We live in a society where people see intelligence as a way to measure a person’s value and is considered to be one of the fundamentals for their intellectual capacity. Smart people get into the best colleges, get the best job, receive the highest salaries, are leaders in schools, these are the kind of examples that probably describe the term intelligence among people.
So if you are the smartest of a designated group, it is quite normal that people follow you, or some are advised to follow your footsteps as a lot of doors might open for you. Being smart is considered a crucial component in the success of a person, but…
How is intelligence defined?
At the individual level, most people who are not familiar with the term ‘IQ’ define intelligence in their own terms. Human understanding of intelligence is just limited to traditional thinking and performance in academics rather than seeing and measuring in terms of IQ tests for kids and adults. There will be always a considerable diversity in definitions of intelligence as well as a considerable overlap. For instance, when you ask an engineer they would describe it in ways of being a good engineer. Similarly, artists define it in ways that describe a great artist.
How then, can intelligence be measured? And do IQ tests for kids function as valid measures of intelligence? And when we measure intelligence through an IQ test for kids, does it really capture what we are trying to measure- Intelligence? If the scores are high, does it mean that he or she will go on to do great things- like Albert Einstein? Maybe.
Let’s explore more about IQ tests and how these were developed before coming to a conclusion.
What is an IQ test?
IQ, short for intelligence quotient, is one of the fundamental tools to measure the intellectual capability of kids through a test or assessment. These also provide an educated guess on how an individual will perform in their academics. While you may be familiar with the term ‘IQ’ and already have associated with intelligence, what is it really? IQ test for kids or adults describes a score earned on a test that is designed to measure intelligence- which has been a subject of debate since they are developed.
Imagine you have a ten-year-old child, who has trouble in school, learning how to spell all those English and French words, and how to read words. But have you ever thought about why they struggle? Is it because they are low in intelligence? Or simply because of the environment or the reason that you are not able to provide the same resources as a wealthy family? Maybe they have the capabilities, but the main problem is the lack of books.
To put it simply, your child might be struggling but don’t think the reason is due to a lack of intelligence. It is very important to understand the distinction between things.
Some children will do badly in academics because they simply are not intelligent so there is not much to improve their grades. On the other hand, other children have plenty of learning ability and potential to do well, but they struggle merely because of the situations.
This distinction is what paved the idea of intelligence quotient or IQ for short. The purpose of an IQ test for kids is not to enrich the educational offerings but to filter them. The IQ scores indicate the inherent ability of a person to learn instead of the knowledge they are already equipped with, everyone will have an individual intelligence quotient. If your child scores high, it means that they have the intelligence required to do well in school because they have the ability or potential to succeed.
What do these tests measure anyway?
You might have the idea about how intelligence is defined- the capacity to solve problems and understand concepts and the potential to resolve the situations included on the test. Several tests evaluate different types of intelligence that combine with IQ to measure- memory, reasoning, attention, planning as well as the information on the test taker’s background.
You can try Brain games to check how fast you respond to question or puzzles:
Tests are also built to assess a single skill or help teachers figure out which student would do well in fast-paced educational programs and which would benefit from such extra help. Many colleges, universities, and organizations also use IQ tests to shortlist people. It has all the right components to measure and predict which people would make good leaders and if a student can navigate standardized learning or has the skills to think outside the box.
IQ tests for kids
There are various IQ tests for kids out there, that said, you should not trust the kind of 5-minute test that might pop up in your Facebook feed. A comprehensive test at least takes over an hour and is ideally administered by professionals.
Currently, most tests provide a general indication of someone’s ability and tend to measure both verbal and performance IQ. For vocabulary and arithmetic, there is a section of verbal IQ which can be measured through both comprehensions and working on memory skills. Matrix completion and symbol coding are included in performance IQ which is measured through perception and processing skills.
All in all, IQ tests for kids are designed to assess precisely those cognitive skills that constitute intelligence, so these might contain a series of subtests that cover reasoning, vocabulary, mental processing speed, spatial ability, and more, therefore covering a wide range of different types of intelligence.
Below are some general examples and the type of questions that you might come across in an IQ test:
1. Logical puzzles and questions include the ability to reason
2. Pattern driven questions, brain games contain spatial and mathematical questions
3. Analogies contain mathematical and verbal questions
5. Visual based puzzle games
While these are some general areas that IQ tests cover, it would be interesting to see some of the specific questions. Here are some of the examples:
1. Knowledge-based questions test what a person knows about the basic things happening around the globe or simple questions. For instance, they might ask a question like- whether people know why it is important to wash hands before they eat.
2. There might be reasoning questions, which may ask test-takers to figure out what would come next in the pattern. For instance, which number would come next in the pattern? 40, 46, 52, 58,…
3. There might be harder questions as well, which will test the thinking skills like, What is the difference between weather and climate?
4. And questions like the odd one out or synonyms and antonyms. For instance, which one is the odd one out? Congregation, dispersion, compilation, convocation, aggregation
Many tests are used depending on a specific situation, an IQ test is just one way to measure someone’s intelligence. To know the full story about someone’s potential, there are additional tests and observations.
Rather, IQ tests favour people who can think on the spot, but it is important not to rely on them as the sole measure of intelligence. What we need in these tests is that they assess the diverse ways in which people approach knowledge and problem-solving and how these can be taught. To take an obvious example, knowledge of basic mathematics enables a person to perform the questions that will be otherwise impossible.