testing

Written by Brian Krans | Published on July 3, 2012
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD

What Is IQ Testing?

IQ testing can help determine your level of intelligence relative to others in your age group. “IQ” is an acronym for “intelligence quotient.”

There are several standardized IQ tests available. Two of the most widely recognized are the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales and the Wechsler tests.

There are numerous online questionnaires that claim to be IQ tests. These should be viewed as entertainment only. Few have any scientific backing.

Why IQ Testing Is Performed

IQ testing is used to help gauge a person’s mental aptitude. Unlike educational tests—such as the ACT and SAT—IQ testing does not aim to measure what a person knows. Its goal is to measure mental capability.

Testing is normally done on school-aged children. It can help parents and educators identify learning disabilities and behavioral concerns. Testing can also identify especially gifted students.

How to Prepare for IQ Testing

No preparation is needed for an IQ test.

How IQ Testing Is Performed

IQ tests are typically written exams. In some instances, the tests may be given orally.

The Wechsler test includes three age-specific tests:

  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence: children ages 2 to 7
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children: children 6 to 16
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale: people 16 and older

The Wechsler tests use a variety of questions to test:

  • verbal skills
  • reasoning
  • memory
  • processing speed.

The current Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test measures abilities including:

  • general intelligence
  • reasoning
  • knowledge
  • visual-spatial reasoning (Becker, 2003)

Interpreting IQ Test Results

Average scores for the Wechsler and Stanford-Binet tests are between 90 and 110. A score below 70 indicates mental retardation. Those who score over 165 are considered geniuses.

IQ testing is often criticized. For example, many believe that the tests are culturally biased. Results may depend as much on motivation and other factors as on innate intelligence.

Individual sections of these tests may be somewhat more accurate than the overall “IQ score.” However, your IQ test results should not be used to make assumptions about your talents or potential. These tests are designed for specific, diagnostic purposes.

Can You Improve Your IQ Test Results?

IQ scores are not numbers you study to improve. However, if you are unsatisfied with your IQ test results, there are ways you may boost your mental ability:

  • read everyday from a diverse source of material
  • establish a regular sleep pattern
  • exercise regularly
  • watch educational programming
  • challenge your mind with brainteaser puzzles
  • discuss and analyze the issues of the day with family and friends
  • enroll in community college or other continuing education courses
Was this article helpful? Yes No

Thank you.

Your message has been sent.

We're sorry, an error occurred.

We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.

Article Sources:

More on Healthline

Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
From first exposure to life-threatening complications, learn how quickly an allergy attack can escalate and why it can become life threatening.
Easy Ways to Conceal an Epinephrine Shot
Easy Ways to Conceal an Epinephrine Shot
Learn how to discreetly carry your epinephrine autoinjectors safely and discreetly. It’s easier than you think to keep your shots on hand when you’re on the go.
Beyond Back Pain: 5 Warning Signs of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Beyond Back Pain: 5 Warning Signs of Ankylosing Spondylitis
There are a number of potential causes of back pain, but one you might not know about is ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Find out five warning signs of AS in this slideshow.
Famous Athletes with Asthma
Famous Athletes with Asthma
Asthma shouldn’t be a barrier to staying active and fit. Learn about famous athletes who didn’t let asthma stop them from achieving their goals.
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
There is not just one type of migraine. Chronic migraine is one subtype of migraine. Understand what sets these two conditions apart.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement