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IQ Scores In Relation To Future Achievement

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son took the RIAS IQ test, and made 137. He is age 3-11-2. What is this going to tell me about his future achievement. Since he was tested at almost 4 years old, is his IQ going to stay the same, increase or decrease the older he gets? What should I do to help him with his knowledge growth, so that it does stay high? Thank you for your time.

A: IQ scores are not absolutes as all IQ tests scores have a margin of error, which can add or subtract points to the score. To add to this, different tests would have a different margin of error (can be up to plus/minus 5 points for a standardized test). However, it gives a rather close indication of intelligence based on the test items; however at a rough accuracy rate of about 96%. If you are not confident of the scores, perhaps multiples tests (about three or more) can be taken in a short span of time, say, within that very year. Then the scores can be averaged.

However, the problem is that no two tests are identical; hence test scores among the various IQ tests may not always be interchangeable. Furthermore, it may not be wise to have a child take many tests in that year just to look for an IQ score; unless you want to determine that a weak area really exist for necessary intervention.

Just as all other tests, the RIAS gives a mere indication of the child's IQ. Based on this test, your son's IQ is in the moderately gifted range. Compared to the Wechsler's, the scores are researched to be a little higher. Perhaps, you may want him to take the same test again (a gap of two years is required for most tests) or take the Wechsler or Stanford-Binet scales. The Wechsler's scale is the most widely used IQ test and is found to be more accurate at distinguishing between different types of intelligence. On the other hand, the Stanford-Binet is believed to be better at predicting future academic achievement.

Activities are best given based on the child's progress and interest. Gifted children require more meaningful, stimulating and varied activities. Monitor his progress and always make sure he is doing challenging work as these children bore rather easily if learning is seen as less challenging. All the best to you!


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