Quality of IQ tests

We’ve covered The Usage of IQ Tests, as well as The Types of IQ Tests out there, but what about the quality of said tests? After all, you’re bound to have come across at least one or two free IQ tests on the internet.

General Quality of Free IQ Tests

As the famous John Ruskin once said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. It is needless to say that most of us who hear about free IQ tests on the internet meet such comments with a healthy degree of disbelief—and we’d be right to.

After all, legitimate IQ tests used by psychologists are often regularly updated and revised, and require controlled environments and administration to yield meaningful results. They can also be a little costly, seeing that they are—in essence—scientific tools.

On the other hand, the free IQ tests available online (the bulk of them, at the very least) tend to fall significantly short in delivering accurate IQ scores. Most are mere gimmicks that are designed to attract web traffic and generate leads, and are thus not developed in the nuanced way required to return proper results.

Most tend to base IQ scores off a sole 50/50 weightage of correctness and speed, which is far from the complex evaluation systems designed and used by experts. Besides, even if your score were to be weighed against a collective (just as it should be), it’s more than likely that said collective is a non-representative group put together in a scientifically meaningless way, due to data constraints and limitations.

General Quality of Professional IQ Tests

But what about paid, professional IQ tests? Are they legitimate? Well, to put it simply, they can be—but online ones are definitely far from it. The premium paid to assess online IQ tests usually gives the consumer a test that is a lot more robust than the free ones available, and perhaps they’re even closer to what has been acknowledged and administered by psychologists. In fact, it’s possible that the test itself is fully legitimate and up to date.

However, the problem of how the test is administered and the IQ score calculated remains a problem. Remember, IQ tests only work when administered on a significantly large scale, to a good number of people of the same age group that does the test under the same circumstances. That’s the only way you can compare each individual’s score against a calculated standard.

These paid, professional online IQ tests face the obstacles of having not enough test participants to form a meaningful distribution curve to compare scores against, and they also have no control as to the maintenance of a similar environment in which these tests are taken.

All things considered, it’s safe to say that any IQ test administered online is, to a degree, illegitimate. In fact, all IQ tests administered without the aide and supervision of a professional will yield less than meaningful results.

Still, it can—of course—be great fun to take them either way, or as a simple mental exercise. However, if you’re looking to get a meaningful, accurate IQ score, you’d have to get in touch with a professional psychologist; most of them cost about $200 for some consultation and the administration of a legitimate personal IQ test (corporate packages may cost more).

And with that being said, do check out our other article on Getting a Legitimate Professional IQ Test, where we go through what to look out for to ensure that what you’re paying for is authentic. Alternatively, you can also click here for a full list of related topics.