# I have to do math to see how smart I am?

While people often talk about test scores, many people are confused about exactly what these test scores mean. In order to adequately assess and interpret test scores, psychometritians use a process known as standardization. The standardization process involves administering the test to a representative sample of the entire population that will eventually take the test. Each test taker completes the test under the same conditions as all other participants in the sample group. This process allows psychometricians to establish norms, or standards, by which individual scores can be compared.

Intelligence test scores typically follow what is known as a normal distribution, a bell-shaped curve in which the majority of scores lie near or around the average score. For example, the majority of scores, which is about 68%, on the WAIS-III tend to lie between plus 15 or minus 15 points from the average score of 100. As you look further toward the extreme ends of the distribution, scores tend to become less common. Very few individuals receive a score of more than 145 or less than 55 on the test.

As described in chapter 9 of our textbook, the following is a rough breakdown of various IQ score ranges. However, it is important to remember that IQ tests are only one measure of intelligence. Many experts suggest that other important elements contribute to intelligence, including social and emotional factors.

115 to 129 - Above average; bright
130 to 144 - Moderately gifted
145 to 159 - Highly gifted
160 to 179 - Exceptionally gifted
180 and up - Profoundly gifted

Intelligence tests (also called instruments) are published in several forms:

Group intelligence tests usually consist of a paper test booklet and scanned scoring sheets. Group achievement tests, which assess academic areas, sometimes include a cognitive measure. In general, group tests are not recommended for the purpose of identifying a child with a disability. In some cases, however, they can be helpful as a screening measure to consider whether further testing is needed and can provide good background information on a child's academic history.

Individual intelligence tests may include several types of tasks and may involve easel test books for pointing responses, puzzle and game-like tasks, and question and answer sessions. Some tasks are timed.

Computerized tests are becoming more widely available, but as with all tests, examiners must consider the needs of the child before choosing this format.

The bell curve is a very interesting concept. Although it is incredibly useful in determining the statistics of a population, it isn't always necessarily ideal. This curve that accounts for up to four standard deviations wouldn't be effective when the data is skewed due to the difficulty of the test. For example, if it were skewed to the left (lots of high test scores), then this curve wouldn't be nearly as helpful.

Nice summary of intelligence testing. What do you think the issues around intelligence testing are? Are the problems with it? Benefits?

I think this is a good representation of intelligence tests and how they work. I also think it is interesting how there are so many different types of tests to test intelligence. It might be interesting to look into what "test producers" look for when evaluating intelligence. How do they decide which questions to ask and how do they justify that these specific questions are truly a measure of what they are looking for in an individual? I know that some intelligence tests have been ruled invalid. Why has this happened?

I really enjoyed all of your examples regarding the various types of IQ testing. It was interesting to learn the background behind them, and to find out there were several different types. I have always been suspicious whether or not IQ test are accurate. It seems so strange that you can test something so broad and complex and assign a number to it.

I loved your title! Really creative! The examples of the different IQ tests were interesting too! Why do they have intelligence tests though? What evidence do these tests create that show intelligence? What defects do these tests have?

I love the level of information this blog provides. So many people overlook what different tests measure in a person's intelligence level and how each standardization test serves a different purpose. Classifying what these tests accomplish can be difficult, but this blog does a wonderful job of identifying the purpose of standardization and the classification of IQ.