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How Do I Choose the Most Accurate IQ Tests?

Multiple choice standardized tests are often used to measure IQ.
Mathematical reasoning is measured by an IQ test.
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  • Written By: Marco Sumayao
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
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Individuals looking to obtain the most accurate intelligence quotient (IQ) tests should choose those that are well-acknowledged by the academic community and have undergone a rigorous development process. These standardized tests of general intelligence are typically checked and balanced on a sample of thousands of examinees prior to finalization. Researching psychological journals or consulting licensed psychologists can help in determining which among available options are the most accurate IQ tests. Experts generally advise against obtaining exams over the Internet, as they tend to fail meeting rigid test development standards.

Accurate IQ tests are developed in adherence to several important test design principles. Validity and reliability are two of the most important factors in developing an IQ test; validity refers to whether or not the answers to each question are correct, and reliability refers to the consistency of results when the test is taken multiple times. Based on these two principles, individuals should take IQ tests that are empirically confirmed to measure general intelligence on a consistent basis.

Those looking to procure accurate IQ tests should also choose exams that undergo regular revision. Certain test items can become obsolete, depending on sociocultural changes, and need to be replaced accordingly. The validity and reliability of regularly-updated tests tend to be improved upon as a result of revisions. Any type of development in accurate IQ tests, in both creation and revision, should be tested, for accuracy of results, validity, and reliability on large-scale samples.

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Information about the development and revision of accurate IQ tests can often be found in psychological journals. If individuals are comfortable with the scientific language, they can conduct research on which IQ tests to choose by reading about their development directly from the publications. If, however, the journals prove to be too difficult to understand, people looking for accurate IQ tests can consult a licensed psychologist for recommendations on which exams to choose. Measures such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales are among the most recommended.

IQ tests available on the Internet are generally considered poor choices, as they tend to lack the level of development and revision more standardized tests require. These tests are more geared towards casual use, and might have questions based more on popular psychology than proven empirical evidence. Accurate IQ tests are usually purchased by contacting the institution holding the license for the test; additional copies are usually available by request. Although these can be very expensive, especially in comparison to free tests on the Internet, the amount of work put into their development and high level of accuracy make them a much better choice.

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