IQ gets discussed a lot, but what does it mean? What is the average IQ? And how do you measure up?
Here is an overview of how IQ is determined, some of the tests used to find IQ, and how Canada matches up against the rest of the world.
And if you want to boost your IQ, we've got some tips to help you get started!
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Intelligence: What Defines It?
Intelligence comes in different forms, and researchers have many different definitions of "intelligence."
For the purpose of this article, intelligence refers to a person's mental abilities. This comes in many different forms, including someone's ability to learn something new, react to their environment, or create solutions to problems.
Some researchers break intelligence into three separate categories: practical, creative, and analytical. What are these three types of intelligence, and how do they differ?
This relates to real-life problems and solutions. As children, we learn practical intelligence for many issues. If it's snowing, we put on a coat, and if we're thirsty, we drink water.
For adults, practical intelligence means adapting themselves or their environment to fit their needs. A lot of technological advancements throughout history have been driven by practical intelligence.
This measures a person's imagination and creativity. Storytellers, artists, and designers are creatively intelligent, but the arts aren't the only aspect of this intelligence.
Anyone who uses creativity, problem-solving skills, and imagination to solve issues is creatively intelligent. These types of people can think outside the box, coming up with unique solutions and creations.
This is typically what people think of when they think of "intelligence." It's also the type of intelligence measured by IQ tests.
Analytically intelligent people analyze data to find solutions. Math, "hard" sciences, puzzles, and problem-solving are fields where analytically intelligent people thrive.
Average IQ in Canada
Most IQ tests have the same scale. The average is 100, and the standard deviation is 15. This means that 68% of people fall within one standard deviation of the average, or between 85 and 115.
But what is the average IQ in Canada? According to one study that posted in Forbes website last 2019, the current national average IQ in Canada is 100.4. This is well above the standard deviation of the average!
This seems to indicate that Canada's IQ distribution is very similar to the worldwide IQ distribution.
Top 10 Highest Average IQ in the World
The same study looked at IQs for other countries, giving averages for the citizens of each country. Table below shows the average IQ score for each country, sorted highest to lowest.
Based on the most recent study, the country with the lowest average IQ score is Malawi at 60.1. The highest average IQ scores belong to Singapore at 107.1, followed by China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.
However, it's important to remember that IQ isn't the only measure of intelligence. Countries can also be ranked based on the three factors (1. School Test Rankings, 2. IQ Rankings, and 3. the Nobel Prize Rankings.
These studies have garnered quite a bit of controversy, and some researchers say that IQ tests discriminate unfairly against some people. Others say that discrepancies indicate different education levels, rather than differences in populations.
But a lot of this boils down to the question:
What Does IQ Stand For?
IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is a scientific attempt to quantify peoples' problem-solving, reasoning, and analytical skills.
Someone who can think logically and solve problems should have a higher IQ than someone who can't. Unfortunately, many people get confused as to the real IQ meaning.
In an IQ test, your scores are compared against other people of your age. If you score exactly the average, you'll get 100. If you do exceptionally better than people in your age group, your IQ will be quite a bit higher than 100.
While IQ can show your analytical and critical thinking skills, plenty of other things that can't be determined by an IQ test. Your emotional understanding, "common sense," and other skills can't really be measured by an IQ test.
For those who get a low IQ score: don't fret! A lot of outside factors play into your score, and other things matter as well. Besides, you can improve your IQ, just as you would any other test score, skill, or ability.
What Does A Standard IQ Test Look Like?
There are several IQ tests available. They will typically have you do a few types of activities, then give you a final score based on your results.
These types of tests usually start out very easy and work their way up to very hard. They're designed so that at some point, even the smartest person will fail. So don't feel bad when you fail something; it's part of the test!
Wechsler Intelligence Scale
This type of test has two main variations, one for adults and one for children. It's been around since the early to mid 20th century and has undergone many revisions. Depending on the age of the test-taker, they will take the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale for Adults, or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.
The subject will be given a battery of tests in a variety of subjects, including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
Like other intelligence tests, this uses a variety of subjects to form a picture of someone's intelligence. It was developed before the Wechsler test and led to the formation of intelligence testing as a field.
This test is designed for children through young adults and is often used by schools and parents. It is designed to find gaps in schoolchildren's knowledge, highlighting where they need help.
KABC - The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
A more modern test, it uses developments in psychology to help determine intelligence. Statistics are also incorporated to give a picture of how people stack up against the population.
A key factor of this test is that it factors in outside and mitigating factors. These include handicaps, disabilities, and cultural or linguistic difficulties.
The Cognitive Assessment System
This test focuses on cognitive and neuropsychological theories. Like many others, it's designed for children and adolescents.
The goal is to provide a better way to measure IQ. Many schools use it to find cognitive defects and guidelines for educational interventions.
The Differential Ability Scales
Another test designed for children and adolescents, this test has more subtests than many others. The original version had 17 subtests, and the current version has 20.
Like many other tests, it analyzes verbal, spatial reasoning, and non-verbal skills. Also like other tests, these results are considered "official" IQ scores when applying to organizations like Mensa.
How Can You Improve Your IQ?
There are several steps people can take to improve IQ scores. If you need a good score, it's wise to study and do what you can to improve your chances.
A lot of it relates to your physical health. Exercising regularly, eating well, and getting lots of sleep are three of the biggest factors towards testing well and improving your IQ. You should also read a lot, broadening your mind and preparing you to handle more problems and situations.
You can also practice other skills, like writing, music, or technical skills. These will help your brain stretch and expand in new directions, and make you more adept at IQ tests. And on the day you go to take your test, you can drink some coffee or tea and let that caffeine really boost your energy!
Learn More About Intelligence
If you're curious to learn more about the average IQ, taking tests, or boosting your health, we'd love to help!
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