Of the different methods that purport to measure intelligence, the most famous is the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test, which is a standardized test designed to measure human intelligence as distinct from attainments.
Intelligence quotient is an age-related measure of intelligence level. The word quotient means the result of dividing one quantity by another, and one definition of intelligence is mental ability or quickness of mind.
Usually, IQ tests consist of a graded series of tasks, each of which has been stan- dardized with a large representative population of individuals in order to establish an average IQ of 100 for each test.
It is generally accepted that a person's mental ability develops at a constant rate until about the age of 13, after which development has been shown to slow down, and beyond the age of 18 little or no improvement is found.
When the IQ of a child is measured, the subject attempts an IQ test that has been standardized, with an average score recorded for each age group. Thus a 10-year- old child who scored the result that would be expected of a 12-year-old would have anIQof 120, or 12/10 x 100:
mental age (12) x 100 = 120 IQ chronological age (10)
Because after the age of 18 little or no improvement is found, adults have to be judged on an IQ test whose average score is 100, and the results graded above and below this norm according to known test scores.
Like so many distributions found in nature, the distribution of IQ takes the form of a fairly regular bell curve (see Figure 0.1 below) in which the average score is 100 and similar proportions occur both above and below this norm.
There are a number of different types of intelligence tests, for example Cattell, Stanford-Binet and Wechsler, and each has its own different scales of intelligence.
The Stanford-Binet is heavily weighted with questions involving verbal abilities and is widely used in the United States. The Weschler scales consist of two separate verbal and performance sub-scales each with its own IQ rating. On the Stanford- Binet scale half the population fall between 90 and 110 IQ, half of them above 100 and half of them below; 25 per cent score above 110; 11 per cent above 120; 3 per cent above 130 and 0.6 per cent above 140. At the other end of the scale the same kind of proportion occurs.
Although it is IQ tests that we are specifically concerned with in this book it should be pointed out that IQ tests are just one part of what is generally referred to as psychometric testing. Such test content may be addressed to almost any aspect of our intellectual or emotional make-up, including personality, attitude, intelligence or emotion. Psychometric tests are basically tools used for measuring the mind; the word metric means measure and the word psycho means mind. There are two types of psychometric tests that are usually used in tandem by employers. These are aptitude tests, which assess your abilities, and personality questionnaires, which assess your character and personality.
Aptitude tests are also known as cognitive, ability or intelligence (IQ) tests. Such tests are designed to test your ability to comprehend quickly under strictly timed conditions. Cognition may be broadly defined as knowing, perceiving and thinking and it is studied by psychologists because it reveals the extent of a person's ability to think.
There are many different types of tests. However, a typical test might consist of three sections each testing a different ability, usually comprising verbal reasoning, numerical ability and diagrammatic, or spatial, reasoning. In order to give you the opportunity to practise all types of questions that you are likely to encounter in actual IQ tests, the tests that have been compiled for this book are multi-discipline and include a mix of verbal, numerical and diagrammatic questions, as well as addi- tional questions involving logical thought processes as well as a degree of lateral thinking.
In the past 25 years psychometric testing has been brought into widespread use in industry because of the need for employers to ensure they place the right people in the right job at the outset. One of the main reasons for this is the high cost of errors in today's world of tight budgets and reduced profit margins. To recruit a new member of staff an employer has to advertise, consider each application, reduce the applicants to a shortlist, interview and then train the successful applicant. If the wrong hiring choice has been made, then the whole expensive process has to be repeated.
It is important that such tests are evaluated in tandem with each other. If a person scores well on an aptitude test it does not necessarily mean that they will be suited to the job: whilst you may be good at doing something, you may dislike it intensely and success in most tasks is heavily dependent on your personal qualities and your attitude.
Although it is generally accepted that a person's IQ remains constant throughout life and therefore it is not possible to increase your actual IQ, it is possible to improve your performance on IQ tests by practising the many different types of question and learning to recognize the recurring themes.
Besides their uses in improving one's performance on IQ tests, practice on the type of questions contained in this book has the added advantage of exercising the brain. Our brains need exercise and care in the same way as other parts of the body. We eat the right foods to keep our heart healthy, we moisturise our skin to keep it from drying out and, just as gymnasts strive to increase their performance at whatever level they are competing by means of punishing training schedules and refinement of technique, there are exercises, or mental gymnastics, we can do to increase the performance of our brains and enhance quickness of thought.
Many people still have the outdated belief that there is little they can do to improve the brain they are born with and that brain cells continually degenerate with age: but, in fact, our brain cells continually develop new and stronger connec- tions and adult brains can grow new cells irrespective of age.
The main thing is to use your brain continually. For example, the more we practise at tests of verbal aptitude the more we increase our ability to understand the meaning of words and use them effectively; the more we practise at maths the more confident we become when working with numbers, the better our ability to perform arithmetic operations accurately, and the quicker we become at performing these operations; and the more we practise our ability to move our fingers and manipulate small objects the more dextrous we become at operations involving this type of aptitude, and the quicker we become at performing them accurately.
The tests that follow have been compiled for this book and are not, therefore, stan- dardized, so an actual IQ assessment cannot be given. However, a guide to assessing your performance for each test is provided below as well as a cumulative guide for your overall performance on all 25 tests.
A time limit of 90 minutes is allowed for each test. The correct answers are given at the end of the book, and you should award yourself one point for each completely correct answer. Calculators may be used to assist with solving numerical questions if preferred.
This page was last updated September 9th, 2019 by Kim
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