What's your opinion of I.Q tests?

@JenInTN (27565)
United States
November 30, 2011 4:32am CST
There are many different types of I.Q tests. Some of them are based on the perception of pictures or ink blots. Some of them are written while others are a mixture of perception and communicating ideas. They decided to standardize these tests to make them fair to a variety of people and thought processes. They use these tests to determine if children are gifted and to judge what fields that people would be talented in or not. My question is are they really an accurate way to judge intelligence? Have you ever taken an I.Q test? Do you really think that these tests can put people in categories where they will excel?
4 people like this
24 responses
@Aja103654 (5658)
• Philippines
30 Nov 11
No there's no accurate way to judge intelligence though people can always attempt to be as close to accurate as they could. I read this somewhere, that we shouldn't rely on IQ tests too much, they are merely approximations of a person's intelligence. Yep, i took many IQ test on paper and on the internet. on the internet, i never got the result because i have to pay for it first before i could read it. it can probably place people where they might excel. i believe so, because people will be placed where there minds work best.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think they might be ok for giving people ideas about what they might be good at too, but I don't think that someone should limit themselves to what the results said..not if they had a passion to do it. I think that it would be very hard to take a standardized test and give it to a diverse group of people and be able to judge who was "the smartest." I don't think it would be as accurate as they would like to think. Thanks for responding!
@Aja103654 (5658)
• Philippines
4 Dec 11
Yes, anyone can excel as long as they put their minds to it! it's not just about IQ. I've heard of not so smart people, who are successful in life, happy, rich and all. the high IQ people, some of them develop this superiority complex, that gets them into problems when socializing with other people. No problem!
@bunnybon7 (37404)
• Holiday, Florida
30 Nov 11
i think they are fairly accurate. but then i could be biased. since in 3rd grade they told my mom i was far better able to do my school work then i was doing. they said i had the second highest IQ in my grade level in that school. whatever that means then my son here was so intelligent in the 5th grade they wanted to move him to 7th grade and i didnt allow it for several reasons. sometimes i wonder if thats where things went wrong.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Nah...don't put that on your shoulders....you know those kids make their own choices after they reach a certain age. I haven't had one that I can remember. I would like to take it just to see what it said..lol. I worry about those tests as far as the numbers staying with a person..I think that intelligence grows. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@hmkoct5 (2067)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Personally, I don't like I.Q. tests. I did take one once, but I never actually got the results. They were probably so horrible that the person who gave me the test didn't want me to see them :) I don't think you can judge somebody's intelligence by a test because there are other factors to consider. Some people have test anxiety. They could be extremely smart but are too nervous to answer the questions correctly. I'm sure they have some usefulness, but I don't like judging people on their ability to answer questions. Besides, some people can be smart on paper and complete idiots in real life.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
That's right...there are people that are "test talented" and then there are those that knows a ton about something and can't pass a test. Test anxiety is a problem that alot of people have. It's hard to judge someone based on a few questions for sure. Thanks for responding!
1 person likes this
@idowrite72 (2214)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think that sometimes IQ tests give an IDEA about where a person's intelligence might be, but are not absolute. I think besides IQ tests, there are other "tests" that can also be used. I taught special education for 30 years, and for the most part, the students were placed in my classes by their IQ scores. Generally, I taught children whose IQ's were 60-80, but they weren't always accurate. My first two years of teaching I had a boy with IQ-80, which should have meant that he was close to "normal" and should be reading and doing math. He was a non-reader. BUT he was also a behavior concern and was familiar with what was going on in the streets. When I taught math, I paid no attention to what the IQ's were and divised my own sort of "diagnostic" test that had the students do a few pages of different kinds of math to see what they could and couldn't do. It was certainly much more accurate than going by IQ. Again, I do think other kinds of tests need to be used WITH the IQ test. I think we must have been tested in school, for IQ's, since I have an IQ score on my high school records.
3 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think that it might be helpful when testing a group like that to see where their weaknesses and strengths are in an atmosphere where the same things are being taught. I can see why your test might have worked better for the purposes though. The problem I see with them is that, like your high school records, the number stays with you. I think that intelligence is ever changing and it would be hard for me to imagine having the same number now as I had when I was in high school. Thanks for responding!
1 person likes this
@savypat (20246)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think they are largly overrated. I had a very high IQ and because of that I was expected to get very high grades. Because of this I grew to resent school very much. It wasn't until college where I could choose my classes that I started to enjoy it.My IQ might have meant I was smart but I was never good with tools or math, my mind just didn't work that way, but I was very good with logic. I think I would have been much happier if I had never known my IQ and I certianly would have been if my teachers and parents hadn't known.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Teachers and parents can take those numbers and ruin everything. There is a lot of stock put in them and if they can find a gifted child in their school system, they are actually granted so much extra money to create personalized programs...I haven't seen personalized programs...just more work added. There is a difference I think. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I do question the accuracy of them to a point. I have taken some online just for fun and I'll tell you that I score differently all the time. Much depends upon my mood, how much I have on my mind, how much sleep I've had etc. Years ago when I was out of work and looking for work, I did take a class through the unemployment agency to help find work and determine our strong points for job placement. At the end of the course we took a test. I have to think nerves must play a part for some people. I was going along doing the test when I glanced up and saw that most of the class was done and waiting on just a couple of us. I felt stupid and embarrassed that it was taking me so long and I still had a ways to go. I finished up quickly as possibly. The next day, the instructor called me aside. She had noticed the look on my face when I looked up. She said she walked by to note what part of the test I was on. She told me that I scored very well up until that point and not so well afterwards. She also informed me that a couple of us had been given tougher tests ...not sure why.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
See..those are situations that can greatly effect test scores. I have a tough time thinking that a person's future can be placed in a bracket that has the possibilities of being swayed by so many factors. People are different and I don't think a single test can judge how smart they are. Thanks for responding and take care.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I can see how a test taken over a course of time could possibly give an idea as to what the person's IQ is within a certain range but even then...not sure. My dad worked with kids at Genius level...they would flunk in other areas of life. He used to bring some of these kids home and sometimes...oh..I don't know as I'd place a lot of importance on IQ level. My own brother is border line genious with ADHD if you can imagine. Rather than the accuracy of the tests, I tend to question the importance. I could tell you stories about my brother and some of the students my dad brought home that would make you question the importance of a high IQ. My experience has been that people with average to maybe even just above average IQs tend to have more common sense and social skills...not sure if that is true but just my experience.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
IQs aren't so important sometimes are they? I can see how you would come to that conclusion. There is a guy at work that is supposed to be super smart and he us the hardest person to talk to in the world. It's like he doesn't know how to talk to people.
@allknowing (69429)
• India
30 Nov 11
In the course of my studies and job seeking sprees I have undergone several IQ tests and these tests besides judging ones intelligence they also find out how fast one can think but they are now outmoded as EQ (Emotional Quotient tests) have taken their place. They help evaluate one's emotional intelligence,the questions mostly relating to life and the level of self awareness. http://www.eqhelp.com/Emotional_Intelligence_Test.htm
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Very interesting link. I think it would be more beneficial and not so set in stone feeling to have one of those tests instead. I've not taken one before and I didn't see an example of the questions...can a person deceive the test based on the job they want? I was wondering because there was this one test I saw that a local store gave their applicants and it was what they would do under certain situations...is it like that?
@allknowing (69429)
• India
30 Nov 11
I found this link which I searched for, just for you! http://www.ivillage.co.uk/test-your-emotional-intelligence-eq/74101 In my life I have come across those with a high level of IQ but do not have the qualities that are required to be a success in life - perseverance,tenacity, patience, zest, et al. I have two nieces who are a fine example of what I have just said. The one with a high level of IQ is in fact reporting to the one who we all considered having far less. This niece is successfully running her business at an international level having well over 600 people reporting to her. Most IQ tests are to be answered with limited time at one's disposal which makes it difficult for some who like to work at a tarried pace. Why not anyway? Why should anyone be made to work under pressure!
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
Check out what I made! Your score indicates that you have an above average EQ Remember you responses need to have been as honest as possible. If you feel that your score does not reflect you, please retake the test and answer each question in the way that best represents the way you typically feel. People that typically score in this range are able to recognise and understand their feelings as well as being able to express them in an appropriate manner. They are comfortable with who they are. They are not afraid to show love, empathy and compassion for other people. They are comfortable with intimacy and comfortable about giving of themselves to other people. They are also very good communicators. They are very in tune with themselves and those around them. In most circumstances they know how to say the right thing at the right moment. They are good friends and partners. They are able to show anger in appropriate ways and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe. They are not afraid to cry if they are hurt. They are not afraid to admit that they are wrong, or embarrassed to say they are sorry. They are typically happy, well-rounded people. They easily accept challenges and are able to stay motivated and focused in the face of setbacks. They are able to set and achieve goals for themselves. They are positive and optimistic about themselves, the others around them, and their future. Remember that emotional intelligence never stops growing. Because people are always evolving, EQ is something that needs to be nurtured. If it isn't your emotional intelligence will disappear. Continue to utilise the emotional intelligence that you have and continue to identify and work on areas that need work. If you do this, your EQ will continue to flourish! We wish you the best of luck." I was hoping that it would be good...I was nervous.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 11
Hi JenInten they really did wo rk well for my family as I t ested high in High school and was moved up another grade and also skipped a grade in intermediate from fifth to the seventh grade. Also we had to have them done on my son and proved he did not have Adhd or whatever the initals are, but was bored silly in the grade ge was in. so an IG tested showed he w as gifted and nmoved u p to the approprioate grade in a private school./'sine are nire accyrate than others, I found out laterly that I still hav e an IQ of 140 so it has stayed the same as in high school.I guess its good one of the two of us in my room must know whats going on as I have to make sure my roomie gets to her meals as she fortets things each day even whe
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Hi Ms. Hately! I would like to take one just to see what it says. Sounds like they did work out for you and your family. Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 11
good lord this loaded so fast I did not even have time t o finish my last sentence. darn I was saying I have to make sure my roomie gets to her meals as she forgets each day even when she has ate already. I feel so sorry for her as she has something she wants to ask the front desk but when she gets down to ask it she will blurt out "I am sorry I forgot what I wanted to ask you? " I try to remind her before she goes down, at 85 I am mama to a 83 year old Alzheimer victim. she was as bright as a new penny when I first moved in with her so we do not know what happened to her mind.so I tell her what year it is, what day of t he month and so on, that way I can help her. I think some of the so called IQ tests are flawed but some of the older ones are pretty accurate. I just wish I did not make typos then miss them until after I have hit post. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
I was really wanting your response...that's why it pulled it out so fast. That Alzheimer's is a thief in the night. It seems to work very fast too. I wish they would figure out something about it...I have heard that it is genetics, brain use, corpus callous stuff...who knows? I saw they did find a certain protein that seemed to be only in the victims too. It's great that she has you to help her.
@menzis00 (273)
30 Nov 11
I have taken one IQ test when I was younger and it showed that I'm really intelligent, but I don't believe in those tests. Of course, there may be some truth in that but I believe they are not very accurate. There should be some different types of tests other than just mathematical problems, continue the line or stuff like that...
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I agree..the test you are talking about could be heavily influenced by what has been taught to a person...not so much what they are capable of. I think it would be very hard to measure that which continues to grow...intelligence is what we gain too not just what we have learned so far. Thanks for responding!
@menzis00 (273)
1 Dec 11
True that. Also, I know a friend who has no idea in maths and is always failing maths class but yet he know how to earn money and how to squeeze money out of people.. for me, that's intelligence, and not finding x in some mathematical equasions(although that demands a certain intelligence too, of course). I'm just saying there are lots of types of intelligence, not just those things they give us in IQ tests.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
Agreed. There are a lot of different definitions for intelligence.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
2 Dec 11
THe only IQ test I ever took was in school and was tons of questions on what you knew like in math English history science things like tha. came up with 150 the ink blot test is what hey give peple to check if they are crazy or what ever t ome they are just ink blots ya look at them long enought you can make something out of them. Not sure if it works to see that you are really good at and what you could be in life
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
2 Dec 11
Heyya Lakota! I can't remember ever taking an IQ test before. I would like to see how I would do on it but if it was a low grade...I would be mad as a hornet..LOL...sounds like you did pretty good. I would probably see flying skunks and aliens in the ink blots and they would lock me away for life...no wait...they are closing those mental institutions! I'd be ok...
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
3 Dec 11
@derek_a (10902)
30 Nov 11
I have always thought they are interesting, especially Rorschach cards where once I could see all manner of weird and wonderful things, but suddenly I just stopped seeing anything but ink blots! I don't know why this happened like this, but it seemed to be linked when I started getting into my Zen practice. That change in itself fascinates me. In my opinion. I think that intellectual abilities are more likely to change with motivation and passion. For instance, I know kids (and I include myself here - I seemed very resistant to my teachers), who in school seemed pretty hopeless and didn't show interest or passion, but later did very well for themselves. I don't think that humans are that easy to categorize, and what it makes it more confusing there are always those that seem to buck any trend.. That's if there's any trends to begin with - but that's my "Zen mind" thinking - oh I forgot, it's not supposed to "think" - it's supposed to be a mirror! Anyway, as a Zen practitioner, I often see how judgment and analysis of something can really get in the way of potential and what's really going on beneath the surface of our awareness. My practice is to focus on what I am conscious of, and there is lots of complex mental processes to witness that seem to be wired together, I see this as my karma at work. And as a result of this focus my karma will unravel and as it does this, I can experience a subtle energy being released. Is this intelligence? True to my Zen practice, it is best not to judge! So I may forever remain crazy and unintellectual. It fascinates me! _Derek
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Nothing wrong with crazy and unintellectual provided that there is plenty of happiness involved. What was the ages that you did ink blots? I found some very interesting information out about memory,learning, and age relation. Most photographic memories and even certain unpleasant disorders, such as night terrors, stop at late adolescence or early adulthood. It seems that there is what is referred to as a "self pruning" process that occurs where neurons in the brain are given an end or are allowed to continue. They think it is based on what evolution says we need or maybe it is what we use the most of that is allowed to remain. There is some talk of genetics too but there is nothing in stone about any of the reasons why. This pruning process is amazing to me. I think that being able to experience a subtle and conscious release of energy has to be a form of intelligence, but it is not one that can be measured by a stuffy old test..lol.
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10902)
1 Dec 11
The ink blots wasn't really a serious experiment, I just got involved with a group of people in a seminar once it was more like for fun, but I found I could see things from the shapes where most people just saw, well, ink blots. I was in my mid-late 20s at the time. Before that my career was in music as a piano/keyboard player, but slowly "canned" music took over from us expensive musicians so I had to have a career re-think as I had a family to support, so I went into psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, and then Zen came into my work... I don't know what I really turned into then.. I guess I used a bit of everything that I had learned from my courses over the years.. _Derek
1 person likes this
@teamrose (1499)
• United States
1 Dec 11
I think I.Q tests are fun to take. However, if they are used to determine if children are gifted and/or to judge what fields people would be talented in or not, just pigeon holes people. If told you can only accomplish a particular thing, many people will believe that foolishness and not strive for more. On the other hand, if told you are destined for greatness and you don't make it, you feel like such a loser.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
Hi teamrose! Those are good points! I can't imagine being limited to what a standardized test told me I could or couldn't do. I bet there are a lot of people that do it though. They trust these results. Thanks for the response and it's good to see you.
@celticeagle (119862)
• Boise, Idaho
1 Dec 11
I remember taking tests when I was going to the Employment Department and actively looking for work. The outcome of the test seemed pretty accurate. I also recall when I was have some mental problems back in my school days and was given all kinds of tests. One of these was an I.Q. test. I greaded pretty high on it. I think from a egosentric standpoint I would like to believe in them. And they are what we have available at this time. As far as putting people in categories where they will excel it is just what have at this point. I guess we have to go with what we have. I don't know how much store to really put by them.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Dec 11
There is a lot of stock put in them for sure. I would like to take one just to see what I would make on it. Thanks for responding.
• Canada
30 Nov 11
Personally, I believe I.Q is useless. Reason I think this is because, people who have high I.Q and don't actually apply it to anything are as good as useless than anyone who has low I.Q and actually are not able to do anything. Also, from my experience, people who are just "book smart" will not perform as well as someone who has been working with their hands, and who are only average or below average when it comes to grades. Yes there have been people with high I.Q who actually used their gift, but there are plenty of people out there who prove to be less handy. As some of your fellow mylotters mentioned, these I.Q tests do not measure the true ability of an individual, place them in a real situation and see how they perform, simply looking at a puzzle cannot prove that they are actually useful to improve the situations of people.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Great points! I think there is a lot more to people than what a test can measure. There is that thing called drive too. Thanks for the input!
@GardenGerty (102534)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Doing well on an IQ test really illustrates that you are a talented test taker. I have felt all my life that on tests I am an overachiever. IQ tests and personality test both are influenced by the test takers' experiences, their grasp of language, and what kind of day they are having and whether or not they have good test taking skills. Interest and determination influence success as much as IQ does.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Agreed. I have seen many people that know material front and back but when a test is laid in front of them...they choke. They might even have more knowledge about the subject than the person in class who made that A. Test taking is a skill and the way things are presented can make a huge difference. Thanks for responding!
@Iemon1 (123)
• Singapore
30 Nov 11
I doubt it is really accurate though I have not taken one yet. There is not definite way to determine how one can be considered a talented person or not.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think it is a shaky way at best to determine talent or lack of. I think it would be tough to measure things that are always changing anyway. Thanks for the input!
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
30 Nov 11
Hi JenInTN Yet another awesome discussion. Just like examinations at the schools, or Interviews, I personally believe that these IQ tests and even the EQ ones as mentioned by allknowing above, may reveal something about some... but it all depends on the luck of the person appearing for these tests and the preparations (of course, also what sets the participant gets). If only the candidate went unprepared (quite unlikely) and also these tests covered all spheres of life (again quite impossible), we cannot be sure of whether the results will be really useful in putting people into categories where they would excel. If I was to believe the results of my IQ tests way back when I was preparing for Astronomy in 1988-89, they all told me that I can never be a person who would spend time thinking logically. But today I know, and maybe you would agree too, I think too much, and am a little better than many others who had appeared the same tests and were said to be more logical. I mention this just to state that maybe a thing goes right at that moment, but as we all evolve and keep evolving, the results cannot be depended up when it comes to anything in the long run.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Thank you thesids I'm glad you used your experiences as an example. I would hate to think that anyone would limit the things they dreamed of doing just because an old uptight test told them they wouldn't be good at it. Wouldn't we miss out on all the things that make life worth living if our future depended on what someone else told us our mind was able to or not able to do? I am glad you still pursued what you wanted to do and didn't limit yourself to what a test said you were capable of. I bet people that do are often disappointed and feel unfulfilled. Thanks for the response!
• Australia
30 Nov 11
The standard IQ test assesses only instrumental intelligence, and is highly culture specific. It also appears to be income linked, or social class linked. That said, it seems also to accurately measure the ability one might have in an academic context. It fails to measure creativity, emotional intelligence, manual intelligence, or social intelligence. Partially useful but limited. Lash
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Heyya Lash! Great to see you. One of the thoughts that I had too was how can you measure something with a standard with the diversity we all face. I also think it is impossible to measure things and give them a specific number when tomorrow, I have learned something new. Does that give me a point? I can't imagine limiting myself to certain fields and interests just because a test said I wouldn't be any good at it. Thanks for responding!
@squallming (1776)
• Malaysia
30 Nov 11
In my opinion, these IQ tests does not necessarily reflects the true intelligence of people. There are far too many factors that may affect one's ability to answer those IQ questions at a particular time. Thus, we shouldn't categorize people based on these IQ score. Besides that, there are things which is more important than IQ these days, they are EQ, experiences, skills and personality of a person.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
I think that EQ is a much more relevant set of points to put our attention on. Fluid intelligence can not measured...it is always changing. If I stop experiencing and learning...yes...maybe it could be measured...but you can't measure things that change. Thanks for the response!
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
30 Nov 11
I am not convinced of their accuracy. All the ones that I have done relied heavily on educated knowledge. That can assess the intellect of children in the same education system with all the same resources etc but it tells you nothing about the intellect of a child who has no knowledge of western education. I am not convinced they are the right way to measure intelligence. For that matter can you really measure intelligence? To start with you have to decide what kind of intelligence you wish to measure, then work out the best way to measure this kind of intelligence. However, you cannot measure the intellect of a bright student with excellent eduation against a child of the forest who has never been taught to read and write. Both may be intelligent but they come from very different worlds. It is a problem that caused a lot of people to believe that only rich european children were intelligent. This is why people assume that all poor people are dumb. It is highly inacurate.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Wonderful points! There are alot of different things to consider and the attentions that a child has received from here or there and on what specifically really makes me think that I.Q tests would be highly questionable. It also makes me think of people that are "book smart" or "street smart" or in some cases both. Neither is overly intelligent nor mentally challenged. Doesn't make the one skilled in both a genius either..lol. Thanks for responding Sharra!