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Fact Tuesday: IQ Tests

by Countable | 10.10.17

Asked about reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a "moron," President Donald Trump told Forbes, “I think it's fake news. But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."

Well, in case there are questions about IQ tests on IQ tests (there are not), here are a couple of facts about the Intelligence Quotient… (Bonus Fact: the phrase comes from the German term "Intelligenzquotient")

  • An IQ is not based on one test, but is a score derived from several standardized tests designed to measure various forms of intelligence, both verbal and non-verbal.

  • One of the more popular tests – the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) – generates a "Full Scale IQ" based on four indexes: Verbal Comprehension Index, Perceptual Reasoning Index, Working Memory Index, Processing Speed Index. The WISC also includes the Fluid Reasoning Index.

Here are some examples of tests and what they measure:

  • Participants are given two words and have to explain how they relate (abstract verbal reason)

  • Participants put together red-and-white blocks in a pattern according to a displayed model (visual spatial processing, visual motor construction)

  • Participants are asked to define certain words and answer math problems (semantic knowledge, quantitative reasoning)

And still more facts...

How to score the Devens Test:

Subtract the number of wrong answers (or questions you can’t answer) from the correct answers. Score below 6: Illiterate; 6-20: Primary literacy; 21-25: Grammar school literacy; 26-30: Junior high school; 31-35: Senior high school; 36-42: College level.

—Josh Herman

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