What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of IQ Tests?

Brand New Images/Stone/Getty Images

Intelligence quotient (IQ) testing holds numerous advantages and disadvantages. This type of testing can help educators to adapt classes and work to suit students’ needs by identifying gifted and struggling students. However, it can lead to a range of problems, such as stereotyping and a lack of motivation in test subjects.

The Advantages of IQ Testing

Measuring IQ allows one to predict success in a variety of activities and to measure a person’s ability to perform socially and compete economically. It reveals a person’s strengths and weaknesses and highlights talents people don’t know they have, improving educational and skills development. This type of testing provides a standardized method of comparing children’s abilities and performance, accurately predicts scholastic achievement and identifies gifted students. This allows parents, caregivers and teachers to tailor education to individual needs. IQ tests are also invaluable tools when working with handicapped children.

The Disadvantages of IQ Testing

IQ tests have severe limitations because they restrict people’s understanding of intelligence and do not test all situations that show intelligent behavior. These tests do not consider the multidimensional nature of intelligence and are not always accurate in predicting success. Typically, IQ tests measure only verbal and mathematical abilities despite the fact that psychologist Howard Gardner identified at least seven types of intelligence.