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How to interprete an IQ score?

The following list breaks down the generally-accepted labels associated with IQ scores for the society. However, is important to recall that these tests are only one measure of intelligence and shouldn't be used as an all-encompassing personal label.

  • More than 140: Genius or close to genius
  • Between 120 – 140: Very superior intelligence
  • Between 110 – 119: Superior intelligence
  • Between 90 – 109: Normal or average intelligence
  • Between 80 – 89: Dullness
  • Between 70 – 79: Borderline deficiency
  • Below 70: Definite feeble-mindedness

IQ tests do not test the quantity of a person's knowledge. Because of this, studying and learning new information will not necessarily increase a person's IQ score. However, consistently dedicating time to learning is like an exercise for the brain, which could potentially assist a person in developing her/his cognitive skills. The relationship between learning and mental abilities is still unknown ground in the scientific community. However, intellectual ability seems to be more genetic as opposed to being influenced solely by environmental factors.

So the popular question remains: can a person increase her/his IQ score? The evidence for and agains is mixed. Some studies have shown that children who receive greater nurturing and a healthier diet as babies develop stronger intellectual abilities. Similarly, children who are more strongly intellectually stimulated at young ages have been shown to have boosted IQ scores in elementary school, though the increase is not guaranteed permanently. Adult scores have been shown not to change significantly over time, but keeping oneself in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere can keep cognitive abilities boosted, much like regular exercise keeps a person 'in shape'.

Data shows that IQ scores are relatively stable, regardless of the education that a person acquires. But this does not mean that a person cannot increase other areas of their intelligence.

IQ tests fail to measure many crucial areas of intellectual ability, and relying solely on this test to measure a person's potential would be an error. While tests are accurate predictors of academic and workplace success, there are few real-world situations where creativity, wisdom, and communication are not important for success, as well.