Limits of IQ Tests
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Why are IQ testing so limiting?
In general, IQ tests are just attempts of psychologists to measure
ability as best as it is scientifically and objectively possible. This
is done using what they perceive to be the best questions that would
capture the mastery of skills tested. But in the end, it's just their
perceptions based on their experience, knowledge and expertise that
determine the “best” questions. There is not single test that can test
every aspect of giftedness.
The purpose of the intelligence test is to provide information but not
alone, it should be in conjunction with other tests regarding an
individual's level of cognitive functioning. This process allows for the
identification of an individual's strengths and needs and provides
insight with respect to neurological functioning. More current research
indicates enough support that intelligence tests can predict an
extremely wide number of variables. In particular, these tests are an
excellent predictor of academic achievement and occupational
performance. This is mainly due to the sensitivity of he test items to
capture the presence of any neuropsychological deficits (e.g., learning
Apart from the identification of possible weaknesses, these tests also
have the capacity to identify strengths and untapped potential of an
individual. This information is very essential and serves as a catalyst
for individuals to pursue educational and career opportunities they
might not have otherwise considered.
One of the most important issues relating to IQ test results is that all
variables that are crucial for an individual's success are not and
cannot be measured by intelligence tests alone. This is why an
intelligence profile extends beyond the administration of a single test
and the need for multidisciplinary assessment.
To conclude, an intellectual assessment is just one component of a valid
intellectual assessment when a standardised test is used. At the end of
it, psychology is just a science and experts in this field aim to use
that science to better understand human behaviour and personal need, and
intelligence testing is just one of the attempts. I truly believe we are
who we make ourselves to be and self determination, hard work and
motivation will almost always ensure a better future.