What is IQ?
Intelligence is your mind's ability to think, analyse and understand the environment around you. It also constitutes an individual's problem-solving capacity and the ability to articulate their understanding. Intelligence Quotient is an individual's score based on a standardised test to determine a person's thinking and cognitive skills. It can be a good indicator of an individual's strengths and weaknesses with relation to their intelligence. It is especially useful to assess gifted children or children with learning difficulties, as it helps experts discover how far ahead or behind a child is on the mental development curve.
At what age should the test be conducted and what does the assessment mean?
In general one can conduct a fairly effective IQ test by about 4 years of age. However, parents should refrain form conducting the test at such an early age as the results might not be accurate. The only reason to go in for an IQ test at that age could be if you feel that your child is not following the usual developmental path. In such cases an IQ test can be an early window into whether your child has some learning challenges or is far ahead of her peers.
How important is my child's IQ score?
IQ tests like any other test just provide a general indicator of your child's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to her learning, analytical and cognitive skills. However, parents must be careful not to over-interpret the results or consider the scores as an absolute indicator of their child's intelligence. IQ tests can vary at different ages and stages of learning for a child. IQ test scores can change dramatically with a change in the child's attitude towards learning, which may occur during her schooling.
What is the downside of having an IQ test for my child?
There is no real downside to having your child's IQ tested other than the possibility that you might be inclined to start thinking of the score as an absolute indicator of her intelligence. Remember that IQ test scores have little or no bearing on how successful a child can be in later life. It can also be detrimental if your child is at an impressionable age and may get adversely affected by the test results. If you think it is essential to test your child's IQ, it is best to do so one-on-one with qualified experts who can assess your child's intelligence levels in a more holistic manner rather than a general online test that can sometimes provide a skewed picture.