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IQ Test: Why You Should Test Your IQ


What’s your IQ?

People come in all shapes and sizes. It’s pretty easy to observe with the naked eye. Some folks are taller, some shorter, some skinnier, some fatter than others.

In fact, even in our backward society that says “all people are the same”, we know this is untrue.

Still, when it comes to intelligence, people can get heated over the topic.

The more you know, the dumber you sound to stupid people
Which one are you?

Although there’s really no reason to…

IQ is the best predictor of academic and professional success, occupation, income, health, longevity, and criminality.

Obviously, there are other factors like drive, determination, motivation, physical ability, personality, sociability, and so on that impact your success.

Where IQ is useful is in deciding in which direction you might want to go. How far you go is usually up to you.

That being said, let’s get to the bottom of IQ and what it means for you.

What is IQ?

We have systems of measurements for everything. This allows us to make an accurate comparison of something (or someone) against another.

Time, weight, area, volume, length, temperature, et cetera are all measurable. These measurements impact every aspect of our daily lives.

IQ is no different.

In reality, IQ (or intelligence quotient) is a measurement of human cognitive ability. Basically, just how smart you are.

I ask myself this daily, usually about myself…

More specifically, IQ reflects how rapidly you can absorb or interpret new information.

Why should you test IQ?

As with anything, I am a huge proponent of measuring yourself and maximizing your life based on your strengths and weaknesses. 

This doesn’t change for IQ. 

For example, I do quarterly blood work and DEXA scans to ensure nothing is off. Doing so allows me to stay proactive with my health and indicate which changes I need to make to my diet or workout regime.

I’ve also taken a handful of IQ tests in my life, but the results have remained pretty static. Let’s say I were to score anything outside of my normal range. This might indicate potential issues with my mental faculties or some other underlying issue.

Now, you do potentially run the risk of finding out you’re an idiot. Conversely, you may discover you’re secretly a genius.

Alfred MAD comics and Albert Einstein
Both have made great contributions to society

Neither is good or bad.

It just is.

Finding out either will help you make a lot of sense of your life.

As a kid, were you the one who always knew the answer and were forced to sit on your hands so you couldn’t raise your arm anymore? Or, were you terrified when called upon to read aloud to the class?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know why?

Knowing where you stand

Some people have bigger feet than average. But, people with enormous feet don’t try to cram them in smaller shoes for the sake of being normal. They adjust to fit.

By examining your IQ, you can adjust your life and behaviors to fit appropriately. 

Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out for college. Not everyone has what it takes to be a trailblazer, trendsetting or tech billionaire.

And that’s ok.

After assessing your IQ, you’ll have a better idea of where you fit into the societal distribution of intelligence.

Standard bell curve of IQ test
Most people will fall somewhere in the green area

I had a good buddy in high school who struggled immensely in class. However, he is an extremely talented artist and his loyalty knows no bounds.

Luckily, our high school had a reputable vocation program and a guidance counselor who didn’t buy the “college is for everyone” myth. At a young age, my buddy decided to learn a trade that allows him to showcase his natural talent through his work. And he makes more money than most college-educated people I know.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that lies to you and tells you you’re capable of anything your wildest heart desires.

Of course, this is clearly bullshit. 

Most people are more honest than we give ourselves credit for and know where we stand. Testing just confirms the things I’ve already known.

What’s an IQ Test?

An IQ test is a timed test assessing visual, spatial, and verbal reasoning through analogies, patterns, and classification. 

Sample IQ test question
Example of a standard IQ test question

By design, the tests are intended to be neither culturally or linguistically biased. 

Although, if you don’t know the alphabet or basic arithmetic, you’re likely retarded.

Yes, the “R-word” is correct in this context. Don’t worry, if you’re reading this article, that’s not you.

The most accurate tests will be administered by a trained psychologist or Mensa organization.

However, most of us don’t have the time, resources, or interest in undergoing a professional IQ test.

Online IQ Tests

For most of us, online IQ tests probably work just fine. They’re also a fun way to pass the time or get in the occasional brain game to keep your mind sharp.

Try the online Mensa test and see how you do!

Online IQ test scores are not official. But, they should give you a ballpark idea of where you fall. Stephen Hawking shouldn’t expect to make Forrest Gump “stupid is as stupid does” scores, and neither should you.

Forrest Gump wave gif

Again, you already have a decent idea of whether you’re smart or not.

Correlation Between Standardized IQ Tests

Take the SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT or any other standardized testing?

Educational assessments vary in format and look for unique factors. But, they usually have a pretty strong correlation to IQ.

As a kid, I always scored in the 98% or above percentile. Turns out, that falls in line with my IQ test scores of 129-136. 

To get a general idea of your IQ, here’s a quick way to convert your SAT/GRE scores to IQ.

IQ Test Scoring

Once you take a test, you’re then assigned a score based on a normalized IQ distribution. This is a standard bell curve with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. 

IQ test score distribution and standard deviation explained

In a nutshell, if you score between 85-115, you’re in the same range as 68% of the population. Again, the average IQ score is 100, which is typical of your average American.

Average IQ test scores worldwide
Average IQ worldwide

Now that you have an idea of where you land, what do you do with the data?

IQ Test Ranges

Let’s start by taking a look at different IQ ranges and examine the traits and recommended occupations for each category. 

  • Under 70 – Extremely low (2.2% population) – Anything under 70 is literally considered mentally retarded. These people lack the adaptive skills to be self-sufficient and usually cannot survive without assistance or supervision.
  • 70 – 79 – Borderline (6.7% population) – As far as employability, they may be able to bag groceries or collect shopping carts but would likely require supervision. 
  • 80 – 89 – Low (16.1% population) – This is where you’d find your average high school dropout, drug addict, homeless person, welfare rat or criminal. These people are smart enough to be self-sufficient but not enough to build a life, find and maintain a job or earn a livable wage. Anything below this range makes you inadmissible to the armed services. It’s no surprise that this is the sweet spot for crime.  
  • 90 – 109 – Average (50% population) – Most of the population falls in this range. Your average Joe. These people don’t really do anything special or think about anything remotely profound. These are your typical consumers, which is why you’ll notice that TV, music, school subjects and general pop culture is quite stupid as well. 
  • 110 – 119 – High (16.1% population) – A bit above the norm. These people will typically achieve some post-secondary education and have an original thought or two. Usually, they’ll settle into a stable 9-5, middle-class, office-commuting lifestyle and not really desire anything more. 
  • 120 – 129 – Superior (6.7% population) – People in management positions are often found in this range. They have the ability to recognize patterns, seek deeper understanding and articulate original ideas. Although above average, they’re not quite gifted or genius level.
  • <130 – Very superior (2.2% population) – Most US Presidents, Corporate CEOs, academics and scientists fall into this range. These people usually get bored fast since they see solutions to problems much faster than others and can often anticipate what is going to happen before the event occurs. 

These ranges can be broken down even further into sub-categories, but this should give you the basic gist of things.

Professions by IQ

You may also want to get an idea of typical professions by IQ.

Descriptions of IQ test ranges
Descriptions of IQ by range

This can be helpful to set realistic expectations when it comes time to make career decisions.

Fall in the average range? You’re probably going to have an extremely difficult time (if even possible) of becoming a brain surgeon.

To the contrary, someone who is exceptional will have a very painful life working manual labor. 

For me, I already know I’m not smart enough to be a rocket scientist.  However, I’d probably put a pistol in my mouth if I had to work as a widget maker in a widget-making factory.

Luckily, I build websites and write articles for fine folks like you! 

Test Your IQ

For you smart fellers out there, do you recall the torture of sitting through public K-12 classes just wanting to jump up and bounce the fuck on out of there? 

Stewie from Family Guy, hyperactive gif

Hell, even on a day-to-day basis I still can’t go into crowded places without becoming irate at all the overweight, mouth breathers with their faces affixed to their phones, waddling down the middle of primary walkways.

Confirming that you’re not completely crazy for not liking Cardi B by calculating your IQ might provide some comfort.

In fact, becoming aware of this information has made me much more patient with others. 

When I see the cashier fail to understand why I gave her $11 for a $6 ticket, I no longer fly off the handle when she proceeds to hand me back my “extra $1” and explain that I only needed to give her a $10.

So, have you taken an IQ test? What sort of insights did figuring out your score provide to you?

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