Interpreting IQ Test Scores

Learning your IQ and interpreting IQ test scores are important steps toward better understanding yourself and your potential.

When it comes to interpreting IQ test scores, a score in the range of 90 to 110 is considered normal. An IQ score of 100 is considered to be average. About 50 percent of the population has an IQ between 90 and 110. Only 2.5 percent of the population has an IQ of 130 or higher.

Recent studies suggest that 95 percent of the population has an IQ between 70 and 130. If you are scoring above or below that level, you are truly extraordinary.

Generally speaking, today’s IQ tests are considered to be statistically sound. On average, experts suggest that there’s a 60 percent chance that your IQ is within 3 points of your test results (assuming it’s a certified and scientific test, of course!). What does that mean? You can be pretty confident that your results are reasonably accurate, unless there were extenuating circumstances that affected you when you took the test (you were sick, super nervous, that kind of thing).

It’s important to remember that there are many different types of intelligence. In general, IQ tests scores help to measure your abilities in the following areas:

Mathematical Intelligence:

Your ability to solve math problems and equations quickly and accurately; to reason and calculate

Visual/Spatial Intelligence:

Your ability to recognize visual patterns and predict outcomes

Linguistic Intelligence:

Your ability to communicate with words, recognize meaning and understand analogies

Logical Intelligence:

Your ability to draw conclusions based on evidence and solve problems using logic and reason

When interpreting IQ test scores, consider all four areas of intelligence. While you might score well in one area, you might do poorly in another. It all effects your final IQ test score. An overall IQ test score is helpful, but tests that break your scores down into these separate categories can help you understand how your brain works best.

If you have an exceptionally high IQ, say 130 or higher, you might want to pursue further testing to see how you measure up. The High IQ Society has an excellent selection of tests for people with high IQs.

Great Minds Think Alike? Mensa IQ Tests

If after interpreting IQ test scores you’ve learned your scores are at the highest levels, you might want to consider joining one of the elite groups devoted to those with the highest IQs.

There’s no doubt that Mensa is the granddaddy of high IQ societies. Membership is highly restricted, difficult to obtain, and not possible for 98 percent of us.

Only the top 2 percent of the population has the IQ necessary to join Mensa. Here you can learn more about the requirements for Mensa IQ tests and memberships.

Child IQ Test Scores

Child IQ test scores have often been used to help predict what kind of job a child will be suited for. Generally, IQs are thought to relate to the following professions:

90-100 Custodian, nurses’ aide, factory worker, laborer

100-110 File clerk, truck drivers, shipping clerk, carpenter, mail clerk, telephone operator, metal worker

110-120 Accounting clerk, sales representative, bookkeeper, electrician, teller, plumber

120-130 Writer, service manager, administrator, engineer, computer specialist, real estate agent

130 and above Professor, scientist, lawyer, doctor

Our recommendations for child IQ tests will help you get started, should you decide to put Junior to the test.

Remember, there are many factors that can affect your IQ score for adult IQ tests, and that you should keep in mind when interpreting IQ test scores. Heredity (80 percent) and environment (20 percent) are believed to be influences on IQ levels. Cultural differences can contribute to a lower IQ test score, as can any learning disabilities. If you were hungry, tired or grumpy when you took the test, that will come into play, as well.

IQ test scores can also vary greatly between different tests. On average, people’s scores on IQ tests tend to fall after age 25.

It’s important to keep all these factors in mind when interpreting IQ test scores — and keeping them in perspective!