Reality of Adult Average IQ Level

What is an adult average IQ level?

A novice can expect it in a figure. However, the level of average intelligence has been changing since the development of IQ tests. After spending so many years in the field of psychometric, I can say with an experienced background that IQ tests are helpful yet they can't be termed as perfect by all means.

On the other hand, it is also a reality that they are developing day by day due to advancements in psychometrics as well as information technology. Consequently, the psychologists and the IQ test selling companies have to upgrade their tools frequently just to keep a majority of the population in the bracket of adult average IQ scoring.

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What is an Average IQ Score?

By definition, the average IQ is a score that is achieved by people of average intelligence in any age group. The ratio of your mental age to your actual age is calculated to find out a digit to express an average IQ score. 

average IQ test

It is 100 in almost all standardized IQ testing tools…

But there are some psychological instruments which have different scores to express average IQ levels. Even those tools which agree on the digit of 100 take a standard deviation from 5 to 15 or even 20 points. It means you shall be considered an average guy when you score 80 or even 119.

Some psychologists like to present the human intelligence in following categories:

  • Genius
  • Highly Intelligent
  • Smart
  • Average
  • Challenged

Not satisfied with the categorization, some other psychologists like to divide average IQ scored into three sub-categories:

  • High Average IQ (110-119)
  • Average IQ (90-110)
  • Low Average IQ (80-89)

Average IQ Levels and Difference of Age

Some people claim that average IQ level remains 100 even by ignoring the age factor. The claim is correct and incorrect simultaneously. 

It is naive to think that a group of children and a group of adults shall have the same level of average IQ when they are exposed to a single IQ test. However, as you know, every test is designed for a particular age group, so average IQ level criteria is set 100 for every psychological instrument to measure your intelligence. 

Average IQ in Different Nations

Most of the IQ tests are developed by keeping all influencing factors in mind such as age groups, education, the cultural background, the sex, etc. of the normalized sample. That’s why every IQ test cannot be used to measure average score of the people all around the world. So the psychologists have to customize the IQ measuring instruments according to the normalization sample in each country (often) and even in each community (rare). 

The main idea behind the adult average IQ score is that there is a majority of the people who have the same level of intelligence as their fellows have. However, there comparatively few people who are highly intelligent or feeble-minded. The high intelligent people are called geniuses, and the confused mind people have their idiot boxes. 

When psychologists are required to measure adult average IQ level of a nation, they are bound to keep a maximum number of people under the umbrella of average people. They customize the IQ tests in a way that intelligence of the majority of the people falls into the category of adult average IQ level.

Solution for different Adult Average IQ Scores

There are many weaknesses and a lot of space for improvement in the IQ tests.  But they are the only available instruments to measure your IQ level for different practical purposes. They are better than peculiar opinions of the employers and managers for career screening process. 

At least they provide some level of transparency and equality to all the candidates taking the exam to show their alertness of mind to the employers. 

For such problems, the psychologists have started to depend upon percentile score of the intelligence instead of expressing it in digits. They like to show some percentiles as under:

IQ Level

Level in Percentile









These percentile expressions don’t remain the same for all IQ tests. They are subject to difference of interpretations as well. But they solve the problem of average adult IQ to some extent.

The psychologists have to make less effort to cap the majority of human beings at the average IQ level.

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