IQ Test How It Works and Why It's Used
The IQ test is the common name for Intelligence Quotient. An IQ
test is a way to measure the relative intelligence of a person,
but the answers derived from an IQ test aren't based on the
amount of knowledge a person has. To fully understand how an IQ
test works and why it's useful, take a look at some facts (and
myths) about IQ tests and testing methods.
An IQ test is not like a test that a student would take at the
end of a particular class at school. If that were the case, the
test would be fairly useless as a method of determining overall
intelligence. At the end of a class, students have studied for
those particular questions. Those who take an IQ test aren't
given a time to prepare for the test. Besides, that would merely
be a test of a person's ability to prepare for a test.
The idea behind IQ testing was to find a way to assign a number
to a person's intelligence. The IQ tests used to do this are a
series of generic questions designed to test general
understanding, comprehension and abilities as opposed to
specific knowledge. To that end, questions such as "What year
was the United States Constitution ratified" would not be part
of an IQ test. That question tests a specific piece of
information and it's quite possible that even an intelligent
person wouldn't know the answer.
Instead, IQ tests require that the subject answer questions and
perform simple tasks that anyone of their particular age level
should be able to successfully complete.
There are many purposes for IQ testing. Children are often
tested to help determine placement in particular classes.
Deciding whether a child is in need of special education
opportunities can be determined by using IQ tests.
Developmentally delayed youngsters and adults can be monitored
and placed based on IQ test results.
The results of an IQ test can be a signal of how adults will
function in particular positions and situations. Employers
sometimes use IQ test results to aid them in placement.
The use of IQ tests came under fire in recent years when
opponents of this scale claimed that results were skewed for
some subjects. Race, ethnicity and environment made some
candidates score poorly on the test, despite their obvious
intelligence, opponents said. There have been some efforts to
correct those issues, but the fact is there's no way to make a
test that will be applicable for every subject.