School newspaper of Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa

What does an IQ really mean?

April 19, 2017

Many people have heard of the famous IQ test but few really know what it tests and how it measures intelligence. The letters ‘IQ’ actually stand for a person’s intelligence quotient and uses many different factors of measurement. It involves calculating both the visual and performance components of a person’s intelligence.

 

Senior Hannah Menendez says, “I know that an IQ test measures how smart a person naturally is but I’ve never known what IQ really stands for because I have never had mine tested.”

 

The IQ test is a theoretical test constructed by physiologists to describe a subset of human functioning they believe to be subjectively important in modern society. They are very culturally specific and may be invalid when used in other cultures because they are tailored specifically to the knowledge a person has been open to.

An average IQ score is 100 and about 95% of the population’s scores fall between 70 and 130. When a person’s IQ passes 130, they are considered to be genius.

 

Junior Haley Palumbo says, “When I was in fifth grade my brother and I both got our IQs tested. It turned out that my brother has a higher IQ than I do which didn’t make me happy.”

 

When an IQ test is scored, three primary sources are obtained – verbal IQ, performance IQ, and the full scale IQ. Most people end up performing better in one component over the other one in IQ testing but the full scale score is normally what people refer to when they state their ‘IQ score.’

 

The two sections of the IQ test are divided into sub-scales, each measuring a different component of a person’s IQ. Here is the breakdown of the test:

Verbal

Information: 29 questions on general knowledge

Digit Span: questions on repeating digits initially forwards than backwards

Vocabulary: define 35 words

Arithmetic: 14 mental arithmetic problems

Comprehension: 16 questions focusing on social awareness

Similarities: questions about finding similar items in group

 

Performance

Picture Completion: 20 small pictures with one detail missing

Picture Arrangement: ten sets of small pictures to be arranged in logical sequence

Block Design: putting sets of blocks together to match patterns

Digit Symbol: involved copying a coding pattern

Object Assembly: four small jig-saw type puzzles

 

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