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You must have come across people who claim to have scored high in IQ tests. They flaunt their certificates to all. Usually it is believed that person is intelligent if his IQ score is high. These are absolutely illogical claims. Each IQ test differs and a high score in one such test might not be even equal to the average score of another.
Good IQ score is subjective. Raw score is what a person scores when he/she answers the questions correct. The following practices should be used to interpret or draw conclusions. Comparing two scores also needs the following methods to be used to establish if the score is really worthy or not.
Title of the IQ test
The need today is of a perfect system to compare scores from two IQ tests. It will be foolish to compare two scores solely on the basis of which is higher. You have to know what IQ test was taken by the participant.
The Level of the IQ Test
The difficulty level of the test also needs to be considered while evaluating the score. Usually, the accuracy level decreases as the level of difficulty increases. You may score different scores on test with the same name. The reason might be the difficulty level of the test. The tests are not uniform and show a variation in the level of difficulty. The developers of these tests modify the pattern depending on factors like age, education and others.
It is possible for one to score differently on tests with same name, because these tests vary in their content. Suppose that you score as high as 120 in an IQ test with tested your verbal ability. This does not mean that you will score the same in another category, say logical reasoning. IQ tests, usually, test all categories, but a new trend is emerging in the industry. It is getting specialized. Hence, to evaluate a score or interpret it due consideration must be given to the area on which the IQ test focuses on.
It is possible that your scores decrease as you progress in your education. But this does not mean that your intelligence is deteriorating. There could be a whole lot of reasons which could be causing this. It could be the name of the test, the difficulty level and the pattern. It is not always the case that your highest score is your good one.
Standard Deviation : a variable factor
In the earlier stages, the mental age (MA) was the only factor that was taken into account to gauge intelligence. But it proved to be a wrong approach and hence the term intelligence quotient was introduced. Mathematically, it is defined as the ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100. A person was considered average intelligent if he/she secured a score of 100. Below it was below average and above 100 was above average intelligence. All was fine, until it was found that the standard deviation wasn’t a constant all through a person’s life.
Hence standard deviation measure for each IQ tests differs today. Some have 15 and some take it as 20. So, it would not do justice to judge two IQ test scores. This has further complicated the issue of judging what a good score is.
Sample Size and Elements
It may be easy to find instructions about the factors like test items, content, standard deviations in the manual of the IQ tests. But it is very difficult to get access and information to the guidelines which helped the people who shaped these test to research and establish these standards.
To do this, the developers aim for a perfect sample space. But there is too much variation in each individual, so a perfect sample remains a distant dream. Further, comparing IQ scores of different societies is even more difficult. Given these conditions and factors, it is impossible to claim that a score is the best even though all other factors do not vary much.
IQ Score: What is good?
It is highly impossible to say that a particular IQ score is good. Any such claim will be establishing a wrong practice. At the same time, we cannot establish a score as bad. To increase this ambiguity, it seems that even the testing industry is not much inclined to clarify this issue.