About IQ and IQ Tests

IQ stands for intelligence quotient, which is a numerical value of human intelligence. IQ scores are calculated from standardized tests. Intelligence comes in many forms and there are many types of IQ tests. However, in general, IQ tests are designed to measure a person’s reasoning ability. Reasoning ability refers to a person’s ability to use information and logic to answer questions or make predictions.

Historically, IQ scores have been computed by dividing a person’s mental age score by their chronological age (physical age), then multiplying this number by 100. This was referred to as the “ratio IQ” and it tried to estimate a mental age.

The current scoring method for IQ tests is called the “deviation IQ”. In this method a score of 100 means the test taker is at the median level of performance for his age group.

Most IQs scores range between 55 and 145 (over 99% of people), however there are highly gifted people that have scored even higher than the top of this range. The majority of people’s IQ score falls in the range of 85-115 (68% of people) with the average IQ score being 100.

The diagram below is called the Bell Curve. It shows how many people receive each possible score on an IQ test. The average is 100 and that is the highest point of the curve in the middle of the graph.

The scores between 85 and 115 are in the red rectangle and they represent 68% of people. As you move to the right of the red rectangle, you can see the number of people that scored above 115. People with scores between 115 to 130 represent 13.6% of people and scores above 130 are achieved by only 2.2% of the population.


The table below shows ranges of IQ scores and their classification as well as the percentage of people that fall in each score range.

IQ ScoreIntelligence% of People
145 – 160Very Gifted0.1%
130 – 144Gifted2.1%
120 – 129Superior6.9%
110 – 119High Average16.3%
90 – 109Average49%
80 – 89Low Average16.3%
70 – 79Borderline6.9%

In 1999, the work of three psychologists, Raymond Cattell, John Horn, and John Carroll, was merged to form the Cattell–Horn–Carroll Theory of intelligence (also contains work from Charles Spearman).

This theory consists of a hierarchical model which consists of three levels. The upper level consists of Spearman’s g. Spearman’s g (general factor) refers to a person’s underlying general mental ability. The middle level consists of broad abilities (listed below), while the bottom level consisted of narrow highly specialized abilities.

Ten Broad Abilities


Many studies have found a link between intelligence and performance in school or University, especially in areas such as science, mathematics, and English abilities. Additionally, many studies have found a link between intelligence and job performance.

There are many IQ tests in use today. Below is a list of the most commonly used IQ tests:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Raven’s Progressive Matrices
  • Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales
  • Woodcock–Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
  • Cattell Culture Fair III
  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales
  • Thurstone’s Primary Mental Abilities

The most commonly used IQ test is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. The test is for adults, but there is also a version for children. The test assesses four major components of intelligence: verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) was originally developed by John C. Raven in 1936 and is still widely used today. It is a nonverbal test, meaning test takers do not need to respond verbally. Therefore, the test is suitable for a broad age range of test takers, from 5-year-olds to the elderly. Since RPM assesses non-verbal aspects of intelligence, it can also be applied to various cultures without requiring any changes. Finally, the test is easy to administer and score.

IQ scores are useful tools for measuring a person’s cognitive abilities. However it is important to remember the following guidelines when evaluating an IQ score:

  • IQ does not indicate the ‘value’ of a person. An IQ score reflects someone’s level of performance on a standard set of tasks.
  • IQ scores obtained from a certain test should be interpreted as indicators of the probable range in which the ‘true’ IQ lies. There is a degree of error to any one test score.
  • IQ scores are not closely linked to other ‘desirable’ qualities such as career achievement and happiness.

It is important to remember that IQ is not a guarantee of success in life. In 2007, Angela Duckworth, from the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated in her research that those who had achieved the most tended to have a characteristic she called Grit. She defined Grit as having passion for a topic and the perseverance to finish a project, especially through challenging times.


We developed our Professional IQ Test after extensive study into the latest intelligence research and IQ measurement methods. Our goal was to develop an accurate, valid, reliable IQ test that was Culture-fair and could easily be given online.

The questions on the test all consist of a 3×3 matrix. Each matrix is missing an element in the lower right corner. Test takers must choose which image is the missing element in the matrix from 8 possible answers. See the example below for a test question:

The TEST MY METRICS IQ Test will take up to 25 minutes (although many people require less time to complete the test).

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