IQ or intelligence quotient is a reflection of the reasoning ability of a person. By extension, an iq test is used to measure the individual’s ability to use information and logic to answer questions or make predictions.
The average IQ score is considered to be 100. The standard value reflects how far over or below an individual’s mental ability is compared to their peer group. The number is calculated by giving the same test to a wide population belonging to varying socio-economic strata, following which an average is calculated.
Nowadays, IQ tests are conducted to identify potential cognitive abilities and leadership skills in individuals to determine whether they can perform certain tasks or assume a leadership role.
Origin of the IQ test
In 1904, French researchers Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon were commissioned by the French education department to develop a test to assess mental capabilities in school children. The test was intended to distinguish mentally disabled children from the intelligent but lazy ones and lend them additional help at school.
Since then, many variations of the IQ tests have been developed to assess intelligence and mental sub-normality in individuals. Some of the most popular IQ tests variations include the Stanford-Binet scale, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Peabody Individual Achievement tests, etc. The most prevalent test format used in the US is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV.
What does a standard IQ test look like
While various IQ tests differ in terms of content, they are generally designed to assess five aspects of cognitive abilities in an individual. These include working memory, verbal comprehension, fluid and quantitative reasoning, and visual-spatial processing.
The purpose of these tests is not to assess the knowledge and skills acquired in the past but to evaluate the individual’s ability to learn and how they apply their skills for problem-solving. These skills are not a consequence of their memory or knowledge.
A standard IQ test entails a series of multiple tests that measure the individual’s intelligence based on the cognitive factors mentioned previously. A cumulative score at the end of the test is converted into a ratio to determine the score, whereby the average score lies between 85 and 115(100 being the median value).