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IQ testing

Definition

IQ (intelligence quotient) testing is a series of exams used to determine your general intelligence in relation to other people the same age.

Alternative Names

Intelligence testing

Information

Many IQ tests are used today, and whether they measure actual intelligence or simply certain abilities continues to be controversial. IQ tests measure a specific functioning ability and may not accurately assess a person's talents or future potential. Results of any intelligence test may be culturally biased.

The Wechsler test and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SC) are the most standardized and widely used exams. Average test results range from 90 - 110:

  • A score below 70 indicates mental retardation.
  • A person who scores 130 or higher is usually considered gifted, although different programs set different levels for this classification.
  • A person with a score of 145-160 is usually classified as highly advanced or very gifted.
  • A person with a score of 165 or higher is usually classified a genius.

References

Stebbins GT. Neuropsychological Testing. In: Goetz, CG. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007: chap 27.


Review Date: 11/12/2010
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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