The IQ Test Guide

The IQ Test Summary
What: Determines the intelligence quotient.
Who: Anyone desiring to know their intelligence level, or students or employees for specific regulations.
Where: At home, online, or at testing centers.
When: Any time.
How: Online or paper and pencil.
Type: Multiple choice.
Why: To determine intelligence or attend specific schools.
Time: Up to 2 hours.
Language: English or Spanish
Preparation: None.
Cost: Free - $200.

By Alyssa Choiniere, Tests.com Contributing Writer

The intelligence quotient test is commonly known as the IQ test and is often regarded as the most objective and accurate method of determining intelligence. The intelligence quotient is defined as mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 10. The test asks a series of questions in multiple fields and compares the score to others of equivalent age. Some IQ tests also gage personal cognitive abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

How the IQ Test Works

IQ test questions are designed to assess logical thinking ability. The fundamental concept is to present questions which are solvable by an individual with a certain IQ. The number of questions answered is judged against this standard. The questions are designed to gage one’s ability to acquire knowledge and apply this knowledge to practical situations.

Time plays a role in the determination of IQ – questions can only be solved in a reasonable amount of time by someone with a certain level of intelligence. Questions also determine the ability to think in an abstract manner.

IQ tests are offered online and from testing organizations. The average test consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. Depending on the test taker’s age and intelligence, as well as the test’s length, it may take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to complete an IQ test. Adult IQ tests typically take one to two hours.

Psychologists may also administer IQ tests, particularly to children. The cost of an IQ test ranges from free to as much as $200, depending on who administers the test.

Why Take an IQ Test

The majority of IQ test takers simply take the test to determine whether or not they are intelligent. There are, however, some practical uses for IQ testing in corporate and academic settings. Some employers may require candidates for certain positions have a minimum IQ, for example. The military uses a type of IQ test, the ASVAB, to determine the direction that a soldier should take when enlisting. IQ tests may also be used to help employers determine the place one should occupy in the workplace.

IQ tests are used by some schools to determine admittance, even at the elementary level. Children are often given these tests during the admission process at private schools or specialized schools, such as those for gifted children.

IQ tests are also used for personal bragging rights, or acceptance into organizations such as Mensa or the High IQ Society.

How to Interpret Your Score

According to the Autumn Group, intelligence, as defined by one’s IQ, can be divided into eight tiers:

  • 40-54 is considered indicative of severe mental handicap. Less than one percent of people completing the Autumn Group’s IQ test receive a score in this range.
  • 55-69 is defined as challenged; 2.3 percent of test takers comprise this group.
  • 70-84 is below average.
  • 85-114 is average, a group comprised of 68 percent of test takers.
  • 115 129 is above average.

People who score between 130 and 144, only 2.3 percent of test takers, are considered to be gifted. Less than 1 percent of people scored in the genius range, which falls between 145 and 159. Anything higher than 160 is considered extraordinary genius. The highest IQ ever recorded is 210, scored by Kim Ung-Yon of Korea.

Most definitions of intelligence have limited variations, and one’s IQ may increase or decrease based on age, the particular test and stressors at the time of testing.

Are you ready to prove your intelligence by taking an IQ test? Check out our IQ Test Directory!

Sources: The Autumn Group, theiqtest.com; High IQ Society; highiqsociety.org; Mensa International, mensa.org; Time Magazine, time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945865,00.html