Testing IQ could be a tricky task, since results would not reveal everything you are capable of. The question of reliability of IQ tests has been a subject of dispute amongst scholars and experts since ever.
Could it be considered a reliable tool for measuring and evaluating human intelligence? Well, it greatly depends on what how we define human intelligence. Defining human intelligence is definitely not an easy endeavor.
The idea of human intelligence is complicated in its core and scholars cannot agree on a single definition. These are either too narrow or too broad.
IQ tests are based on several parameters that are argued not to be sufficient to tell what is an individual actually capable of or, more precisely, what is his or hers intelligence capable of. That leads us to the question of whether intelligence is a general mental ability or it is a complex of different abilities, even skills and talents.
Most commonly, people identify intelligence with reason and intellect. Even more commonly, an intelligent person is simply considered a smart one. What people overlook is that we all are intelligent beings.
There is a problem with dichotomy in using the very term ‘intelligence’. From an expert point of view, intelligence is what constitutes us as intelligent beings.
Therefore, we are all intelligent. Now, measuring level of this given intelligence, let alone classifying ranges and labeling people as belonging to this or that category of intelligence is, one has to admit, a dangerous business, especially in era of strive for equality, human rights et cetera.
We have to mention that IQ test were greatly misused in the past and the serve as a tool for discriminating certain populations (namely, immigrant).
What about this ‘given’ intelligence? Is it really given, inherited and genetic, or acquired. Some experts claim there is no way one could improve their given intelligence in terms of raising the IQ level; others claim the opposite and even give examples of IQ scores improved up to 20 points, which is quite an impressive change for better. The truth is perhaps in between, as it usually happens.
Inherited intelligence is a sure thing. Studies have proven that people who grow up away of their original parents. never getting in touch with them, seem to present with similar level of intelligence and similar tendencies, perhaps. A great part of intelligence must be genetic. However, outer factors would affect the future manifestation of that intelligence.
That it is difficult to speak about improving the original level, though t is definitely possible to talk about improving the manifesting potential of given capacities.
In other words, outer factors (and inner, such as emotional intelligence, for example) would affect the actual, real-life manifestation of given potentials. If those were favorable, one could definitely express them to better degree.
Definition of Intelligence
There is no straightforward definition of human intelligence, though there are appealing and useful proposals. It is best to go with the simplest ones, since those often contain the core of the essential meaning.
For example, intelligence could simply be seen as our mental ability to adapt to changes. It is a very true exclamation.
Our mental abilities help us reason things, draw conclusions, make connections, learn, memorize, use our experience in order to adapt. One would not repeat the same mistake for a thousand times once he or she learns about it.
The difference is, indeed, that some of us are better at processing information, quicker and more capable of making efficient solutions in short time.
It is something IQ tests observe. In addition, our intelligence makes us inventive beings. It is not only that we adapt ourselves to given conditions or changes of conditions, but also we create new ones.
The creative potential of human intelligence is almost a magical thing. We see the world though our intelligence. However, reason alone is not what we operate with.
There are factors such as emotional and social intelligence; there are instinctive actions and reactions. Our full capacities are complex.
The Complexity of Intelligence
This leads us to an interesting theory that would possibly help us understand our intelligence better and take IQ scores with caution. The theory of multiple intelligences is often referred to as too broad, too loose and wide.
The supporters of this approach, however, claim other definitions and especially the starting point of IQ tests are too narrow. They claim IQ tests simply cannot evaluate all potentials.
Those who stand with IQ tests claim that many of the aspects proposed by the ‘multiple’ approach could not even be considered as related to intelligence or intellectual.
Let us see what is it about and what are those aspects we talk about.
According to the theory, there are eight different types of intelligence, with two possible additional ones. These types are verbal-linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, visual-spatial intelligence, musical-rhythmical intelligence.
There are also physical-kinesthetic intelligence, natural-naturalistic intelligence, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Two additional ones are spiritual-existential intelligence and moral intelligence.
The first eight are originally proposed by the psychologist Howard Gardner.
As you can see, some of these aspects are commonly associated with terms such as ‘talents’ and ‘skills’ and not referred to as something ‘intellectual’. However, it has been proposed that they are connected through what is considered general intelligence.
The point is, each person has potentials for all of these. We all have all types of intelligence, but it depends on an individual complex which one would dominate and in what way.
Therefore, one becomes a great artist and another one an exceptional scientists. One could be both or neither, as well. These intelligences are commonly intertwined. This approach challenges IQ tests since they evaluate only some aspects out of these.
Common test cannot tell about someone’s physical abilities or their artistic skills, for instance.
The problem with test results is that one could get an average score and yet be highly above average in one of these aspects. Having this in mind, it is difficult to take IQ tests as predictors of someone’s life success. People would love to know if their score was ‘good’. Good for what?
What kind of question is that, many would ask and yet, the internet is flooded with the same question repeated all over again and a particular score. There is no good or bad IQ score. They are different and open up different opportunities.
Evaluating the Results
Let us get back to IQ tests and scores, since we are interested into a particular one. IQ testing is old as about one century.
The first test was invented in France, for the purpose of children education. Later on, the test was standardized by Stanford University in the United States. The most widely practiced test is still WAIS test or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
This test is now active in its fourth edition WAIS-IV and the fifth one is planned to be released in 2020.
It is in the process of data collecting, needed for updating the version. WAIS is one amongst other tests from WIS, Wechsler Intelligence scale family of tests. WAIS-IV scale goes as follows. Scores that are below the limit of 69 points are ‘extremely low’.
At that point, we cannot talk about independent intellectual functioning, employment or so. Scores from 70 to 79 are ‘borderline’, while those from 80 to 89 are ‘low average’.
Scores from 90 to 109 are usually taken as ‘average’ on most scales. Different scales all take 100 as a value of average intelligence with a 15 points standard deviation. About 70 percent of population falls under this range.
Scores from 109 to 119 are ‘high average’; scores from 120 to 129 are ‘superiors’. This is where our 121 score falls under. Scores from 130 up are ‘very superiors’ or ‘gifted+, according to other scales.
Scorers of the above average results are potential candidates for high range tests. Above average scores are associated with higher education, higher employment ranks and potentials for success in those areas.
However, it is very important to note that an IQ score results expectations would not always correspond with actual life manifestation of someone’s potentials. Factors we have mentioned must be taken into consideration.
IQ 121 Score Meaning
IQ score 121 is well above the average and it is considered ‘superior’ according to WAIS-IV scale. What does superior intelligence means?
It means, first, that your IQ is higher than majority of population, meaning you are an individual who stands out because of his or hers intellectual capabilities.
A scorer of superior intelligence is definitely one who should invest into academic opportunities. A scorer of a result above 120 would easily get a Master degree.
One with such high score would have no problem with theoretical materials and learning, but would also be capable of inferring their own information. This individual would easily draw their own original conclusions from sources he or she was engaged with.
A Master thesis would be something to pursue, definitely, which does not mean, of course, you should not aspire to even higher degrees.
IQ score 120 is not enough to qualify you for Mensa, if it was something you were interested in. The arguments on pluses and minuses of higher scores are many. In the end, it greatly depends on other factors and personal experience related to those factors.
Some people claim their high score, such as one of 212, did not bring them anything especially good, on the contrary.
Highly intelligent people are often loners, since they do not get along with majority of population, simply because their appetites for knowledge are greater and small talk is not of their concern. It is just a plastic and too plain illustration, but it often happens so. The higher level, the more worries, some say.
It greatly depends on what kind of person you are. Some genius scorers are perfectly fine with being alone, meaning they are not particularly extroverted or sociable.
However, they find excellent channels to express their potentials and eventually achieve great things, in common terms of success. Others do not, for numerous reasons. The question that has to be asked is whether you strive for such kind of achievement or not.
A high score such as 121 would definitely make you a person who wonders about things a common person of average score would not bother. It depends on your overall attitude towards life how will this questioning affect you.
You could take it is a whole new world opening its doors to you, waiting for you to learn about it or you could consider yourself miserable for being incapable of using all of the offered.
Score 121 means you probably have better perceptual reasoning than the majority of people and make conclusions more quickly. With a score 121 you are definitely ‘a thinker’. Try not to over-think things, but focus on what interests you and inspires you the best.
Your life path would depend on much more than solely your IQ. There could be other aspects of your capacities your IQ score does not tell about.
You could use the high IQ score in order to improve the manifesting potential of additional talents and skills you have.