What Do IQ Test Results Mean?


Quick Answer

IQ test results serve as a psychological measure of an individual's intelligence level. Individuals who score above 130 on a valid IQ test are classified as geniuses under the IQ scale, while a score under 70 indicates low intellectual functioning compared to the population at large, according to Psych Central.

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What Do IQ Test Results Mean?
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Full Answer

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, or WAIS, is the most frequently administered IQ test. Approximately 95 percent of people who take the WAIS receive scores in the 70 to 130 range, and anyone who scores within this range is considered to have a normal IQ functioning level. Those who score in the range of the upper 2 percent of the population qualify for membership in Mensa International, a high-IQ society, although the society also accepts results from some intelligence tests not based on the IQ scale.

Valid IQ tests measure intelligence in two areas: verbal and performance. These two areas are further divided into several subscales designed to measure different components of an individual's overall intelligence. Examples of verbal subscales include information, vocabulary, comprehension, arithmetic and similarities. Performance subscales include object assembly, picture completion, picture arrangement, digit symbols and block design. The performance portion of the test involves manipulating objects under the supervision of a psychologist, so online tests lacking this requirement are considered invalid in the psychological community, notes Psych Central.

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