IQ testing

Definition

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

Information

Many IQ tests are used today. Whether they measure actual intelligence or simply certain abilities is 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 more widely used tests include:

Functioning abilities that are measured by these tests include language, mathematical, analytical, spatial (for example, reading a map), among others. Each test has its own scoring system.

In general, IQ tests are only one way to measure how well a person functions. Other factors, such as genetics and environment, should be considered.


Review Date: 10/11/2018
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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