Omega oils and IQ

Omega oils for IQ?
Omega oils and IQ / Cognitive ability.

A new place-bo-controlled, double blind study of 154 nine and 10 years old in Sweden appears to confirm that those children that are given Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may drastically improve their reading ability. In this study, the children were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group was given Omega 3 supplements, the second group Omega 6 supplements, and the control group was given an identical looking tablet which contained a placebo (palm oil). After three months, all the children were given Omega 3/6 capsules as part of the study. The children’s reading ability was measure with the aid of a computer-based ‘Logos’ test.

The authors of the study noted that children who were given fatty acids demonstrated significantly enhanced reading skills even after three months. Although none of the children had been diagnosed with ADHD, those children with mild attention issues experienced the greater improvement in reading with the administration of fatty acids.

The role of polyunsaturated fats in children’s learning and development is a growing area of interest. Matt Johnson, from the University of Gothenburg notes that the cell membranes in the brain are largely made up of polyunsaturated fats, and that some studies have noted that supplementation of fatty oils may enhance signal transmission betweeen nerve cells; this may explain some of the results seen in this study.

Other studies have failed to show a signicant association between fatty acid consumption and cognitive performance.


Several interesting questions come to mind including whether the auhors would have controlled for the IQ level of children, and whether other cognifive skills (e.g. mathematical) might have also benefited from the fatty oil supplementation.

There is certaintly plenty a very interesting base to build on for future studies into the link between omega oils and IQ / cognitive performance.

Omega oils and IQ

The jury is still out as to whether the consumption of omega oils can lead to a lasting boost in IQ.

Rick Rosner, with an IQ of 192, incorporates the consumption of fish oil (as well as aspirin) into his daily breakfast diet. Despite the scant evidence, many intelligent people (including the author of this posting) supplement with fatty oils.

However, although there is some positive association between Omega oils and IQ, there are risks in supplementing with fatty acids. For instance, owing to the lack of regulation of supplements, the source of the fatty acids (particularly fish oils) could be contaminated, or could even contain mercury and other pollutants, which could theoretically negate any IQ benefits that fatty oil supplementation may bring. For this reason, people willing to take the risk should at least search our the purest grade fish oils, and keep these in a cool and dark environment  to help prevent the product from going off.

On a personal note, the number of studies confirming some positive cognitive effect from fatty oil supplementation seem too many to be spurious.

You can test your IQ at



IQ genetics or environment? A bit of both really but more genetics


IQ genetics or environment
IQ genetics or environment?

IQ genetics or environment? Let’s provide a bit of background to the question. Many studies have been published which have investigated the issue and it is undeniable that there is a strong correlation between the IQ of offspring with that of their birth parents, especially the birth mother. A particularly intereting series of studies involved the comparison of adoptive children’s IQs with that of their birth parents and that of the adoptive parents. In a classic 1979 study, Scarr and Weinberg found that the correlation between the IQ of the adopted child and that of the adoptive parents was 0.13, which is lower than the IQ correlation between two random people off the street. This compares to 0.32 as the correlation coefficient between the IQs of adoptive children with that of their birth mothers. To make matters worse, by the time that these adoptive children turned 18, the correlation coefficient between their IQ and that of their adoptive parents had dramatically fallen from an already low base of 0.13 to 0.06, which provides strong evidence that environmental factors (barring detrimental living conditions) have little bearing on the IQs of children over the longer term.

Several other types of clever studies including twins studies have also shed light on the question: IQ genetics or environment? Herrnstein and Murray also looked at kinship and adoption studies, including virtual twins (i.e. non-genetically related children that grow up concurrently in the same household). Segal (1997 and 2000) studied 90 virtual twins and found that the coefficient of correlation between these virtual siblings’ IQs was 0.27 (with a mean IQ difference of 15.4 points), which compares to 0.86 for identical twins reared together (6 points), and 0.47 for biological siblings reared together (14 points). So it is clear that that genetics again appear to over-power environmental factors.

Fischbein (1980) also found that heritability of IQ increases for the highest social classes (0.70), compared to 0.30 for the lowest social classes. Although some of the studies cited in this posting date back several decades, multiple studies have largely reconfirmed results in that IQ is largely heritable, with 50-60% of the variability in IQ being explained by genetics as opposed to environmental factors.

IQ genetics or environment? The fade out effect wades in

In 2015, a meta study by researchers at the University of Santa Barbara examined whether early intervention programmes designed to raise the IQ of young children had lasting effects over time. The lead researcher Protzko conduced 44 different trials involving 7,584 young children and found that the experimental group who had early intervention programmes lost their IQ gains after the programme was over (as opposed to the control group catching up).

It would appear that once the programmes has ceased, that the cohort of intervention children did not seek out intellectual pursuits that would match their newly (and temporary) boosted IQ level, and that they would revert to their normal activities, leading any gains to fade out over time. So while Head Start type of programmes may confer a temporary IQ benefit, these gains are unlikely to be permanent. perspective

Protzko’s latest study reinforces the notion that IQ is inherently genetic, and that environmental factors may of course have short-lived positive effects, but that barring the existence of corrosive and unhealthy environments (e.g. drug use, terrible diets, stress, violence) genetics remain the primary explanatory factor of intellectual ability and IQ standing, certainly as children reach adulthood.

As expressed before, this is not to say that parents should not invest in providing the best possible environments for their children: in fact, the silver lining in the study suggests that some well crafted temporary intervention programmes may in fact produce temporary boosts in IQ, which if parents are capable of sustaining via intellectually-challenging environments, may allow children to get through school with greater ease, which in itself is half the battle won when raising a child.

That said, providing a “good”, not necessarily outstanding environment is likely to be sufficient for your child to live up to its full IQ potential. So for those concerned about lower IQs, teaching your children good work ethic and perseverence, in addition to making sure they have a pleasant and happy environment, may represent a better solution than hoping for miracles from early start intervention programmes.

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IQ differences between siblings

IQ differences between siblings are not meaningful
IQ differences between siblings are not meaningful

Researchers at the University of Illinois have published the results of the largest-ever “within family” evaluation of IQ and personality difference among siblings. The study helps shed light on IQ differences between siblings.

This very large sample study (backed by the National Institute on Aging which is part of the National Institute of Health) looked at 377,000 high school students and evaluated IQ differences between siblings, as well as differences in personality which might be influenced by the chronological order of birth.

The results of the study are clear: IQ differences between siblings are in fact influenced by birth order. First-born children on average will have a statistically significant one IQ point advantage relative to their younger siblings. Although the IQ differences between siblings are statistically significant, they are hardly meaningful as a one point IQ differential cannot produce any perceptible differences in intelligence or cognitive ability.

The study found that first-born children tend to be more outgoing and conscientious, in addition to have slightly higher IQ scores on average.

IQ differences between siblings:’s take on the study

At, we believe (based on several comprehensive studies on IQ and intelligence) that genetics factors explain the majority of the variance in IQ scores generally. However, we do acknowledge that environmental factors may have an influence on IQ scores and cognitive ability generally. Here is our analysis on the study measuring IQ differences between siblings.

On the one hand, older siblings will tend to get more parental attention and contact than their younger siblings. First-time parents are probably more likely to be more cautious with their first child (e.g. maternal contact and attention, which have been shown to increase IQ – see breastfeeding post IQ and breastfeeding). In support of the findings, older children will also need to “figure it out” as they progress through life, learning by trial and error.

The contra argument is that younger siblings, if the age gap is not too large, will tend to play and learn from older siblings, resulting in a transfer of knowledge from the older sibling to the younger one. This accelerated learning could also be an IQ booster for younger siblings, allowing for ‘catch up’ to take place.

Importantly, the IQ differential of one point, although statistically significant is not material. Based on the above two arguments however, it would be interesting to drill down into the results to test whether older siblings display a higher level of fluid intelligence (as they “figure it out”) relative to younger siblings, who are more likely to use their sequential processing and crystallized intelligence to follow in the footsteps of their older siblings.

article provided by a leader in online fluid IQ testing.

IQ and poverty: brain imaging results

IQ and poverty
IQ and poverty: brain size involved, but stresses likely culprits also

It has been long established that IQ and poverty are negatively related. In a recently study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Kimberly Noble (of Columbia), and Elizabeth Sowell (of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles) imaged the brains of 1,099 children and young adults between the ages of 3 and 20 across the US and mapped the results in terms of volume of the brain to parental income brackets. Controlling for a number of confounding factors including parental education, the authors founds that the brain surfaces associated with language, memory, and executive function, were 6% larger for the children who were born to parents earning more than USD150,000 annually, relative to children whose parents earned less than USD25,000 annually. The areas of the brain that were imaged are all known to be critical to academic success. The authors also found that children from lower income families also performed more poorly on a battery of cognitive tests.

This result is consistent with a body of prior research that linked brain size (as measured by MRI scan) and cognitive ability (Luder et. al, 2008 and McDaniel 2005). In particular, McDaniels’ research paper was a meta analysis covering 37 studies and found a correlation coefficient of 0.33 between brain volume and IQ score.

But Noble and Sowell’s findings are also in line with a recent unpublished study by Martha Farah (or the University of Pennsylvania) who scanned the brains of  44 1-month old babies from African American families and found that brain sizes were also smaller than wealthier controls. Poverty and brain size are therefore negatively related variables. We know that brain size and IQ are positively related variables, which means that IQ and poverty are also negatively correlated.

The two studies were empirical in nature in that neither could advance a definitive explanation for the results, although the authors suggested that nutrition, environmental stress factors (including during the pregnancy), and a lack of resources could in fact be partly responsible for the results.

Noble and Sowell aim to go on to see whether they can replicate the results of a Mexican study by Fernald et al. (2005) in which parental incomes of poor families were supplemented to find that the cognitive abilities of children were improved within an 18 month period. An ability to replicate Fernald’s study results would be a victory for policy makers, and would no doubt, if used as a policy tool, garner the political support of nations.

IQ and poverty: what about genetics?

This set of studies is particularly interesting as neither of the authors have discuss genetic influences as possible explanatory factors for the results. Charles Murray expressed his surprise in this regard, citing that the genetic evidence presented in the Bell Curve could not be ignored when interpreting the results of this study.

A large number of recent studies have found that IQ in inheritable, with genetics found to account for a greater proportion of the variance in IQ scores relative to environmental factors. Again, the relative influence of genetics to environment is roughly 2:1. On this basis, it is somewhat surprising that Noble and Sowell would have ignored this aspect of the literature in discussing the results; although a culture does seem to be emerging in academia whereby unflattering results that are not politically correct are immediately branded as controversial and spark outcry.

The link between IQ and income is a well established one, as is the link between different professions and average IQ levels. It therefore comes as no surprise that people with higher average IQs will be able to achieve higher levels of education, which in turn will lead to a greater propensity to be in a professional job, and therefore the potential to earn a higher level of income. Professionals mating with professionals (or at the very least, university graduates getting together with other graduates) will lead to higher average IQ of offspring, which most probably perpetuates the IQ gap vs. poorer cohorts.

What is interesting with this new study is that it reveals that not only do offspring from poorer families have lower IQs, but they also have smaller brain volumes. This latter finding again would appear to reinforce the heritability of intelligence line of argumentation.

Income per se cannot be responsible for the results. Greater income does in fact offer parental scope to foster better learning environments, but alas, improving learning environments will only ever achieve so much, as genetic differences are unlikely to be able to be overcome through environmental engineering. As a society, we must work towards ensuring equal opportunity, whilst recognising that such equal opportunity is only likely to lead to unequal outcomes.

provided by (the web’s leading IQ test provider online)

IQ and age (part II)

IQ and age
IQ and age effects are clear

In my last posting here, I provided a brief overview about IQ and age. The brain develops quickly in childhood and in early adolescence. It has been argued that the brain reaches its full cognitive ability potential by the age of 16. This is illustrated by the fact that high IQ societies such as Mensa measure all test takers who are 16 years and above on the same adult IQ scale.

I also wrote about how Binet’s old IQ quotient calculation method i.e. IQ = (MA/CA) x 100, where MA is the “Mental Age” of the test taker, while CA refers to the test taker’s “Calendar Age” is a useful tool for understanding the generation relationship between IQ and age. More specifically, children who are ‘fast’ or ‘bright’ for their age will have an MA > CA, which means that these children will be classed as having an IQ score of more than 100.  I also wrote about the break down of the Binet IQ quotient method as test takers enter into their late teens and 20s, and this problem is exacerbated for older test takers.

For this reason, all noteworthy IQ tests have gotten rid of the quotient calculation method, and instead replaced it with standard scores, where a mean and standard deviation is established for each test.

With the statistical upgrade to IQ testing, what have we learned about the interrelationship between IQ and age?

IQ and age: fluid intelligence data is clear

Firstly, fluid intelligence (Gf) – or our ability to solve novel problems, peaks in our mid 20s and begins to decline thereafter, This very finding actually calls into question the fairness of high IQ societies measuring the IQ of test takers of 16 and above on the same ‘adult’ scale. Based on this finding, and all else being equal, one would expect the average 25 year old to perform better than the average 16 year old.

The bad news however, is that fluid IQ declines thereafter and fairly rapidly in our late 40s. Again, the relationship between IQ and age is rainbow-shaped. That is, IQ will increase between the ages of 1-25, peaks and plateaus in our late 20s, and begins a gradual decline in our 30s, before falling more precipitously thereafter.

So coming back to these high IQ societies, it becomes clear again that the average 25 year old will be expected to have a higher fluid IQ than the average 50 year old.

In my next post, I will explain how this finding affects IQ testing methods and what it means for test takers.

In the meantime, you can test your fluid IQ here.

IQ booster pills on the way?

IQ booster pills could be on the way
Could IQ booster pills be on the way?

Many researchers are now involved in the evaluation of ways to halt the effects of ageing. In terms of IQ and cognitive ability, I have written extensively on how General Intelligence (or G) can be decomposed into two broad types of intelligence: (1) fluid intelligence (Gf), which is akin to raw processing power of the brain and our ability to solve novel problems; and (2) crystallized intelligence (Gc), which is related to our ability to absorb and use verbal and general knowledge, and is more closely related to one’s formal education.

As one might expect, the effects of ageing on cognitive ability are not good. What we know from the academic literature on the subject is that fluid IQ tends to peak in our mid 20s and starts declining (and fairly steeply) thereafter. The news is a little bit more positive in respect of crystallized intelligence. That is, Gc peaks in our 50s, and begins a gradual decline thereafter. IQ booster pills or a pill that could end this decline would be the holy grail of cognitive ability preservation for a globally ageing population.

Surmising the situation, fluid intelligence (Gf) includes several sub-components of cognitive ability including: (i) processing speed (Gs); (ii) visualization (Gv) and (iii) short-term memory / working memory (Gsm).

One of the reasons why Fluid intelligence diminishes with age is that older people will see their processing speed, visualization and working memory deteriorate.

Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, can peak much later if older people carry on reading and learning.

IQ booster pills on the way?

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Gladstone Institutes had been investigating ways to stifle the effects and the role of ageing of klotho, a protein which is encoded by the gene known as KL. It had been discovered that a particular version of the gene, called KL-VS (believed to be present in 20% of human beings), promotes longevity. KL-VS had been shown to increase longevity by decreasing age-related heart disease. But when the researchers turned their attention to the effects of KL-VS on cognitive ability or IQ, they found that KL-VS did not curb the decline (gravity is inevitable), as they had hoped, but instead they found that KL-VS did boost IQ by up to 6 points, regardless of age. If this result is confirmed by the research community, KL-VS will be the strongest IQ booster and explanatory factor of genetic IQ variation ever discovered. It is believed that KL-VS could explain as much as 3% of the total variation in human IQ. Although 3% may sound low, this number is multiples greater than other genes believed to explain cognitive ability which had been discovered previously. This finding is also significant as It could mean that an IQ boosting pill could be on the way.

The finding has now been confirmed in mice and other evaluations are ongoing. The applications are compelling: pharma companies might be able to make this into an IQ booster pill format which could help boost the IQ of people who do not have the KL-VS variant of the gene. This would be the IQ booster breakthrough of the Century, and the enable some of us to sharpen our senses.

To test your fluid intelligence, click here.

Free IQ test

Free IQ tests vary in quality
Free IQ tests vary in quality – we provide a link to some of the better ones

There are a very large number of IQ testing resources online.  Unfortunately, very few of the online IQ tests are any good. The issue with the vast majority of online IQ tests is that they tend to over estimate test takers’ IQ. So test takers will end up thinking that they are smarter than they actually are. Although this may be good for the ego, it does not provide the test taker with a real sense of his or her cognitive strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, an IQ test is meant to give you an assessment of where you stand relative to a given population. The concept of whether or not someone is smart is a relative question. And the answer to the question lies in comparing the test taker’s IQ to that of the average person in his or her home country. So what is the point of being told by a free IQ test that you have an IQ of 140+ (genius level), when in fact your true IQ may really be around 115.

Free IQ test – you pay for what you get

Although most free IQ tests are neither very accurate or any good, some of them are, but you really have to look for them. The following site has compiled a list of free IQ tests and paid-for IQ tests that are amongst the best on the web. Click here to see the list.

At, we aim to provide the most accurate culture-fair IQ testing on the free. We do not offer a free IQ test, although you can start our test 1 for free. The price for obtaining a result is modest in comparison to several of our competitors, More importantly, we aim to provide you with a realistic estimate of your fluid intelligence for as little as $9.00 (or $15 for three tests). Professional psychologists can charge up to $1,000 for a professional assessment, and the academic literature has shown that clinical psychologists’ scoring can be highly subjective (variances of 8-10 IQ points in the scoring have been shown for the same test result!). Our IQ tests use standard scoring methodology which eliminates this problem. Test your IQ here.


IQ standard deviation

IQ standard deviation
IQ standard deviation ranges from 15 to 24 on the most popular tests

Intellectual Quotient (IQ) is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as: a number representing a person’s reasoning ability (measured using problem-solving tests) as compared to the statistical norm or average for their age, taken as 100.

This definition is simplistic in the sense that it ignores that origins of the IQ test. In the late 1890s, the Frenchman Alfred Binet devised a test based largely on verbal reasoning, that was requested to be developed by the Paris ministry of education in order to help schools ‘weed out’ children with a lower intellectual ability as the thinking at the time was that these children slowed down ‘normal’ or even ‘bright’ children during the academic year.

The goals of the ministry of education were not noble as there were no special plans for the children of lesser intellectual ability. These poor children were simply removed from the classroom.

In spite of the ugliness of the situation, the request by the Paris minister for a test of intellectual ability represented Binet’s window of opportunity to publish a test that he had developed several years earlier but which had never received any public recognition. Binet recognized that children of different ages would have different intellectual abilities. Binet’s thinking was that intellectual or mental ability (MA) for any given chronological age group (CA) could be ascertained by having the children of a particular age group perform a series of mental tasks and problems and determine an ‘average performance’ for that particular age group. His clever system led to an intellectual quotient which was calculated by taking the test taker’s MA and dividing into that person’s CA (and hence the intelligence quotient). At its beginning, the formula for calculating IQ was as follows: IQ = MA/CA. As can be seen from this equation, if the person’s MA was equal to that person’s CA, then the ratio would be equal to 1. Binet then multiplied the result by 100 to get an integer. This is how the average IQ score came to be 100. If a child’s MA age was in excess of his CA (i.e. the child was intelligent for his age group and was able to perform tasks at the same level as older children), then this particular child would have an IQ that was greater than 100 (the opposite also holding true). So if a 10 year old (CA of 10) was able to perform that same tasks as an average 12 year old (MA=12), then that child’s IQ score would be calculated as follows: IQ = MA/CA = 12/10 = 1.2 x 100 = 120. Although this calculation method was clever and simple to comprehend, it would actually break down under plenty of circumstances. In particular, what happens if a 75 year old (CA = 75) had the same MA as a 15 year old? Well according to this rudimentary IQ calculation, that person’s IQ would be 500! In fact, it was determined that adult IQs were reached in individuals of 16 years of age, although fluid intelligence is known to decline after our late 20s.

IQ standard scores and IQ standard deviation

In the 1930s, the calculation of IQ was revolutionized by American David Weschler, who along with a mathematician friend found that scores could be more robustly standardized by adjusting the raw scores achieved on a particular IQ test by the IQ standard deviation of the test. It would eventually be established that IQ scores were normally distributed and the properties of a standard normal distribution as such that the entire population distribution of IQ scores could be explained with two variables: the mean (or average) or the IQ standard deviation of the test.  The introduction of IQ standard deviation eliminated the problems highlighted above in the MA/CA example.

The purest way of determining what the standard deviation of the population of IQ scores would be to construct an IQ test and to administer it to an entire population and to mathematically calculate the standard deviation of the test results. This is in fact what test publishers look for when they publish a test (i.e. for the author of the test to have normed the test by attempting to administer it across a sample of test takers that are a truly random sample). There are plenty of different IQ tests and many have a different standard deviation. For instance, Cattell culture fair IIIa has a standard deviation of 16, while the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) tests have a IQ standard deviation of 15 points. The Cattell verbal scale has a standard deviation of 24 points.’s fluid intelligence tests (click here) have an IQ standard deviation of 16 points.

Highest IQ – the measurement challenges

Highest IQ - measurement is challenging
Highest IQ measurement challenges

This articles highlights some of the challenges associated with measuring human intelligence and in particular those associated with the measurement of the highest IQ. First, unlike measuring height, weight and even human speed on a 100 meter dash, measuring IQ (and particularly the highest IQ) is a difficult endeavor. Alfred Binet – one of the pioneering forefathers of modern IQ tests – pointed out that measuring human intelligence was not as clear cut as measuring other human traits and characteristics, and that it was therefore necessary to accept a degree of error in the measurement of IQ. This assertion was one of Binet’s finest.

Another important concept in this debate is the diversity of IQ tests and associated scales. There are several different and well-respected IQ tests. Examples of well-known tests include Cattell Culture-fair IIIb, Weschler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS), Stanford-Binet, Woodcock Johnson, Raven’s Progressive Matrices to name a few. These individual tests have different constructs and are grounded in different although perhaps related theories on human cognition and might therefore measure different things (i.e. verbal or crystallized IQ vs. performance or fluid intelligence). Some tests are better at measuring certain types of human intelligence than others, while others do not test certain types of intelligence at all. For instance, Binet IV is one of the only well-known tests to have a quantitative reasoning scale. And subsequent revisions of the same test may change the measurement focus. Individuals may score more highly in some sections of the same test, while individuals may also score more highly on one test vs another.

To make matters more complicated, several of the above-mentioned tests use the same mean score of 100 but employ a different standard deviations which makes the comparison of test scores meaningless unless these scores are adjusted for the standard deviation of the test in question resulting in the score being converted into a percentile. For instance, the standard deviation for the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities is 16. So a score of 132 (i.e. two standard deviations above the mean score of 100) would place a test taker in the top 2% of the population.  The Cattell verbal tests on the other hand, have a standard deviation of 24, which means that a score of 148 (i.e. again two standard deviations above the mean of 100) corresponds to a score in the top 2% of test takers.

Finally, IQ tests will normally have a ceiling (i.e. Cattell verbal has a ceiling for 161 for adults which corresponds to a result in the 99.48% of the population – or one in 192 people). But someone scoring 141 on the Woodcock-Johnson test would be in exactly the same percentile. This latter point makes estimating the highest IQ in the world very difficult as estimates are then required on top of the estimations and errors that are inherent in IQ testing.

Highest IQ among geniuses of history

The interest in the highest IQ is really an interest about human genius and achievement. Would anyone care about someone with an alleged IQ of 300 (assuming this was even possible to measure) if that individual were incapable of doing anything other than scoring highly on every possible intelligence test? Probably not. So looking for the highest IQ is really about identifying human genius. You don’t need a psychologist to establish that great historical figures such as Da Vinci, Mozart, Beethoven or Graham Bell were geniuses. But highly fine-tuned IQ tests were not in existence at the time to measure their IQs the same way that Al Gore is said to have tested at 134  (but was the standard deviation 15, 16 or 24?).  So again, we are within the realm of estimates on top of estimates.

I will re-visit this topic in future posts. Meanwhile, you can have your fluid intelligence tested here.

New IQ test questions

New IQ test questions for the New Year
New IQ test questions for the New Year

Happy 2014 everyone! Wishing everyone health and happiness for the year to come. Body and mind.

At, we aim to provide the most reliable culture-fair testing on the web. IQ can be decomposed into two principal components of fluid (Gf) and crystallized (Gc) IQ. As explained previously, fluid intelligence relates to your ability to solve novel problems while crystallized intelligence is more akin to an accumulated body of knowledge that is largely acquired in formal education. So if I were to ask new IQ test questions including: what do Canada, Uganda and Iraq have in common? (One plausible answer could be that they all have populations of about 35 million people), this has to do with crystallized intelligence as you would have needed to have learned and memorized what the population of each of these countries is.  On the other hand, if I ask you what to identify the new logical symbol in the following sequence: O X O X? (The most logical answer being “O”), then this has more to do with the inherent logical reasoning ability of your brain, and is thus fluid intelligence, or an ability to solve novel problems (i.e. that you probably have never seen before).

The good news is that crystallized intelligence improves with education levels, and life experience and peaks when we reach our mid-50s. Fluid intelligence on the other hand, is believed to be genetic and peaks in our mid 20s and begins a sharp decline thereafter.

Here at, we believe that fluid IQ tests are the only kinds of tests that are applicable to a global internet audience. These culture-fair tests also control for the varying levels of education attained by individual test takers. That is, unlike crystallized IQ tests, studying for a PhD should not confer any sort of advantage on fluid intelligence IQ tests, although statistics tell us that those people who go on to complete a PhD are likely to have a higher IQ than say unskilled workers  who struggled to get through high school. We strive to provide the most realistic and accurate culture-fair testing on the web. For this reason, we are constantly thinking up new IQ test questions.

So why take an IQ test and why should we seek out new IQ test questions? More often than not, the answer might be lodged somewhere between curiosity and reaffirmation. Some test takers cite challenge and intellectual challenge with bright minds seeking to join high IQ societies to find like-minded people with curious minds. Taking online IQ tests are a good way to prepare for professionally-administered IQ tests because they diminish some of the element of surprise that you might encounter on the day.

New IQ test questions for the New Year

Off the back of the success of our culture-fair IQ test, we have developed a bank of new IQ test questions for the New Year and will be offering two more fluid intelligence IQ tests during the month of January. If you haven’t already taken our first culture-fair IQ test, you can give it a go here.