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IQ exams have been around for over a century in various forms. It was originally intended to see if children are gifted, or have special needs, but it is now also used by businesses and employers. 

Once you get your score, what does that number truly mean? How do these tests measure your intelligence and does it actually reflect your brainpower? 

 

What is IQ – and Does Your IQ Matter? 

IQ or Intelligence Quotient is a number that represents a person’s cognitive ability. It is supposed to tell how well someone can use information and logic to make predictions and answer questions. A person’s IQ can also tell how well they can solve puzzles and how well they remember things. 

To know what your IQ is, you have to take part in an IQ test. Your score is intended to measure your abilities and potential. 

There are various types of IQ tests and the tests vary considerably. Some tests are designed to measure the cognitive ability of adults, but many are specifically designed for children. 

Common types of IQ tests are: 

  • Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
  • Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
  • Cognitive Assessment System
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

Your IQ can have an impact on different areas of your life including school and work. Higher IQs are often associated with people who are better at school or work. Lower IQ scores may be linked to a form of intellectual disability. 

After taking an IQ test, you might need some help on what your IQ score means. Are you a genius? Are you average? The table below shows what IQ scores mean. 

 

IQ SCALE INTERPRETATION % OF POPULATION
above 130 Very gifted 2.1%
121-130 Gifted 6.4%
111-120 Above-average intelligence 15.7%
90-110 Average intelligence 51.6%
80-89 Below average intelligence 15.7%
70-79 Cognitively impaired 6.4%

An average IQ score is between 85 and 115. The majority of the people have an IQ score between this score range. 

 

What Your IQ Score Says About You

Today’s IQ tests are based largely on the original test in the early 1900s by French psychologist Alfred Binet. The tests help identify students who need assistance in school. 

 

The IQ test is basically an intelligence test designed to measure your problem-solving and reasoning abilities. Your score on the IQ test defines how well you did on the test compared to other people in your age group. 

IQ tests also measure spatial awareness, verbal reasoning, visual abilities, and logic. IQ tests are not something that you need to study for in order to improve your score. Instead, these tests are more of looking into your ability to use logic to solve problems, recognize patterns, and make connections to different points of information. 

A single test score on its own, without considering other factors cannot be used to make determinations about other people. It also doesn’t capture many of the traits that make a person successful. This means that even if you have a high IQ, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be more successful in life compared to those who have a lower IQ. 

It is also important to note that while IQ is associated with genetics, studies have shown that a person can increase their IQ through education, exercise, and better nutrition. There are also some brain training programs that can raise your IQ.