The more IQ tests and brain stretching puzzles you do, the better your IQ test results.

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IQ tests and your IQ levels do not stay the same - your IQ results can change over time - and vary with different types of test. This is not surprising, given that recent research about intelligence is correct:

  • According to a study conducted by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher, people with bigger brains are smarter than their smaller-brained counterparts,

  • It is likely that a personís mental strengths and weaknesses depend in large part on the individual pattern of grey matter across his or her brain - according to a recent article in NeuroImage (A journal about Brain Function).

  • "The Learning Revolution" book makes the point "The more you link, the more you learn" - that's the key to most memory courses. To learn, attach new information on to information that you know well. In other words, you can 'train your brain' to do better at IQ tests by doing more IQ tests - including online IQ tests.

When calculating IQ scores,  age is taken into account - Mental Age and Chronological Age. The ratio of mental age to chronological age remains pretty much constant constant throughout life. This constant ratio is the  "Intelligence Quotient". It is defined as 100 times the Mental Age (MA) divided by the Chronological Age (CA) i.e. IQ = 100 MA/CA.

Mensa IQ Test

Mensa membership is open to the top 2% of people who sit an approved intelligence test. Importantly, there are a large number of tests with different scales and some intelligence tests don't use IQ scores at all. There are no on-line tests that can be used for admission to Mensa.

Does this mean on-line tests are a waste of time?

Not at all. Remember the more IQ tests you do on-line, the better you are likely to do when attempting an IQ test that really matters.

And because many employers use IQ tests, online IQ tests can also help you prepare for job interviews where these types of tests are likely to be used as part of the recruiting process.

IQ Ratings 

IQ ratings based on IQ testing are a measure of IQ test scores - NOT your value as a human being or a measure of your potential success in life.

Researchers have identified many different types of intelligence (see our Emotional Intelligence page for just one example) 

Your ability to succeed is just as likely to be affected by:

  • motivation

  • how you control your impulses

  • whether you tend to persevere

  • how worried you are about failure

  • whether or not you procrastinate

  • whether you need instant gratification or not

  • you levels of self-confidence

Raise IQ

By exercising those parts of your brain related to the types of questions that appear in IQ tests, you can raise your IQ rating. But and rise in IQ is only relative to the rest of the population - there do not appear to be any 'absolutes' involved.

Increase IQ

Research shows that IQ changes over time - and that the parts of your brain that are used during IQ tests shift as you age. 

Given that IQ test measurements are relative - even Mensa IQ tests - if you want to increase or maintain your IQ relative to the general population, then the more IQ tests you do, the better your chances of a relative IQ increase. 

IQ Ranges 

IQ ranges, average IQ scores, and IQ ratings are usually only relative - and they can change over time and with different tests.

That said, it is generally accepted that for any IQ test that the average score is 100. The standard deviation (a statistical measure of the spread of results away from and average) is typically 15. 

Statistically this means:

  • 2.5% of people are mentally deficient / impaired / retarded (under 70)

  • 50% of people have Intelligence Quotient scores between 90 and 110

  • 2.5% of people are very superior in intelligence (over 130)

  • 0.5% of people are near genius or genius (over 140)

Personality and IQ Testing

IQ ratings are only part of the picture. Benefits of other (non-IQ) online tests help you to:  

  • Explore your personality

  • Identify your Learning Style

  • Help you with Career Preferences

  • Compare your thinking skills with others

  • Generally learn more about yourself

For an alternative to IQ tests check out our Emotional Intelligence page.

IQ Levels 

IQ levels and IQ results should be expressed across IQ ranges - not in absolute terms. The following may be useful:

  • 50 or below - most adults cannot cope outside of an institution. They can typically be taught to read at a 3rd or 4th grade level. They typically require special training programs.

  • Between 50 and 75 - Generally cannot complete elementary school. Most adults will need help to cope with day to day living.

  • Between 75 and 105 - Generally cannot complete a college prep course in high school.

  • Between 105 and 115 - May graduate from college but generally, not with grades that would qualify them for graduate school.

  • Above 115 - No restrictions.

"Straight Talk About Mental Tests", The Free Press, Macmillan Publishing Co, New York, 1981, Dr. Arthur Jensen

IQ Results 

IQ results are best considered as IQ ranges - even so-called average IQ scores of 100 are only an approximation.

And IQ results are relative - your IQ results for a test can only be compared with other people who have taken the same test.

To improve accuracy and predictability of test, statistical measure like standard deviation - these measures allows reasonable comparisons between very different sets of individuals - essentially they allow apples and oranges to be be measured against a yardstick called 'fruit'.

Low IQ

There is a statistical relationship between low IQ and socioeconomic status.

The results from one study showed:

  • 31% of those with IQs below 75 were on welfare, compared with 8% of those in the 90 to 110 IQ interval, and 0% in those with IQs above 125. 

  • 55% of mothers with IQs below 75 went on welfare after the birth of their first child, compared with 12% of those with IQs between 90 and 110, and 1% of those with IQs above 125. 

  • Income is highly dependent upon IQ up to an IQ-level of about 125.

Average IQ Scores 

Average IQ scores and other IQ ratings are often determined by your IQ testing approach as well as how well trained you are at passing IQ tests.

If your IQ score is 100 it means that half of the population scores higher than you in the test you sat and that the other half scores lower than you in that same test.

Remember that like most things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to IQ tests, so if you want to move your score beyond average, take as many IQ tests as you can so you can get better and better scores at IQ tests.

IQ Scales

Remember that IQ scales and IQ scores only measure IQ - they do not measure your ability to succeed or your value as a human being.

Remember also that even Mensa recognise a number of different tests. A top 2% mark in any of tests listed below qualifies you for entry to Mensa. The minimum test marks in the following tests to get into Mensa are:

  • Cattell III B - 148 

  • Culture Fair - 132 

  • Ravens Advanced Matrices - 135 

  • Ravens Standard Matrices - 131

  • Wechsler Scales - 132

Note how each test is using a different scale - that is why percentages are used when assessing individuals seeking Mensa membership - only the people who score in the top two percent are accepted.

IQ Testing 

IQ testing and IQ test scores vary according to the IQ scales you are using - always get a second (and third!) opinion i.e. if you are seriously interested in your IQ for personal interest or for career planning - do as many IQ tests as you can.

So, while Mensa does not accept the results from any online IQ tests, the more IQ tests you do, the more likely you will be able to score higher at IQ tests. This is no different to suggesting that to really succeed at a sport you need to train your mind - as well as your body. 

IQ Scores 

IQ scores have made generations of people miserable - but we now know that your IQ and IQ levels are relative and can change over time.

Consider these findings:

"Adults in the bottom 5% of the IQ distribution (below 75) are very difficult to train and are not competitive for any occupation on the basis of ability. Serious problems in training low-IQ military recruits during World War II led Congress to ban enlistment from the lowest 10% (below 80) of the population, and no civilian occupation in modern economies routinely recruits its workers from that below-80 range. Current military enlistment standards exclude any individual whose IQ is below about 85."

"Persons of average IQ (between 90 and 100) are not competitive for most professional and executive-level work but are easily trained for the bulk of jobs in the American economy. By contrast, individuals in the top 5 percent of the adult population can essentially train themselves, and few occupations are beyond their reach mentally."

"People with IQs between 75 and 90 are 88 times more likely to drop out of high school, seven times more likely to be jailed, and five times more likely as adults to live in poverty than people with IQs between 110 and 125. The 75-to-90 IQ woman is eight times more likely to become a chronic welfare recipient, and four times as likely to bear an illegitimate child than the 110-to-125-IQ woman."

"The General Intelligence Factor", Scientific American Presents "Exploring Intelligence", pg. 24, 1999, Linda Gottfredson 

Despite these sad truths, remember that test scores and IQ scales measure IQ scores - that's all - they are only one intelligence dimension - there are many others. While it is accepted that that something is being measured by IQ testing, and that this part of a person's make-up is important - high IQ scores don't always indicate 'passion', 'practicality', 'motivation', determination', or other such wonderful human qualities.

And remember that your brain is like a muscle - the more you use it the fitter it becomes. So, the more IQ tests you do, the better your IQ tests results. 

IQ Ratings 

IQ rating tend to provide a good indication of the type of work that a person will do (of course not a specific occupation). 

Here is one analysis for typical occupations at various IQ levels:

  • 140 - Top Civil Servants; Professors and Research Scientists.

  • 130 - Physicians and Surgeons; Lawyers; Engineers 

  • 120 - School Teachers; Pharmacists; Accountants; Nurses; Stenographers; Managers.

  • 110 - Foremen; Clerks; Telephone Operators; Salesmen; Policemen; Electricians.

  • 100-110 - Machine Operators; Shopkeepers; Butchers; Welders; Sheet Metal Workers.

  • 90-100 - Warehousemen; Carpenters; Cooks and Bakers; Small Farmers; Truck and Van Drivers.

  • 90 - Labourers; Gardeners; Upholsterers; Farmhands; Miners; Factory Packers and Sorters.

"Know Your Child's I.Q", by Glenn Wilson and Diana Grylls. Futura Publications: London, 1977.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, IQ ratings are just one measure of you as a person. Just because you have a lower IQ rating than you would like it is by no means inevitable that you will be condemned to fill some specific slot in society's pecking order that you loathe. If you want to live your life - and not someone else's statistical cliche - then focus on your passions - what are you enjoy doing and what you are good at. Immerse yourself in your passions and promise yourself to never stop learning. And if you need to achieve good results at IQ tests to achieve your dreams - then train yourself to be at be good at IQ tests. Your brain is like a muscle - use it or lose it!

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