Home IQ Test what is IQ?
what is IQ?

The Question Today - What Is IQ?

IQ is something everyone has heard of, and thinks they know all about it. But when asked the question - what is IQ? - they can't usually give much of an answer. This short article addresses the issue. Below, we are going to look deeper into this subject.

IQ is an abbreviation for Intelligence Quotient, and is defined as a way to measure the intelligence of an individual as measured by an intelligence test. It is the ratio of their mental age to chronological age, multiplied by one hundred. Or, as many would say, it tells you how clever you are.

The average will be one hundred, meaning you are performing exactly as would be expected for someone of your age. If your IQ is higher than one hundred, then you are cleverer than most of your age; if it is less than one hundred, you are not as clever as most of your age. Generally speaking IQ is a useful indicator as to a person's capabilities and hence a child's future prospects. As an example, university tenured staff have been found to generally have IQs around one hundred and thirty. Albert Einstein is believed to have had an IQ of one hundred and seventy! There tends to be a bit of intellectual snobbery around having a high IQ, and several societies and clubs exist for those with IQs above one hundred and thirty two, the most well known being Mensa.

But a high IQ alone does not guarantee success. Hard work, concentration and willpower all play a large part. And IQ cannot measure a person's emotional maturity, which is also a key factor for doing well.

Also, IQ tests are mainly based on the measurement of mathematical and spatial reasoning, and so those who are more practical (such as, say, farmers or builders) or brilliant artistically or just "differently" may not register a high IQ even though they are undoubtedly very capable.

Anyone taking the tests in a language which is other than their native tongue may be negatively impacted. Similarly a person who is extremely fatigued, distracted or suffering from malnutrition may also register a score below the true level.

By contrast, people can train themselves to improve their scores. There are many tests available on the Internet or in hard copy for anyone to practice on. By doing this regularly, the mind is more aware of the type of answer expected, so the testee speeds up and almost anticipates what an answer is. Results in these cases may be misleading - does the person have a high IQ or just a high ability to do IQ tests?

So, what is IQ? It measures how clever a person is relative to others of the same age; an IQ score is an indication of a person's future path, provided they demonstrate maturity in other areas and their environment is kind to them. In other words, a high IQ needs to be accompanied by an environment that is supportive, life experiences which do not crush the spirit and a personality that does not alienate everyone.