IQ Score

What is the IQ Score? What does an IQ score mean? What is the average IQ? After taking an IQ test, you might need some help with the interpretation of your IQ score to understand what your IQ score actually tells you. Is your iq average? Do you have a genius IQ score?

What does my IQ score mean?

People often talk about very high IQ scores, often referred to as genius IQ scores, but what exactly do these numbers mean and how do they stack up? It's not always easy to understand what IQ test scores mean. Most professional tests, like the culture fair intelligence test or the classical intelligence test, don't only give you a specific IQ score, they also mention an IQ range.

This range shows you that your score may vary within this IQ scale, due to error of measurement and because circumstances under which you take a test might be of influence. The average IQ score is always 100, and your personal score tells you your IQ ranking compared to that. IQ scores are based on comparisons with other people who took the test: the norm group.

As 100 is the average score, your score tells you how your IQ score ranks compared to other people. There is no such thing as a 'normal iq range', although you can distinguish categories like average intelligence. Most IQ classifications tend to take care in naming groups the distinguish. So, if you're looking to find what a genius IQ level is, 'very gifted' could be the phrase you are looking for.

Normal Distribution & IQ Scores

The properties of the normal distribution apply to IQ scores:

90 ↔ 110 IQ

50%

of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110

85 ↔ 115 IQ

70%

of IQ scores fall between 85 and 115

70 ↔ 130 IQ

95%

of IQ scores fall between 70 and 130

60 ↔ 140 IQ

99.5%

of IQ scores fall between 60 and 140

IQ Scores & Ratings

Lewis Terman (1916) developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores.

140+ IQ Scores Genius or Near Genius
120 - 140 IQ Scores Very Superior Intelligence
110 - 119 IQ Scores Superior Intelligence
90 - 109 IQ Scores Normal or Average Intelligence
80 - 89 IQ Scores Dullness
70 - 79 IQ Scores Borderline Deficiency
IQ Scores & Ratings

High IQ & Genius IQ

Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing ~.25% of the population (1 in 400).

115 - 124 IQ ScoresAbove Average (e.g., university students)
125 - 134 IQ ScoresGifted (e.g., post-graduate students)
135 - 144 IQ ScoresHighly Gifted (e.g., intellectuals)
145 - 154 IQ ScoresGenius (e.g., professors)
155 - 164 IQ ScoresVery Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)
165 - 179 IQ ScoresHigh Genius
180 - 200 IQ ScoresHighest Genius
High IQ & Genius IQ

Low IQ & Mental Retardation

5% of people have an IQ under 70 and this is generally considered as the benchmark for "mental retardation", a condition of limited mental ability in that it produces difficulty in adapting to the demands of life. Severity of mental retardation can be broken into 4 levels.

50-70 IQ Scores Mild mental retardation (85%)
35-50 IQ Scores Moderate mental retardation (10%)
20-35 IQ Scores Severe mental retardation (4%)
< 20 IQ Scores Profound mental retardation (1%)
Low IQ & Mental Retardation

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