What Can Be Learned from a Person's IQ?

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  • Written By: R. Stamm
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2019
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Intelligence quotient tests are standardized exams to test how smart an individual is in different areas and are used to determine a variety of situations. Schools and employers use these tests to gauge how well a student or employee will perform in various tasks. The military requires a general score of at least 85 for enlistment. There are studies that show a correlation between a person’s IQ level and the length of that individual’s life span, as well as his or her social status. Even though the use of these tests is widespread, they ignore many important aspects of a person’s mental abilities.

An intelligence quotient test describes a person’s mental abilities relative to other individuals who are approximately the same age. It is a five-part psychometric test that measures an individual’s verbal skills, mathematical skills and memory capacity. It also measures reasoning and spatial abilities. In the field of psychology, there are debates about the use of standardized tests to measure a person’s intelligence. These standardized tests do not take into account, or accurately measure, an individual’s creativity, practical knowledge, and other skills involved in problem solving, these opponents say.


Even so, many schools use the standard intelligence quotient test to determine the educational achievement and placement of students. Once the IQ is determined, schools will decide whether the child is placed into a remedial program designed for children with learning disabilities, the average population, or into gifted and advanced programs. Research shows that a child with a higher intelligence grade learns more of what is taught in school than a child whose IQ is lower. While this may be true for some children, it is not true for all. The tests do not take into consideration a child’s persistence to learn, interest in the subject matter, and willingness to study.

IQ is also used to determine the relationship between job performance, income, and the type of employment a person is best suited for. When an individual applying for a position lacks previous experience, the IQ score can be used to determine how the individual’s general mental ability is in relation to the job. Companies hiring a person for a job as a researcher in management typically look for individuals with higher levels of intelligence. Studies show that people with a lower intelligence quotient are placed in positions requiring manual strength, speed, stamina, and coordination. Other studies show that individuals with higher measured intelligence have higher incomes than their lower-earning counter parts.


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