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Properly designed IQ tests can be a good way of estimating your overall intelligence (often referred to as Spearman’s G). The term IQ was first coined in the late 1890s by Frenchman Alfred Binet, who was tasked with creating a set of tests that would help local Parisian educational establishments to identify and remove weaker performing children from classrooms so as to allow the classroom teaching to progress at a faster pace. The early IQ tests would centre on vocabulary and verbal tasks which were believed to provide reliable measurement of intellectual ability. A set of tasks were established and several age cohorts of children were then asked to attempt these tasks (i.e. these IQ tests). Binet then thought that intellectual ability should be normed according to the age of the children. In other words, children of different ages were expect to perform differently on these early IQ tests, and more specifically, that older children would perform better than younger ones (i.e. to score better on these IQ tests). The early norming philosophy was therefore that a child’s intellectual ability would need to be ascertained by comparing his or her IQ test result to that over children of a similar age.

Binet came up with the following general equation for IQ scoring and intellectual ability measurement:

Intellectual Quotient (or IQ) = Mental Age / Calendar Age.

The Mental Age aspect of the equation was directly related to the IQ score of the child, which in turn was compared to the average IQ test score of children of a certain age group, whereas the Calendar Age variable was simply related to how old the child was.

This means that IQ test scoring first sought to “place” and match each individual child’s IQ score to the average of the IQ test score earned by children of different age groups. So if an eight year old had an IQ score which corresponded to that of the average group of 10 year olds, then this particular child would be assumed to have a Mental Age of 10, which compares to a Calendar Age of 8, which means that this child’s IQ test score could be calculated as follows:

IQ = 10 / 8 = 125

In other words, this child was bright for his or her age.

Over the next centuries, IQ test development and IQ testing generally would evolve considerably, with the biggest improvement coming in the early 20th Century when the old MA/CA equation would be replaced with that modern statistical techniques involving mean and standard deviation.

IQ test results would eventually become interpreted by analysing how far the IQ test score deviated from the average of the relevant population cohort.

Most known IQ tests are set to have a mean of 100 IQ points, and a standard deviation of either 15, 16 or 24 points.

At IQ-Brain.com, our IQ tests have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16 points.

We now offer 3 culture-fair IQ tests, which are amongst the most accurate and official IQ tests on the web. These tests will provide you
with an accurate and legit estimate of your IQ and are invaluable practice if you are thinking about taking a professionally-administered test, whether through your local Mensa chapter or a private psychologist.