I’m sure you’ve heard of an IQ test by now. They’re in lots of magazines, especially women’s magazines. You can find them online too, just by Googling ‘IQ test’. You’ll get this page of questions filling your screen and you’ve got to select your answer online quickly. Then you submit the test and before you can count to ten, you get your results – a two or three digit number. Neat and simple.

But what exactly is an IQ test, anyway? And what’s the number mean? IQ stands for ‘Intelligence Quotient’, meaning how smart you are. It’s supposed to give you an idea of how well you’ll do at a certain profession or how well you’ll perform academically.

The whole idea of this test is to measure the potential of your brains using problems posed to you on paper. It assesses the ability of your brain to figure out solutions to issues presented to you in written form. Your intelligence is gauged in respect to another person. It’s a method used universally to measure human intelligence.

The average IQ score is 100. If you’ve taken a test and you scored 136, this means you’re a lot more intelligent than the average person. Any score less than 100 indicates your intelligence level doesn’t match up to the average John Doe.

Advantages of an IQ Test

#1. Employment. Let’s say you’re hiring someone for a new job. You could get a better understanding of the applicant’s intelligence by conducting an IQ test. The test could be on logical, linguistic and spatial intelligence. These may be more related to the type of work involved. A high score would indicate the candidate is well suited for the position. You could weed out those who don’t make the cut.

#2. College entrance. You could get potential students to sit for an IQ test to gauge their intelligence in addition to their SAT scores. This would be useful if there are too few places on the course to accommodate everyone who wants to study. You could pick the cream of the crop from the high IQ scorers and send rejection slips to those who didn’t make the grade.

Disadvantages of an IQ Test

#1. IQ tests are far from infallible though. Plenty of folks who have taken an IQ test as part of the interview process didn’t do so well at work. They didn’t rise high enough or fast enough up the corporate ladder.

#2. College students who initially showed promising scores on their IQ test ended up not being so hot when they sat their term papers. Studies have found out that a student’s self-discipline is a better gauge of how well they’ll do at college or high school. Many high IQ scorers have been overtaken by so-called ‘weaker’ minds with much lower IQ.

IQ tests can’t measure how well you’ll do as a leader. It doesn’t measure your emotional quotient or EQ – how you’ll get along with other people, including co-workers, superiors and peers. So your IQ score may not be the only defining factor in your overall intelligence.

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