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Marzshox

Online IQ Test's. Are they Accurate?

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Perhaps this subject has been exhausted or maybe it hasn't been touched upon. I'm not really sure. But I would like some of your thoughts nonetheless. There has been a resurgence in the online community in the last couple of months regarding IQ tests and their viability. You may have heard people discussing the topic of famous people with high IQ's, such as Madonna, Bill Gates, even Mr. Bean. Whom all showed phenomenal scores on their IQ assessments. 
 
Most likely, many of you have taken these online tests. I know my friends have. And to my initial disbelief, many of whom were administered these short-hand tests, scored surprisingly well (even those whom I assumed were quite bland in their capacities) - Don't judge a book by it's cover! 
 
Sites such 123test.com or free-iqtest.net are among some of current popular one's. And many of these multiple choice tests claim to be within 5 points of an accurate IQ assessment.
 
I too scored relatively high. The tests are comprised of roughly 20-45 questions (depending on the site), usually multiple choice and are to be completed within an allocated time. Typically, if you receive a score of 111+, you may delude yourself into believing you are in fact of very high intelligence as you would be classified among a small percentage of people who are considered quite gifted.
 
The problem arises when you receive inconsistent results when testing yourself on multiple sites. Let me give you an example. Over 10 years ago when I completed my first online IQ test, I was pleased to discover that I had a score of about 140. I thought that was great and I convinced myself that my brain isn't a god awful shipwreck after-all. Then several years ago, I tested myself again using several sites, and despairingly I found that my "unofficial" IQ had degraded some. By oh, about 20 points.

Today I decided to give it another go. Again using a few different sites, I completed the quizzes hoping to obtain an average score that I thought might beat my original scores as I have been more academically active and thought a high score would be a reflection of my improved brain power. Wrong.
 
I thought I had answered at least 40 of the 43 questions in a proficient time and expected some pleasing results. Nope. My IQ had dropped another 20 whole points. This time averaging at about 100, or 99. While this isn't a cause for concern, it is still quite average. Smart people don't want to be average. Then again, average people are not smart :)
 
Then I got to thinking. Maybe this new score is accurate. When I watch CNN, I generally do not understand what they are talking about. For the first twenty years of my life, I had no idea what the sports broadcasters were saying. I didn't understand batting averages, what a fumble is, or exactly what football players yell out before a big play. Perhaps my issues of comprehension is nothing but a reflection of a lower IQ.
 
I feel if I take a real IQ test, I could increase my IQ by at least several points. But for now, you can just call me Joe, "Average Joe."
 
Edited by Marzshox

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It is known that different standardized tests can yield different scores (for example Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or Stanford-Binet), and taking the same test at different times can yield different scores. Looking only at standard and “official” tests, these are pretty accurate. The online tests are probably home-brewed and don’t measure anything other than gullibility. The official tests are standardized using a few thousand subjects, and it costs a lot of money to use them (unless you get it institutionally underwritten, you’d need to schedule the test-taking with a psychologist and be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars, perhaps thousands), so it’s pretty certain that you’re getting something much less accurate than the official tests, possibly as accurate as the representations in the Nigerian prince scam.

 

One way to test the accuracy of ‘free’ online tests is to take some a number of times, giving answers in different ways. I suggest three ways. First, try to answer the question correctly; then try to answer it incorrectly; then answer it randomly (use a table of random numbers). If the score that it computes for you does not overwhelmingly correlate with method of answering that you used (I’d suggest using each method 5 times, done in random order), you have pretty good evidence that the tests are not accurate. To get a seat of the pants estimate, I took one of those tests and answered all of the questions incorrectly as best I could. They offered to sell me the full report for €19.94, but did say that I got a score of 160. (*cough*) Just because something suggests that it is the Stanford-Binet test does not mean that it actually is.

 

Another aspect of test accuracy is calibration: does a given online test consistently score 10% higher, or lower, than the standardized tests (is there ‘grade inflation’?). Finally, you’d want to know the relationship between administering the test online vs. with pencil-and-paper.

 

 

 

 

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On 10/13/2017 at 1:05 AM, Marzshox said:

Perhaps this subject has been exhausted or maybe it hasn't been touched upon. I'm not really sure. But I would like some of your thoughts nonetheless.

 

I can't comment on the accuracy of the tests, but I do think that they in general they shouldn't be taken too seriously. The point of life is to pursue values, not to be "intelligent". Intelligence (in the fully consistent sense) is essentially the ability to pursue and acquire abstract values via the conceptual method (this is my definition). So, it's really just another angle on valuing. And the purpose of life is not to be a valuer; it's to get the values. I'd recommend forgetting the tests, and just figuring out what you need to do and learn in order to make your life as good as it can be. You'll have to acquire intelligence along the way, but I think that if you're passionate enough about what you're going for, your "intelligence" will not be a limiting factor that you'll ever need to consider. In a sense, you can't pursue what you don't understand anyway; so if you know what you want and why you want it, then you probably already have the intelligence you need to pursue it successfully (assuming you put forth the necessary effort).

Edited by itsjames

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10 hours ago, DavidOdden said:

... ... possibly as accurate as the representations in the Nigerian prince scam.

... ...  I took one of those tests and answered all of the questions incorrectly as best I could. They offered to sell me the full report for €19.94, but did say that I got a score of 160. (*cough*) Just because something suggests that it is the Stanford-Binet test does not mean that it actually is.

Wow! 

Decades ago, one could buy books that contained two or three tests, and you could self-score. Not a full-fledged, controlled test; but, as far as I know, they were not scams either. I see Amazon sells some books like that. I wonder how good they are.

Edited by softwareNerd

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There's always going to be some subjectivity in IQ tests. Also, the IQ score itself is RELATIVE (to the general population, in any given time and country). So, even if it's not a scam, the score still ll depends on which test you take, the time you take it, and what country you take it in.

Personally, if I had any interest in measuring my IQ, I would go with the official Mensa test, or one they approved. A real, in person test, supervised by a psychologist (in the US, it costs $60 to take).

Meanwhile, Mensa also has a free, online "IQ test". However, they have an important disclaimer:

This test will not calculate an IQ, it will indicate if you could possibly pass the real Mensa test. You should finish this test within 20 minutes. Click onto the "FINISHED" button to calculate your result.

https://www.mensa.lu/en/mensa/online-iq-test/online-iq-test.html

 

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I say disregard any IQ test that is designed to measure your existing knowledge. That's just a trivia contest. An IQ test should measure your capacity for knowledge, and your ability to gain it.

 

I took the quick test at 123test.com and scored pretty well. It was all problem-solving. So, not a great test for knowledge capacity. Decent, though, for ability to gain knowledge.

IMG_20171107_124932.jpg.71aaa256a7861c83eda58eae1d2d4553.jpg

 

Edited by MisterSwig

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