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IQ tests

1947 photograph of Albert Einstein.

The term IQ (short for Intelligence Quotient) was coined in 1912 by the German psychologist William Stern. IQ referred to his scoring method for intelligence tests at University of Wrocław.

Contrary to what many believe, however, an IQ score doesn’t actually measure intelligence. Instead, an IQ test measures reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

How are IQ tests scored?

According to Wikipedia, “IQ tests are standardized to a median score of 100 and a deviation of 15. This means the most common score is 100 and 2/3rds of test takers score between 85 and 115. If your score is above 130 you’re in the top 2.1% percentile.”

And then, there are the super scores.

For example, there’s Stephen Hawking (160), Albert Einstein (160-190), Judit Polgar (170), Leonardo da Vinci (180-190), and Marilyn Vos Savant (190), to name just a few.

There are even several organizations that celebrate the highest scorers, many of whom are not quite as instantly recognizable as Einstein, but every bit as amazing:

  • Mensa International –110,000 members from the Top 2% of population (98th percentile; 1 person out of 50; approximately IQ 130)
  • The International High IQ Society – Membership is open to those who possess an IQ in the top five percent of the population (124 IQ using a 15 standard deviation)
  • Intertel –1,300-1,400 members; Top 1 percent (99th percentile; 1 out of 100; approximately IQ 135)
  • Triple Nine Society –1,700 members from 50 countries; Top 0.1 percent (99.9th percentile; 1 out of 1,000; approximately IQ 146)
  • Prometheus Society –120 members from the Top 0.003 percent (99.997th percentile; 1 out of 30,000; approximately IQ 160) (not reliable with current tests)
  • Mega Society –26 members from the Top 0.0001 percent (99.9999th percentile; 1 out of 1,000,000; approximately IQ 172)

How IQ can change over time and The Flynn Effect

Many factors can negatively affect an IQ score over time. A few include poverty, nutrition, stress, and even how familiar you are with standardized tests.

Scores can also rise, depending on conditions. Research has shown that children from lower socioeconomic levels who are adopted into a middle-class families often increase their IQ scores by as much as 15 to 20 points!

There’s also a little known secret called The Flynn Effect.

Since IQ tests were first standardized, researchers have seen substantial increases in IQ scores. With each passing generation scores rise, so an average 5th grader today would score higher on the same test than a 5th grader from 1954.

This is known as The Flynn Effect (named after the moral philosopher James Flynn). Although we are not necessarily “smarter” today, our abilities to think logically, solve problems and use our abilities in hypothetical situations have improved.

Giftedness and when to have a child’s IQ tested

An IQ test is often part of the testing process for giftedness programs. According to the prestigious Davidson Institute for Talent Development, this is an integral part of “a comprehensive assessment of the child’s abilities… developing an understanding of a child’s relative strengths and weaknesses.”

Throughout Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics offers a full range of psycho-educational evaluations (including IQ tests) for children (and adults) performed by licensed, clinical psychologists on staff.

Using the most sophisticated measures available, Back to Basics can help maximize a student’s success by analyzing the style in which he/she learns, his/her strengths and non-strengths, and any learning differences. Recommendations will be made to parents and educators regarding the best teaching methods and educational environment for the student to reach his/her full potential.

Tests include:

  • I.Q.
  • Academic Achievement Levels (by grade level and age level)
  • Visual-Motor
  • Learning Disability and Giftedness Screening
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Screening
  • Verbal and Visual Memory
  • Visual and Auditory Perception

The resulting formal report can be used to:

  • Document the need for special services to be provided by the schools
  • Take extended time SATs and High School Entrance Exams, and many other tests
  • Evaluate for entrance into a gifted program
  • Accommodate through 504 Plans

For more information or to schedule an IQ test or another psycho-educational education, please call Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.

About Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc.

Back to Basics offers 1-on-1 tutoring in 60+ subjects, professional development, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior specialists, reading specialists, paras, ELL services, homebound services, RTI support, psycho-educational testing and test prep. We also offer summer school and educational summer camps, original credit and credit recovery, along with unique enrichment options such as music, art and photography. Plus, Back to Basics Private School is Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School for K-12.

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and the tri-state area for over 60 subjects. Since 1985, our commitment to a 1-on-1 teaching method has differentiated us from other educational service providers.

We serve the diverse needs of a range of students – from those who simply need some academic support, to those who are learning disabled, hearing or visually impaired, ADHD, gifted, or on the Autism Spectrum including High Functioning Autistic and Asperger’s.

Photo courtesy of Historical Stock Photos.
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