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IQ Facts

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I am one of student that need your expertise. I am here to ask about some questions that relevant to IQ.

1. What is IQ?
2. How can we measure IQ?
3. How can we Increase our IQ?
4. Why is IQ important?
5. What is the level of IQ and how we measure it? (anti-genius to genius)

That's all my question. I really hope that you can answer these question as fast as possible. Thank you.

A: These questions bring me back to college days - sounds like an assignment to me especially since you want them as soon as possible! Hope I meet your deadline ;-). Anyway, here are the answers in brief.

What is IQ?

IQ, short for intelligence quotient, is a score of intelligence that is determined by one of many standardised tests that are available today. These scores are mainly used as predictors of performance namely in educational and jobs. Do note that there are many forms of intelligence tests; some tests use a single type of item or question for one strength and some test more than one skill. Most of these tests yield both an overall score (e.g., the full scale IQ for the Wechsler's series) and individual subtest scores (for each of the subset in the test). Whichever way intelligence may be tested, it is noted that IQ tests attempt to measure the same general intelligence.

How to measure IQ?

The formula to measure IQ is:

Mental Age/Chronological Age x 100 = Intelligence Quotient

Chronological age is your age at the point a test is taken from birth. Mental age is the age that is a concept in relation to intelligence, expressed as the age at which a child is performing intellectually. For the majority of people, the mental age and the chronological age should be the same. This means, an IQ of 100 would indicate that a child is of average intellectual capacity. For a gifted child, the mental age is above the chronological age, and the IQ is higher than 130 (usually two standard deviation above the mean of 100). In the same way, for an intellectually challenged child, the mental age is below the chronological age, and the IQ is usually below 70 (two standard deviations below the mean of 100).

Till today, there have been many debates whether IQ tests are an accurate measure of intelligence and to what extent it may or may not be accurate. In essence, IQ scores represent a very specific type of intelligence, and depend on the test that is taken.

How to Increase IQ?

To increase your IQ, you need to “feed” your brain. Therefore, anything that stimulates and uses the muscles of your brain would help. And practice makes perfect. Please note that one cannot stretch the intelligence too much in terms of getting very high IQ scores but it is possible to perform better at tests with good practise that enhances thinking skills. Read this link. I found it rather interesting.

Why is IQ important?

IQ is important because based on research, it has been indicated that general intelligence plays an important role in many significant life outcomes. Academic success is just one of it. IQ also correlates with job performance, socioeconomic advancement (e.g., level of education, occupation, and income), and social pathology (e.g., adult criminality, poverty, unemployment, dependence on welfare, children outside of marriage).

This is why IQ tests can be helpful. It allows test takers to gauge their abilities. Low IQ scores may not necessarily mean that the person taking the test is dumb, but helps in indicating that that they may not possess the sort of raw intelligence needed for a specific programme. At the same time, high scores also may not indicate high abilities in all areas, but ones that were tested. IQ tests can be helpful in determining the kind of job someone may be suitable in which best fits their mental abilities. Therefore, gauging a person's intelligence with an IQ test is the best way for them to ensure that they do not waste their potential and received educational intervention that matches their potential for the best possible development.

What is the level of IQ?

IQ CHART (Guide Only)
Level of IQ/Percentage in population Description
Above 140
(approximately 0.2%)
Superior intelligence. Excellent presumption for creative and noble activity. Considered geniouses in their era especially ones with IQ in the higher ranges (150+). Ability to form new theories/ideas/inventions. E.g., Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, other notable world figures who made a difference.
(approximately 3%)
Exceptionally high intelligence. Mainly individuals who are top in their field of work(e.g., researchers, professionals)
(approximately 6%)
High above average. Breezes through college or graduate school. Great heights in creative and managerial activities.
(approximately 12%)
Above-average intelligence. Graduates college without difficulties. Hardworking individuals with this level of intelligence are able to achieve great heights in the job market.
(approximately 25%)
Average intelligence (upper end). Graduates college with some difficulties but hard work and diligence promises good achievement as ones in above average category.
(approximately 25%)
Average intelligence (lower end). Graduates from high school without difficulties and will probably work well in middle management.
(approximately 10%)
Low intelligence. Graduates primary school. Works well mainly in manual professions/ activities.
(approximately 0.1%)
Below average intelligence. Low levels of mental retardation. Graduate primary school with difficulties but may be successful in special schools.
(approximately 7%)
Mental retardation level. Graduates special schools with support. Able to help themselves and follow daily routines with or without some support.

Measuring is done with an standardised intelligence test.

I guess I have answered all of your questions. Most of these can be found if you surf the internet. Please do for further details and information. Best of luck!


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