It's quite common to wonder how you measure up against other people. It's easy to see who is better dressed or more attractive or more successful just by meeting them at a party, but how can you tell whether you're smarter than the home builder who built your new deck? One method of measuring and comparing intelligence is via IQ scores. If you're wondering how to determine yours and how to interpret the score you already have, this article should be able to help.

IQ stands for "intelligence quotient" and it is a number between zero and 200 used to represent a person's intelligence. There are many different IQ tests, but most stick to the same types of logic and reasoning problems and judge the results in such a way as to be able to divide people into intelligence groups based on a standard deviation of 15 points. The higher your IQ score, the more likely it is that you will succeed academically, though this is not necessarily an indicator that you will succeed.

Questions on an IQ test have to have easily quantifiable answers so that there is no ambiguity in the results, which are usually calculated by a machine. Questions focus on verbal understanding, math, special perception, logic, and pattern recognition, with some questions seeming to resemble paintings that must be folded up in your head. It is possible to excel at one part of the IQ test and do poorly in others. Likewise it is possible to score better if you are better educated in math and English.

According to the Terman classification, 84-100 is the range for average intelligence. Scores of 68-84 are said to represent a dull intellect while 52-68 is a borderline deficiency and anything under 52 is deficient. If you score 101-113 in this classification you are above average, and if you win a car you can't feel better than if you score above 114, because that is considered genius or near genius. The alternative system, the Wechsler System, is used to score tests for children. Scoring higher than 98% of the population qualifies you for membership in MENSA.

Since the IQ test focuses on cold logic and reasoning, many people agree that it is not an accurate representation of the full cognitive ability of a person. Emotional intelligence, for instance - the type of instinct that allows you to relate to others successfully - is not taken into account in the IQ test. Likewise, it cannot be used to measure the intelligent of dyslexics and motivation to do well in test taking is also a factor in the results.

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