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IQ Tests: 17 Quick Answers You Have To Know (For Beginners!)

Jamey Muller
Updated: March 31, 2022
18 min read

Your IQ can impact different aspects of your life, including school and work. Your score on an IQ test reveals a lot about your memory, language and math abilities, and reasoning.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions on IQ testing. 

Can I take an IQ test online?

Yes, you can take an IQ test online. However, keep in mind that an accurate IQ test needs to be administered by a licensed psychologist. Online IQ tests are usually inaccurate and can be misleading. If you only want to test your IQ for fun, online IQ tests are a good option as most of them are free.

When deciding whether to take an IQ test online or with a licensed psychologist it comes down to the question of why you want to take an IQ test.

Online IQ tests are unreliable for medical diagnosis. If you need to take an IQ test for medical reasons it’s best to visit a professional.

The results of an IQ test may also mean differently for diverse individuals in various contexts. In this case, the expertise of a professional is needed to help make sense of the outcome.

However, if you only want to take an IQ test out of interest, online IQ tests are a good option. They can give you a rough idea of where you fall on the score scale.

Unfortunately, most online IQ tests are not what they claim to be. People use them as a ploy to obtain web traffic. They are also almost always strewn with advertisements on the web page. 

Before taking the test online, research the web to see if that IQ test is trusted.

Where can I take a free IQ test online?

You can find a bunch of free IQ tests online. Just like properly supervised IQ tests, they indicate your general cognitive abilities. Be warned, however, that the results you will get from online sites may not be valid. It is better to take one with institutions licensed to offer IQ testing.

One online test you may want to consider is the Mensa IQ Challenge. 

The exam consists of 35 problems of visual patterns that you must accomplish within 25 minutes. All test items do not require specialized knowledge or skills and are arranged from easy to progressively tricky.

Free-IQTest.net is another popular online site for free IQ tests. Before taking the exam, you will need to provide your birth date. There are only 20 questions to answer before getting your result.

Like the Free-IQTest, Brain Metrix offers a free IQ exam using a 20-question quiz. For your score to be accurate, you should finish the test within 15 minutes.

Invented by the McGill University Research Student Team, IQ Exam is tagged as one of the most precise tests you can take online. You will even receive a certificate of your performance once you complete the exam.

If you are looking for a free personality test, you can take the See My Personality exam. 

Other sites that offer free IQ online tests are Fun Education, Memorado, IQ Test Prep, and Genius Tests. 

Both Fun Education and Memorado use a combination of verbal and spatial IQ items, while the IQ Test Prep and Genius Tests offer different exams types, including short and long ones. 

Are online IQ tests accurate?

There is no such thing as an accurate online IQ test. You need a trained psychologist that will walk you through the entire process and interpret the results for you. Your responses need to be evaluated to get an accurate IQ score. This is something that a mere computer cannot do.

Not anyone can develop and validate an accurate IQ test. The valid ones, like Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Scales, had questions tested and changed to ensure that they indeed measure intelligence. 

The entire process usually takes time and money. Thousands of people were utilized and tested on multiple test forms to generate the same results each and every time.

Considering these, no institution will voluntarily offer an IQ test for free. If there is, there must be a catch so be careful. 

You may be providing sensitive personal information to unscrupulous individuals.

There is also the matter of cheating. Without a proctor to supervise the exam online, there is no guarantee that a test-taker will not resort to scheming and dishonesty. 

The time limit assigned to answer an IQ exam is also essential. 

Psychologists take note of the period you dedicate to answering the questions as this can affect your overall performance. 

With online exams, you can get copies of the questions, do research and get the correct answers prior to taking the test. 

This defeats the purpose of measuring your ability to process information and invalidates the IQ test you took. 

Free online IQ tests can be helpful as exercise materials or when preparing for an assessment, but you should not expect to get an accurate IQ score.

Where can I take a real IQ test?

Legitimate IQ tests must be administered in a controlled environment, generally one-on-one with a trained psychologist. This must occur in an approved testing center for the result to be valid and uncompromised. In testing centers, you can focus on the exam and get a reliable score.

With real IQ tests, you generally have to pay for your proctor’s time and the materials needed to conduct the exam. This may be taxing, but the cost is worth investing since you are sure the results are authentic. 

Accomplishing all the subtests in an IQ test can take a while, so be prepared for the long wait. On your testing day, you will likely be given several breaks in between.

The psychologist will evaluate your responses and combine your scores in the subtests to get your overall grade. This is your IQ score.

In comparison, online IQ tests can take you anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. With such exams, you only get to take sample tests that roughly measure your IQ. 

The tests are just for fun and do not guarantee accurate results. Only a few established platforms can help you in this regard. Mensa is one. 

How much is a real IQ test?

A real IQ test can cost between $20 to $200. The payment will cover the psychologist’s fee and the materials you will need in the exam. The fee also depends on the kind of test you require. During the consultation, you will be asked what the exam is for and why you are taking them.

Some of the common reasons are for job candidate evaluation or educational assessment and placement. Employers often test potential candidates for a position by asking them to take an IQ test. 

In schools, IQ tests may be administered to determine students who are to be placed in special education programs. Private schools also use these tests for admittance purposes.

These cases may entail different kinds of IQ tests. 

Depending on your purpose for taking, intelligence test fees for in-person exams vary widely.

Are IQ tests accurate?

Yes. IQ tests are generally regarded to be accurate in measuring intelligence. Psychometricians consider them highly reliable because they produce similar scores upon repetition. However, like any statistical assessment, IQ tests have a standard of error. 

You may have different scores when taking the same exam on separate occasions or varying scores when taking other tests at the same age. 

Many factors can affect your test results. 

Outside influences like high anxiety and lack of motivation can sometimes lower your IQ test score. 

Over time, your IQ can change due to your environment, educational access and background, culture, nutrition, and overall health and mental conditions. 

These can result in discrepancies in your IQ score. 

IQ tests cannot also gauge all possible cultural representations of intelligence. Other cultures may value different mental abilities, not just problem-solving.

For these reasons, some psychologists are on the fence regarding IQ tests’ validity. 

While IQ indeed measures some forms of intelligence, like academic work, they fail to assess intelligence in a broader sense. 

This includes creativity and social intelligence. 

Are IQ tests standardized?

Certainly. IQ tests like the Stanford-Binet Test and the Wechsler Scales, both for adults and children, are all standardized tests designed to measure intelligence. They are scored consistently depending on a set of standards and are always administered the same way.

With standardized tests like IQ tests, your performance will be evaluated either against a specific criterion or against other people’s performance. 

Scientists who developed IQ exams use the standardization process to assess and interpret test scores adequately. This entails administering the test to a sample of the entire population that will eventually take the exam. 

The initial selection must represent the total population as accurately as possible. This allows test developers to set up norms or standards by which individual scores can be equated.

While the various IQ test models are standardized, it is important to note that each test is different, and the scoring methods used may not be the same from one exam to another. 

The Stanford-Binet Test, for example, aims to gauge general intelligence or “g-factor.” The Wechsler Scales, on the other hand, consider more than just one factor in measuring intelligence. 

These non-intellective elements could be your fear of failure or lack of confidence. 

One criticism against standardized exams like IQ tests is that they cannot adequately account for culture and gender differences. 

They are erroneously used as predictive measures for social outcomes. 

Are IQ tests biased?

Somehow. One controversy surrounding IQ tests is that they are biased towards certain groups of people. This stems from the perception that tests only measure one type of intelligence. Critics debate that intelligence exams assess only the areas underscored in the western abstract of intelligence.

Because of this, they neglect to evaluate factors such as creativity and emotional intelligence. 

Some studies claim that IQ exams may contain cultural influences that impact their validity. 

This cultural prejudice is purportedly evident in IQ tests taken by white and black Americans, where the exam validity is skewed towards the white race. 

The same perturbing verdict is observed in South Africa, where students are more inclined to do well on hands-on activities rather than pen and paper tests. 

The latter medium may be inherently biased towards the Western culture. Because of this, there is a call to allow IQ test-takers to use a medium that they are more accustomed to. 

Intelligence tests are also perceived to be biased in favor of neurotypical individuals. 

For instance, the Stanford-Binet test has been identified as inappropriate for measuring children’s intelligence with autism. 

IQ tests measuring only a specific part of intelligence may portray these kids as cognitively deficient. 

This may result in incorrect assertions that most autistic children are mentally retarded. 

By taking the faulty IQ test, individuals may be diagnosed with disorders like autism when in actuality, they are just thinking differently from what is considered normal by many. 

IQ testing is often criticized to disvalue cognitive diversity by trying to fit the concept of intelligence into a box.

This is worrying, as individuals with diverse perspectives may be labeled with low intelligence because they do not fit the norm.

What are the flaws of an IQ test?

IQ tests are fundamentally flawed on the premise that intelligence cannot be measured by exams alone. They do not consider the complex nature of human intelligence and its components. This is why, unless a more comprehensive IQ test is created, it should never be the sole basis for gauging intelligence.

There are three distinct mental traits that comprise human cognition – reasoning, short-term memory, and verbal ability. 

While these abilities interact, they are operated by three separate nerve circuits in the brain. 

The different circuits each have their own unique capacity, contributing to intelligence. This is why you may be good in a particular area and bad in others. 

The idea, then, that IQ tests can gauge all of these aspects is a fallacy. 

A single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, should not be enough to capture the difference in cognition perceived in people. 

This argument also questions the rationality of studies that establish links between intellect, gender, and social class. 

The claims that some people are intrinsically more intelligent than others are debatable. 

There is no single measure of IQ because the human brain is multifaceted. It is impossible to sum up all your brain functions by answering several questions. 

IQ tests are also flawed as they only determine how good you are at accomplishing exams – nothing else. 

They disregard inherent intelligence and are geared toward proving the widespread belief that a particular population is more intelligent than others. 

Can you study for an IQ test?

Definitely. Being prepared when taking an intelligence test is essential as this allows you to attain your maximum potential, revealing your truest IQ. It has been proven that you will score better during assessment when confronted with an exam and have done a similar test beforehand. 

IQ tests are designed to gauge your natural and acquired intelligence at a particular time. Since they are not meant to assess skill set mastery, studying for them can be complicated and impractical. 

That being said, you can still follow certain practices to improve your IQ score. 

If you are better prepared, you will not be as nervous and can complete items faster since you are already familiar with the question types. 

Many factors can affect your performance, such as anxiety. By answering as many practice tests as you can, you may lessen these elements.

Practice IQ tests also offer the same question types and present concepts in a similar manner as a real IQ test. 

By breaking down questions into their fundamental parts, you will be able to ingest and retain information better. 

Taking many practice exams also allows you to identify components that you find challenging to answer. 

By practicing those elements more than the others, you will learn to solve problems and understand the actual reasoning behind the solutions. 

To a certain degree, a person’s IQ is a given, and practicing will not suddenly yield higher scores, but this should not deter you from doing your best.

How can I do well in an IQ test?

The secret of doing well in IQ tests is preparation. While there will come a point that your performance is as good as it gets, you sell yourself short if you do not practice. Others with similar or even lower intelligence than you may score better just because they prepared and you did not. 

One way to excel is by familiarizing yourself with the standard test types in IQ tests. These are numerical reasoning, analogies, and syllogisms. 

If you train yourself in these types of tests, discovering the logic behind number series will be quicker, the same with finding the relationship with words and drawing valid conclusions based on given statements. 

In IQ tests, multiple-choice formats are a favorite. Learning tried-and-proven strategies in answering this test format helps you do well in the exam. 

One technique is to read each question carefully. 

Know precisely what is being asked of you by highlighting keywords to help bolster them in your mind. Then, review all the options before settling on your best and final answer. 

To narrow down the choices, eliminate those that are irrelevant answers. 

You must also try to avoid overanalyzing the questions. Take them at face value. 

This prevents the risk of misinterpreting the question, reducing your chances of getting the right choice. It also saves you time. 

Most IQ tests have a stipulated time limit, so dwelling too much on one question is a mistake.

If you encounter a tricky question, put an asterisk beside the number and move on. Return to it later if you still have time. 

Finally, go with your guts. Most of the time, your first choice is correct. 

Can IQ tests measure intelligence?

Yes. While the first IQ test in 1905 by Alfred Binet was not designed to measure intelligence, psychologists have since developed exams that can accurately gauge a person’s cognition. Today, IQ tests are considered a valid basis for measuring general intelligence. 

Intelligence tests measure various skills, including verbal comprehension, working memory, and fluid reasoning. 

However, there are criticisms on whether such exams are fully equipped to yield meaningful scores for these distinct abilities. 

The IQ tests that you know are interpreted to evaluate only your overall general intelligence. 

IQ scores can also change depending on context. Your results can be susceptible to aspects such as motivation and coaching. 

If you exert less effort, then you will likely score low. If you fail to use strategies that others do, you will not achieve as highly as them. 

Others point out that all measures are biased since there are questions included in IQ tests where one ethnic group is expected to perform worse. 

Intelligence exams are assumed to be culturally biased against minoritized students. 

The fact that there are scores along racial lines proves that there is something wrong with the tests, not with the test-takers. 

Some experts also agree that while IQ tests fulfill what they have been constructed to do, there is caution on the proper interpretation of results. 

The field of psychology has no safeguards in place, so inappropriate interpretive practices are rampant. 

While there is an ethical code, it has not stopped others from performing misplaced conclusions of test results. 

While improvements are needed, IQ tests can still be a valuable tool in the overall assessment of the whole person. 

As long as they are interpreted correctly, these exams have meaning and are valid measures of intelligence.

Can IQ test scores change?

Certainly. IQ scores can change over time. You have an IQ at a particular time in your life, but this may fluctuate as you age. Unsurprisingly, the most unpredictable IQ scores are during childhood. The older you get, the more stable your scores will be. There is no such thing as an absolute IQ.

Average IQ scores change over time, and there is plenty of evidence documenting this phenomenon. 

These changes are supported by structural and functional brain imaging of individuals given the same IQ tests at different intervals. 

In instances where the verbal IQ goes up, the verbal areas of the brain have been revealed to change and mature.

Changes in IQ can be correlated with schooling. Education can increase IQ in many different ways. 

Studies reveal that working memory training can increase a student’s IQ. 

In general, life experiences can also affect both the brain and the IQ. As you grow older, you learn specific skills that improve performance in intelligence exams. 

A curious age in the IQ age spectrum is the teenage years. Evidence points out that this age group experiences the most changes in IQ scores, from decline to increase. 

Adolescent students’ scores in both verbal and non-verbal segments are said to be closely related to the developmental changes happening in their brain structure. 

The increase or decrease in IQ is consistent with the structural changes in the brain. 

If, during this time, teenagers are subjected to abuse, poor education, and social stress, the implications are worrying. 

On the other hand, a healthy environment and rich educational experience are advantageous to the brain and mental ability. 

Do IQ tests have a time limit?

Yes. Most IQ tests administered have a time limit. This allows for comparisons against assumed baselines while discouraging manipulations of test answers. There is a reason why online IQ tests are suspect. Without a time limit, there is no telling about the validity of your IQ scores. 

The average testing time for intelligence exams is about 60 minutes. It can take you 120 minutes to finish a full-scale IQ exam with 10 subtests. 

There are several reasons for the time limit. 

Some test items are designed to measure your reaction time, clerical speed, and executive functions. 

With subtests that require accuracy and speed, the goal is to see how many items you can complete correctly. 

Many of these items can be accomplished within a few seconds, 20 to 30 each to be exact. Other subtests are not timed, as are the non-verbal items. 

Usually, though, the time to complete the entire IQ exam should not matter, as long as you accomplish it in one go and without long breaks in between. 

You may also be given leeway, especially when answering complex segments, like the abstract pattern portion.

Observably, the period assigned for you to accomplish the IQ test depends not only on the test itself but also on the one administering the test.

There is no way they will devote a whole day waiting for you to finish everything. 

Do IQ tests involve math?

To a certain degree. While IQ tests do not contain math, they do include arithmetic. This entails simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in the forms of memory and/or puzzles. Sophisticated math concepts are not integrated for the benefit of test-takers without formal education.

Understanding and using numerals is critical in your academic success, so it is only proper to include them on IQ tests.

Test developers often utilize questions about time and money since most people have been exposed to these concepts.

Since the math included in intelligence exams are basics, you can get a high mark in the numerical part without necessarily being good at math. 

You do not need a solid background in geometry or integration, so long as you recognize number patterns. 

IQ tests will test your logic and math ability. It assesses how you rationally perceive numerical patterns and apply them to new contests. 

You are expected to complete numerical computations and solve geometrical and logic word problems. 

There is no need to memorize formulas and complicated procedures. 

At what age should you take an IQ test?

The best time to test IQ in children is between ages five and eight. While you can test a child as early as two years, the results may not be accurate. IQ has been proven to change with age, so doing too early testing is a waste of time. For children to be tested, they must be able to talk. 

Even if they have the advanced verbal ability, intelligence tests are not designed to evaluate children this young. 

In theory, children aged two or three who can talk verbally can be tested for giftedness. The test results, however, are generally unstable. 

Their scores at age two may be different from the ones they get at an older age. If you have to test for giftedness, the optimum time is between five and eight. 

This is an ideal period as the test results may influence the child’s placement in school and curriculum. 

With the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), one of the principal tests for intelligence for young children, researchers concur that the perfect time for testing is from six years and up. 

This age bracket can extend up to 12 years. Beyond this, children are likely to encounter test ceiling effects. 

Meanwhile, some experts argue that any IQ test given at a young age can yield accurate results if it is designed for that specific age group.

There are intelligence exams meant to test very young children, after all.

If administered well, they can give a reasonably significant score relative to the child’s peers. 

Individual test scores can also vary depending on a child’s developmental age compared to the comparison group and test type used. 

For adults, this is not a problem since all the development processes are already over during this time. 

They can take any IQ test depending on their preferred schedule.

Should you do an IQ test with your children?

You may. IQ testing for school-age children has several benefits. This allows parents, teachers, and counselors to pinpoint a child’s strengths and weaknesses while meeting their educational needs. Intelligence tests also allow for the recognition of gifted students. 

Putting gifted kids in separate classes or programs is imperative as it allows for in-depth exploration of subjects compared to the mainstream classroom. 

If this is not done, there is the risk of the child regressing academically or getting bored at school. 

In the same way, an IQ test can help teachers identify kids that need modifications to understand content and discussions in school. 

If a child has a lower IQ, it may explain why he struggles in class. 

Knowing his standing will let the teacher change the curriculum and learning goals to help the child progress. 

That being said, IQ testing for very young kids may be futile. It has been proven that scores at that age bracket are unstable. 

The odds of having identical scores when a child takes the same exam at different ages is very low. 

The confusion may even lead to parents compromising their ability to make appropriate choices for their kids later on. 

If you want to test your child’s IQ, consider your motives. IQ testing should be done to serve your child, for whatever sensible reason. 

If there are causes for concern or your child is not meeting developmental milestones, let take the exam but have it handled by professionals. 

Written by
Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.
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Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.