What Is an IQ Test? (with Example Questions and Answers)
Updated July 21, 2023
IQ stands for intelligence quotient and is usually thought to represent the reasoning skills of individuals.
The idea of intelligence relates to how quickly people can solve problems or puzzles, use logic to answer questions, or quickly recall information and facts they’ve heard.
The first type of IQ test was created by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet.
The assessment that he made is still used and is known as the Stanford-Binet intelligence test.
The goal was to be able to identify school-age children who may need extra help learning at schools.
IQ tests were used in the U.S. during WWI to assess recruits, and the military still uses some form of these tests to identify capable fighters.
It is called the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Yet, it wasn’t until the 1950s that a man named David Wechsler developed the type of tests that are in use today.
There are a variety of IQ tests used for different scenarios and different individuals.
Some tests are designed specifically for adults and others that are used only on children.
An IQ test is a test that measures the thinking and reasoning process of your brain.
After the test, you are given an IQ score, which indicates your unique intellectual abilities and potential.
These tests are considered psychological tests.
Mensa, which is the Latin word for table, is known as the high-IQ society.
It is for those who do well on the tests, often scoring in the top two per cent.
The organization started in 1946. Its founders were Roland Berrill, a lawyer, and Dr Lance Ware, a lawyer and scientist.
The organization’s goals were to create a space for those with a high IQ that was not political, racial or religious.
The idea was that if anyone could be a member, regardless of race, age, sex, beliefs or social status, they would be a group of equals.
Activities help Mensa members get to know each other and enjoy being with the elite high IQ.
At its core, Mensa encourages members to embrace their high IQ and connect with others for social interaction and engaging discussions.
There are about 100,000 members spread out over 100 countries.
To join the organization, you’ll need to pass their Mensa IQ Test.
Given the statistics, only two out of every 100 individuals will pass the test and join the organization.
In some locations, people may only be allowed to take the test once.
The Mensa IQ Test is considered one of the best ones available, and it is the only test that qualifies you for membership to the organization.
Once you’ve completed an IQ test and received a score, it may be a little confusing what the score represents. The IQ test scale works like this:
- Over 180 – profoundly gifted
- 160–179 – exceptionally gifted
- 145–159 – highly gifted
- 130–144 – moderately gifted
- 121–130 – gifted
- 111–120 – above average intelligence
- 90–110 – Average intelligence
- 80–89 – Below average intelligence
- 70–79 – cognitively impaired
- 55–69 – mild mental disability
- 40–54 – moderate mental disability
- 25–39 – severe mental disability
- 1–24 – profound mental disability
Test results are calculated by comparing results to how the general population would likely score on the test.
Most people score near the middle. 100 is seen as an average score.
Your test score tells you how you rank compared to others.
Scores from an IQ test follows what is known as a bell curve.
This means that if they were turned into a graph, it would appear as a bell-shaped curve.
The centre is where most of the test scores are.
One side of the curve represents individuals who excel at the test and are considered above average.
In contrast, the other side of the curve represents those who may have some cognitive disability.
IQ testing can be done on young children to determine if they are gifted.
There are various tests available that can be used on children who may not be able to read but can talk.
While it may be tempting to test your child’s IQ, the scores may change over time.
For this reason, it may be beneficial to wait until your child is older.
When a child is over the age of 8, they are more likely to score higher and more accurately.
The youngest person to ever get a perfect score on an IQ test was an 11-year-old girl from England. Her name is Kashmea Wahi, and she completed the test in 2016.
If you are considering an IQ test for your child, keep in mind that as their body grows, develops and changes over time, so too can their IQ score.
It is also important not to let their IQ score influence everything.
Children who believe they don’t have a high enough IQ may not push themselves to the fullness of their abilities.
So, it’s essential to have a conversation with your child about IQ scores and testing so that they have a good understanding of the process and the results.
Many different types of IQ testing can be done, but for it to be considered a certified IQ test, it will need to be administered by an official body like a school or college, including for those under 18.
You can also request IQ testing from a psychologist, but it is important to remember there will be a cost involved.
If you want to take the Mensa test, you’ll need to contact your local group to find a test session.
You’ll be given the option of taking it in a group setting or a private session.
Both options are held at approved testing facilities around the country.
There is a cost to be tested, and you’ll find more information on their website.
Mensa tests can take up to two hours to finish.
You’ll only be permitted to take the test once.
Moreover, the organization will not be able to provide any detailed information about your test score. You’ll only know if you ranked high enough to join.
It is not possible to take a valid IQ test online, but there are many practice tests that you can complete on the web.
Mensa offers a practice test online, which takes up to 30 minutes to finish.
You can see your score right away, and there is more information about the answers.
It is important to remember that this testing does not qualify you for Mensa membership but is only for practice.
With the Mensa IQ Test, you can obtain a pre-test to help you prepare. To access one, you’ll need to contact the closest Mensa office near you.
There are also several practice IQ tests that you can complete to help you prepare your mind for the challenge of an IQ test.
Here are a few sample questions and answers to help you prepare and fully understand the types of question you may face in an IQ test.
1. If he steers toward the land, he will be wrecked; if he steers toward the open sea, he will be wrecked. But he must steer either toward the land or toward the sea.
Therefore, which is correct:
a) He should head for the sea
b) The coast is dangerous for ships
c) He will be wrecked
2. How many 1-inch cubes can be placed in a box 5 inches long, 4 inches wide and 3 inches high?
3. Which word below means the same or about the same as 'caprice'?
4. Which number should come next in the pattern?
37, 34, 31, 28, ?
5. Find the answer that best completes the analogy:
Book is to Reading as Fork is to ?
6. What number best completes the analogy:
8:4 as 10:
7. What number is missing from this sequence?
4, 9, 16, 25, 36, ?, 64
8. Which four-letter word can be attached to the beginning of these words to form five longer words?
Age | Width | It | Stand | Wagon
9. What letter should appear next in this sequence?
L, K, J, H, ?
IQ testing has been going on for many years.
While it began as a method of identifying school-age children who may need extra help learning in the classroom, it has become a way of gauging the mental capacity of individuals.
Those who score high on an IQ test are seen as gifted, while those who score low may have some disability.
Because IQ test scores are a bell curve, most people who take them will get a result in the middle, around the 100 mark.
If you are considering taking an IQ test, it is a good idea to practice with some online quizzes to help prepare your mind for the final test.
Remember that most of the questions are based on puzzles to test how quickly you can figure them out.