What do you want to know about IQ Tests?

IQ tests have been around for far longer than you may realize. These tests are not the same as aptitude tests. Here I want to show you how IQ tests measure intelligence and not cleverness. There is a difference between those two subjects. Here you will learn the difference between the two and how knowing your IQ can be a great help in finding work...

What exactly is an IQ?

IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. That is just a different way of saying ‘level of intelligence.’ Your IQ is a reflection of your level of intelligence when compared to your peers. Being clever often means having the ability to remember things. Being intelligent means you are able to use your existing knowledge to work out the answer to an unknown situation.

Sir Francis Galton was the first person to try and establish a measurable level of intelligence. This was done through what is called psychometric testing. This type of testing does not concentrate on one specific skill but a cross section of them. His work was then expanded upon at the beginning of the twentieth century.

In 1915 two French psychologists, Binet and Simon developed what became known as the Binet-Simon test of intelligence. This was originally verbally orientated and was intended to measure lack of intelligence in retarded people rather than heightened intelligence. In 1916 Lewis Terman, an American psychologist, produced the Stanford-Binet-Simon scale of intelligence. It was so named as Terman was based at Stanford University at the time.

This scale was used for many years afterwards as little more was investigated about IQ tests and their potential. Eventually more emphasis was spent on learning about intelligence than actually testing it. It was not until intelligence was more clearly defined that any new specific IQ tests were created.

So, measuring intelligence meant identifying specifically relevant skills. While up to ten different skills were identified, this is about IQ tests, so not all were seen as relevant. Fluid intelligence is seen as the ability to solve a problem when given unfamiliar information. Crystallized intelligence is seen more as knowledge and experience gained from life. This allows for solving problems through existing knowledge.

One thing about IQ tests is that there is no one specific test. However the skills being tested remain the same. Quantitative reasoning includes the ability to grasp the meaning of numerical symbols. An important aspect about IQ tests is the measurement of reading and writing ability, as that does play a big part in intelligence levels. Both long-term and short-term memory capabilities are also evaluated.

Visual and auditory processes are also a critical part of human intelligence, Of course the thing about IQ tests is that they are written and have no sound elements. However, clearly visual capabilities can play a very important role. This can be both in problems involving spatial awareness as well as problems involving pattern recognition.

Where intelligence is concerned, processing speed and speed of thought are important. Interestingly, this is another area of intelligence that is not taken in to account as the thing about IQ tests is that there is no time limit. However, now you have an idea of what is involved in trying to assess levels of intelligence.

What is the point in taking an IQ Test?

It is probably too logical a statement, but if IQ tests weren’t important, they wouldn’t exist. The reasons why they exist are many-fold. At a young age, having your IQ assessed can help with plans for your future education. Because anyone from 2 – 102 can have an IQ and because IQ’s take age in to account, it is never too soon to have yours assessed.

Towards the end of your school education having your IQ assessed can then provide results that can point you in the right direction for your future. Academia involves a considerable amount of theoretical work. Only those with a higher IQ than normal are usually well suited to a career in academia. However, you may have done well in your exams, despite having an average IQ. That may indicate that management may be more your way to go career-wise.

For many careers there are vocational aptitude tests that can give you a clear indication of whether or not you are well-suited to that job. When that is combined with reasonable IQ results, this can make acquiring a role within a business easier. One thing about IQ tests is that it is generally known worldwide what a good score is. Most people know that a score between 90 and 110 is okay. Whether you are applying for a place at a specific university or a role working for a company, your employer will know enough about IQ tests to be impressed if you have an IQ above 120.


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