First intelligence test was created by a French psychologist Alfred Binet and his assistant in the beginning of 20th century. The test was an attempt to determine the difference between children with some mental disabilities and normal children.
After that many other tests were created and they are still the basic means to determine the level of intelligence for both children and adults.
Intelligence has many definitions, and is generally described as an ability to perform various cognitive tasks, gather information, gain knowledge, look for solutions to different problems, create things, understand, reason, etc.
Intelligence is a mix of various abilities and general knowledge. Intelligence is not a trait possessed only by humans, but also animals and plants, as scientists claim.
Intelligence tests are used to measure the person’s intelligence quotient, shortly IQ. These tests test the person’s cognitive abilities and they do so through different tasks which can be conceptual, quantitative, perceptual or verbal. The result is expressed in an IQ score.
Mostly these tests are a tool for psychologists to test the mental age of children and determining whether is comparable to the average mental age of children of that age.
Intelligence tests are also used during recruitment processes when psychologists want to determine whether their candidates possess the skills to perform a certain job they are applying for.
IQ scores are calculated through the scales incorporated in the IQ tests. In many cases, due to various reasons these results aren’t accurate. The most common reasons are the physical and/or psychical state of the person who is being tested. That is a reason why IQ tests have tolerance scores which range for up to 20 points.
Most people (around 50%) have an average intelligence. Their IQ score ranges between 90 and 109. This is considered average intelligence, and scores below 90 are below average, while scores above 109 are above average scores.
Because there are different IQ tests nowadays, it could easily happen that the person scores differently on each of these tests.
The main reason is the complexity of intelligence which is why it is not easy to create one test that will match the cognitive skills and abilities of every person on the earth.
It is important to know that if your IQ score is something you are not satisfied with, there are ways to raise your intelligence, mostly through education, but also some other activities. With effort and patience you can raise your IQ for up to 20 points.
Types of intelligence
In time, psychologists and science defined many types of intelligence.
General intelligence is the type most psychologists agree exist. It consists of the person’s cognitive abilities, ability to gain knowledge, think abstractly and critically, learn from experience, adaptability, reasoning, etc.
Multiple or specific intelligences are based on the idea that intelligence isn’t something that can be generalized because there are many areas where it can be expressed and every person has better skills in one or several areas, but not in all of them.
Many psychologists oppose the idea of general intelligence and the fact that most intelligence tests test the person’s general skills and knowledge mostly gained in school.
Multiple intelligences represent the person’s special skills in certain areas. According to this idea, there are:
logical-mathematical intelligence so-called number/reasoning smart, musical intelligence so-called music smart, verbal-linguistic intelligence so-called word smart, interpersonal intelligence so-called people smart, intrapersonal intelligence so-called self-smart, visual-spatial intelligence so-called picture smart, bodily/kinesthetic intelligence so-called bodily smart and naturalist intelligence so-called nature smart.
Fluid intelligence is considered a type of intelligence represented by the person’s ability to find out new ways of handing things and solving problems. This intelligence decreases with age.
Crystalized intelligence is considered a type of intelligence created through life and the person’s experiences. It increases with age.
Practical intelligence is similar to general intelligence and is usually described as the ability to deal with issues and solve problems with ease.
Creative intelligence is considered the ability to think creatively and create things. It also represents the ability of a person to find creative ways to deal with matters.
Emotional intelligence is considered the ability of a person to understand other people and their emotions, desires, and motivation.
Intelligence quotient (IQ)
Intelligence level is measured in intelligence quotients or IQs. Intelligence rises with age, which is why intelligence tests must be standardized for different age groups. The standardization implies that an average level of intelligence is determined for each age group.
The IQ is determined when the mental age of a person is compared to their chronological age. Mental age is determined through intelligence tests.
The IQ is determined with the formula: IQ = mental age ÷ chronological age x 100.
For example, when a 9 year old solves a test for a 10 year old as well as an average 10 year old, the 9 year old child’s IQ is 111 (10 ÷ 9 X 100 = 111).
Some psychologists believe that IQ is related to the choices of occupations. For example, they consider professors and research scientists to have IQ over 140, and machine operators, shopkeepers, etc. to have an IQ over 100.
Others don’t agree with this division and consider the choice of occupation and personal success and achievements of a person as a combination of different factors.
It is important to emphasize the importance of genetics and its influence on the level of the person’s intelligence. Children inherit their wits from their parents and other ancestors, and similar IQ-s of parents and their children prove that fact.
Also, another important factor in forming the person’s intelligence is environment and living conditions in general.
The fact is that neglected children who live in poor living conditions and don’t get enough education are less intelligent than their peers who are fortunate to live in good living conditions, are well educated and nurtured.
Children with natural predispositions to be very smart can stagnate or even decrease their level of intelligence if they live in poor conditions, while those who are average can thrive and achieve their maximum with proper care and education.
Possible causes of a bad IQ score
IQ tests have incorporated scales to measure the results. These scores aren’t always accurate because the person doing the test might not be in the right psychical or physical state to perform well on the test.
If the person is tired, emotionally disturbed, frightened, anxious, or is experiencing some other circumstances which prevent them from concentrating and focusing on the test, the results cannot be accurate.
Also, if the person has some learning disability, such as dyslexia, the results will also be false. That is why IQ tests have tolerance of up to 10 or 20 points.
IQ 99 score meaning
An IQ score of 99 is in the middle range of average intelligence (from 90 till 109). Average is the level of intelligence typical for 50% of the human population.
You shouldn’t be worried about it because most people have average intelligence. If you don’t like your IQ score, you can work on increasing it.
You need to work on developing your reasoning, knowledge in math, science, or general knowledge, your vocabulary, logic, spatial and visual skills, etc.
Some of activities you can do to achieve that can be:
Watch documentaries on TV. Watching documentaries can be boring but it can be very beneficial for expanding your knowledge as well as your vocabulary.
Read and learn. Reading is very important for the expansion of our knowledge and development of our brain.
It keeps it occupied and helps in forming of new brain cells. Reading helps us gain new information and learn new things. It helps develop our vocabulary and logical thinking.
Play Sudoku. Even if you don’t play it now, you should start doing it. It is discovered that this game does wonders for the brain and the development of its functions. It raises your logic and keeps your brain occupied with finding solutions for the next move.
It also speeds up its functioning and the time it takes to process information.
Meditate or at least find enough time to relax regularly. If meditation seems as not something you could practice (although we suggest you at least give it a chance) than you should try to find enough time to relax your entire body, especially your brain.
If you keep overworking it and not giving it time to regenerate it won’t be able to work properly.
Eat properly and drink enough water. Eating is something we all do, but proper eating includes regular meals, and healthy nutrients which are necessary for our body, especially our brain. Try staying away from “junk” food and eat plenty of green vegetables and nuts.
Also, don’t forget to drink water because hydration is essential for the functioning of all our organs, especially the brain.
Of course, these are only few suggestions of intelligence increasing activities. There are many more and it is up to you to choose the ones that are most suitable for you.