Before we begin, we'd like to reiterate that IQ scores are only a general indicator of a child's intelligence and have little or no significance to their success in later life. To learn more about IQ testing, click here. To read more about the kind of IQ tests available in India, click here. The best use of IQ scores is to find out if a child is on either end of the spectrum (whether they have learning difficulties or if they are too far ahead of their peers) so that adequate modifications can be made in their educational and learning experience.
- IQ tests usually have a range of scores from 70 – 140, wherein, a test score of about 100 is considered to an average score.
- About 70% of the people who take IQ tests are likely to arrive at a score close to 100.
- A score around 70 could indicate below average intelligence. However, it is possible that a person with a score on the lower side of the scale has some learning challenges or neurological disorders.
- On the other hand, a person with a score of above 140 is considered to be a genius.
- Scores between 130 and 140 indicate extreme intelligence, whereas a score between 110 and 129 is considered to be a sign of above average intelligence.
- Intelligence test scores typically follow a bell-shaped curve graph. According to this method, most of the scores lie in the average intelligence category, whereas the numbers keep dipping as the scores go higher.
- According to studies, very few individuals (approximately 0.2%) receive a score of more than 145 (indicating a very high IQ) or less than 55 (indicating a very low IQ) on the test.
Here is a tabular breakdown of what the score range indicates for each tester:
Below 70 – below average intelligence
95 to 110 – average intelligence
115 to 129 – above average intelligence
130 to 144 – moderately gifted
145 to 159 – highly gifted
160 to 179 – exceptionally gifted
180 and above – profoundly gifted
While these scores certainly provide a window into a person's intellectual capability, there are many other social and emotional factors that contribute to an individual's intelligence, hence considering the scores as an absolute indicator can provide a partial picture. It is best to look at the test scores as an indicator, and the individual's intelligence must be ultimately adjudged only after taking multiple factors into account.