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What Are the Different Types of IQ Tests?

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  • Written By: Melissa Barrett
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests are designed to measure the intellectual capacity of an individual as compared to the general population. A person's mental performance in several areas, including fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and quantitative reasoning, may be estimated by using these standardized tests. These tests may be used in adults to measure brain damage after illness or trauma or even as a prescreening for employment. IQ tests are often used to predict future academic success by ascertaining the potential of a child to learn.

For adults, the most commonly used IQ tests are the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale™ (WAIS™) and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales™. Both tests are extremely accurate, and subsequent testing reveals only small discrepancies in previously recorded IQ scores. The Stanford-Binet™ is broken into more subsets than the WAIS&trade, however, and may take longer to administer. Conversely, the WAIS™ is more limited in testing working memory.

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Intelligence assessments of children are generally used when the child has shown either substantial delays or obvious giftedness. These tests are primarily used to assure that proper services are provided to these children. IQ tests for children may include the latest versions of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children&trade (WISC&trade), the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children&trade (KABC™), or the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence&trade (WPPSI™). Of these, the WISC™ and the WPPSI™ are primarily paper-and-pencil tests, while the KABC™ relies primarily on manipulative and verbal responses. The WPPSI™ is one of the few tests designed to measure general intelligence in children under three years of age.

As many IQ tests rely heavily on language and verbal skills, individuals with difficulties in these areas often require special testing. The Test of Nonverbal Intelligence&trade (TONI™) and Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test&trade (UNIT™) were developed to act as reading- and language-free assessments of intelligence. These tests are particularly useful in hard-of-hearing individuals and non-English speaking subjects. For autistic individuals, the tests often give a more accurate reading of true intelligence than traditional tests. Still, the results may be skewed as the tests are usually given by people unfamiliar with the condition.

Many online IQ tests are available. Generally, these tests are extremely unreliable and bear only a passing resemblance to scientifically developed standardized testing. These tests often give highly inflated scores and should be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Formalized intelligence testing has come under fire as potentially biased. In many cases, the arrangement of certain tests measures learning rather than the potential to learn. In those instances, those from affluent families who have been exposed to richer learning environments frequently score higher than those from economically disadvantaged homes. In addition, most IQ tests are designed for individuals native to the countries in which the tests are administered. As most tests involve written or spoken components, non-native individuals are regularly at a disadvantage.

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Fa5t3r
Post 3

@Iluviaporos - I'm not a big fan of IQ tests at all. I don't think they measure anything except the individual's ability to score highly on an IQ test.

I think IQ tests for kids are particularly bad, because you really don't want your child to be thinking that way, no matter what kinds of results they get. A high score is only going to make them feel like they are under pressure, or that they have innate gifts that don't need to be developed while a low score might discourage them from even trying at anything.

The idea that intelligence is something that can't be developed is one of the worst ones that we've had as a group. You can teach yourself to ace IQ tests, the same as you can teach yourself to be good at almost anything, but a lot of people just see a low score and give up because they think it's set in stone.

lluviaporos
Post 2

@MrsPramm - That's another reason those IQ tests for free online are a waste of time. They might be based around a valid test, but there's no way of knowing that they have been kept up to date. Someone who might score above average for intelligence in the 1970s might get a lower score today.

It's worth bearing in mind that these kinds of tests only measure certain aspects of intelligence anyway. They should only be used as a part of the big picture.

MrsPramm
Post 1

I wonder how often they change the averages in this kind of testing. I mean the whole point of it is that 100 is supposed to be the average person, which means that must shift as the population becomes more or less intelligent.

I know it might seem like the kind of thing that stays stable, but it is not. Intelligent rates would be going up, if only because of better nutrition and better understanding of what kinds of things might cause brain damage.

They must have to shift the goal posts, or more people than average would be getting over 100 which kinds of makes the scoring pointless.

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