How to Take an IQ Test

How many times have you thought about how you measure up to your peers in terms of intelligence? If you are like most of us, there are times you have wondered about your mental capacity. Well, there is a viable way to actually measure your ability to think, reason, or your intelligence. It's called an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test.

According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex, an IQ test is defined as follows: "Intelligence quotient test Psychology A test that measures the complex interplay between attention, processing, and retrieval of information, and execution of processes regarded as the domain of intelligence.

Does that seem like a complicated definition that's difficult to comprehend? Don't worry, understanding the definition would have very little to do with determining your IQ

Should you want to find out where your IQ currently stands, there are plenty of accessible IQ tests available. The following sections will focus on details related to standard IQ tests.

Why Take an IQ Test?

The truth is everyone has different reasons for wanting to secure their IQ scores. Some reasons are practical while others might be nothing more than a desire for the information. Here are a few common reasons why people want or need to take IQ Tests:

  • To gauge how one's intelligence progresses over time

  • To determine one's cognitive strengths and weaknesses

  • For bragging rights among peers, friends, and or relatives

  • Children use these tests to determine proper education and career paths

  • Measure a child's development in terms of cognitive capabilities

  • Help diagnose for cognitive disabilities

  • Just for the sake of having fun

FYI: IQ Tests have been around for well over 100 years. Based on the history of IQ tests, the modern version of the IQ test was developed in 1904 by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon.

How Do IQ tests Work?

Most IQ tests come in two parts: verbal and cognitive performance or processing. Test takers are required to answer large batches of objective questions, which will be graded and tallied to determine their actual IQ scores.

The verbal section of an IQ test aims to determine the test taker's vocabulary, their ability to use vocabulary for reasoning and problem solving, and how they process verbal information

The cognitive section is used to determine how the test taker uses their memory and processes written information.

How Do I Get My IQ Tested? And Where?

There is a cost associated with taking an IQ test. For this very reason, you need to do some due diligence before selecting a test. There are a number of rogue or "just for fun" IQ tests out there that are not accredited by any of the top IQ societies. Before you seek, pay for, and take an IQ test, you will want to make sure you are getting that for which you are paying.

Most of the time, the place selected where to take an IQ test matters if you want the results to be legitimate and accredited. If you want your IQ legitimately tested and accredited, there are a number of very good resources that will provide such testing. The list of IQ Testing resources includes third-party service providers, local schools and colleges/universities, and your local psychiatric community (psychiatrists/psychologists).

Note: The cost will vary based on the type of IQ test you require and the resource charged with administering the IQ Test on your behalf.

Can You Self-Test Your IQ?

If you would prefer to self-test your IQ, that option is available. There are a number of online IQ testing platforms that will take you through the entire testing process and provide results. However, caution is warranted because almost all online tests have issues with reliability.

Here at we offer a very reliable and robust IQ test that you can use to see where you fall on the scale of intelligence.


Quick note: While online IQ tests can give you an accurate measurement of your IQ, they are not accredited because of the limited monitoring framework.

In addition, they lack “manipulatives” - manipulatives are abnormalities of information that are introduced into a question to test the individual's ability to process, reason, and understand the information being asked. Online tests usually focus on asking straightforward objective questions that have but one correct answer.

Having said that, they can still offer an approximative scoring of your IQ.

What Types of IQ Tests Are Available?

You might be interested to know that there are a few different types of IQ Tests that are valid and accredited. The one you would want to choose would be the one that best addresses that for which you want or need the information. Here are six types of IQ tests that would be considered the best available options.

1. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) - This is one of the better options for late-year high school students (16 and over) and adults. The test focuses on the testing of verbal comprehension, perpetual reasoning abilities, working memory, and cognitive processing speed. It's worth noting this test is not always accurate when testing individuals who would fall at the extreme ends of the IQ spectrum (under 40 and over 160).

2. Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) - This is Wechsler's best option for children and adolescents, ages 6 to 16.

3. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) - This option can accurately test the IQs of young children between the ages of 2 and 7 years old. The WISC is generally used to test small children for cognitive disabilities or extraordinary intelligence.

4. Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale - While suitable for all ages, this option provides the most accurate IQ results when testing young children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 2 through 18).

5. Mensa Admissions Test - The Mensa International Society offers membership to individuals with a minimum IQ of between 140 and 150. The Mensa Admissions Test is one of the more trusted indicators of actual intelligence, which accounts for the test's popularity and easy availability. By the way, this might be the most affordable option for people who need the information but have limited resources.

6. Online IQ Tests - Online IQ testing was covered in a prior section. While most of them are not usable to get into Mensa et al., they can provide a very reasonable approximation of IQ. Generally, this would be the right option for entertainment purposes only.


How to Prepare for an IQ Test?

Yes, it is possible to study and prepare for an IQ Test in advance of taking the test. While it's near impossible to study for specific questions, the preparation process should be used to familiarize yourself with the way the test is administered and how the questions are presented.

The rest of the test preparation process should focus on the best test-taking techniques, which would be similar to the techniques taught to high school students prior to taking their ACT or SAT tests.

The techniques you should employ include:

  • Taking online practice tests (Mensa offers a good one)

  • Approach the testing process with a positive attitude and confidence

  • Practice relaxationm exercises you can use while going through the testing process

  • No focus on the IQ test for at least 24 hours prior to taking the test

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before the test

  • Eat a healthy and energizing breakfast the day of the test

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing during the testing process

  • Read all test directions very carefully

  • The tests are timed - manage your time wisely

What Do IQ Scores Indicate?

The actual IQ scale is the range of scores that could be potentially assigned to test takers. For the most part, the scale ranges from 40 on the low end to 160 on the high end. Yes, some people do fall outside these guidelines. Those would be people who are severely cognitively disabled or extremely gifted. Extraordinary IQs have been recorded in the 180s and 190s.

As for average IQ scores, experts differ slightly on this. Using cumulative estimates, the average IQ of an adult will fall in the 90-109 range. A high average would fall in the 110-119 range. Anyone with an IQ of over 120 would be considered intelligent to having superior intelligence at the higher levels.

If you need IQ information or find yourself to be curious about your IQ, you can get the answer you want or need by checking out one of the listed resources.