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What does IQ actually test?

The purpose of an IQ test is to measure the mental abilities of an individual. Those with a high IQ scores are considered to be smarter than the average. These scores can also be used to compare two or more people on intelligence.

An IQ test isn't based on just one or two fields, there are a lot of factors that make up an IQ test. The test is designed to cover different subjects and topics. These include:

  • Crystallized Intelligence: this involves measuring how good an individual is at making use of specific knowledge and at extracting information from the past.
  • Fluid Intelligence (Problem Solving): it involves identifying patterns, using mind power and logic to come up with solutions to problems.
  • Verbal Knowledge: an individual's vocabulary is also measured in an IQ test. This includes vocabulary reasoning, extensiveness of vocabulary an individual can use, verbal memory etc.
  • Processing Speed: an IQ test isn't just about using information, it's also about how fast a person is in processing the information. IQ tests are timed and the scores heavily depend on how quickly a person solves the test.
  • Spatial Intelligence: one of the most important parts of an IQ test is the testing of spatial intelligence. This part of the test determines how good a person is at recognizing shapes and 3-dimensional images. Many experts believe that this is one of the most difficult parts of the test.

According to scientists, the right side of our brain is responsible for triggering spatial capabilities such as solving puzzles, remembering maps etc. Individuals with good spatial intelligence are said to become good engineers.

Combining all these factors and conducting a test gives an overview of how all rounded a person's intelligence is and that's what an IQ test is all about. It helps people know where they stand in terms of intelligence. Moreover, it can also help individuals choose a career as the test can help them understand where they excel.