What kind of questions are on an IQ test

We live in a time when we like to compare ourselves to others. We tend to do this in all aspects of our lives, including our wealth and the way we look. Another way we like to compare ourselves to others relates to our intellect.

To objectively compare ourselves to others, we need a way to quantify that which we are trying to measure. When it comes to intellect, we actually have a way to quantitatively compare ourselves to others. If we take an IQ test, we can get a numeric measure of our intelligence, using an established IQ Scale. That allows us to measure our intellectual abilities to those of others.

In the following sections, we'll take a look at IQ tests and what types of questions are being used to measure human intelligence.

What is an IQ Test?

To be clear, they are many versions of IQ tests. Subtle differences aside, they all have the same objective, that being measuring an individual's intelligence.

IQ stands for "intelligence quotient." These tests are designed to measure three aspects of intelligence, these aspects being:

The most common and longest-standing IQ test is the Stanford Binet IQ test, named after a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. The original intent of such IQ tests was to gauge the future ability of school-age children to succeed and select a vocation.

Today, IQ tests are used for a variety of reasons. That would include

Here's an interesting fact. The Mensa organization is an organization of people who have high intellects. For membership in the organization, prospects have to take a Mensa IQ Test.

Also, there are specific differing IQ tests for adults and children. The WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) IQ test is a test intended to determine the intelligence of older adolescents or adults.

IQ Ratings

At the end of the day, people are looking to quantify their intelligence with a number. That number then becomes the means of comparison. While IQ scales can vary based on the brand of IQ test, here is a generally accepted scale:

Note: Most IQ tests use a 100-point baseline.

What Kind of Questions are on an IQ Test?

Now that you understand more about IQ tests and the intentions behind them, it would be reasonable that you would want to know what kinds of questions these tests ask. As you can imagine, the questions are going to be designed to test for the three intelligence aspects mentioned above. To reiterate, that would be the ability to think logically, one's reasoning abilities, and memory (the ability to recall information).

All questions are presented as multiple-choice questions. That means the correct answer to each question is readily available. All the test taker has to do is determine the answers and check the right boxes.

For the most part, the following types of questions are presented throughout each test:

Some of the questions are presented as word problems and some as math problems. Let's look at a couple of examples.

Pattern-Driven: What would be the next number in this sequence of numbers: 2, 4, 8, 16, X?


The right answer would be B, 32.

Logical Thinking:You are getting ready to travel to St. Paul, Minnesota and you are concerned about the weather. You want to know if it's snowing at the time of your call. Of three friends in St. Paul, how many would you want to call to get the best possible answer?


The right answer would be C, all three. Why? You would want to call all three to decrease the likelihood that friends would lie to you about the weather. By calling all three, you could use the laws of probability to determine the right answer. If two friends say it's snowing and one says it's not, it very likely by 67% that is it in fact snowing.