"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein
This humble confession from one of the most prodigious minds of the world, goes on to say a lot about what makes a genius. It is not just a high IQ score that makes great minds, but more importantly, it's the ability to persist till a problem yields to a solution. What we call intelligence, is so complex and multifaceted a thing, that measuring it through a single IQ test is like estimating the size of the tip of an iceberg.
The submerged intellect that lies within, has many abilities and unlocked potential, that can only manifest itself, when the individual is subjected to various unpredictable situations in life. All IQ tests can do is measure a few skills and abilities of individuals and make an approximate estimate of their intellectual abilities.
About IQ Scores
The highly developed cerebral cortex of the human brain grants us the ability to think, visualize, reason, process, memorize and comprehend things, which sets us ahead in the evolutionary race. Intelligence is a rare thing in the universe and the only place we know so far, where it exists in abundance, is planet Earth. Some supposedly intelligent people on the planet, decided that they needed an objective measurement of intelligence, that could separate out the bright minds, the average minds and the supposedly dull minds.
Accordingly, many of them came up with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests designed to measure the reasoning, visualization and cognitive abilities of an intellect. So through an intelligence test, an individual is subjected to a barrage of questions of various kinds and depending on how he scores, his intellect is branded with an IQ score. This score and the subsequent assignment of an intellectual level commensurate to it, is based on statistical analysis of the scores of a large number of people and their perceived intelligence.
An IQ score is a three digit judgment on an intellect, based on how he or she handles a few problems. Personally, I think that these scores should not be taken too seriously as they hardly do any justice to the complexity of a human mind. A man may not be able to process numbers that efficiently or be good at verbal skills, which are measured by IQ tests, but his musical and abstract reasoning skills, his ability to read people and empathize won't be counted. Nevertheless, it's a fact that IQ tests can identify individuals suffering from mental retardation (MR).
Wechsler IQ Scoring Chart
There are many types of intelligence testing mechanisms, which use many different IQ scoring scales. However, the most standard scale used today is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, which is presented below.
|IQ Score Range||Interpretation|
|130 and above||Very Superior Intelligence/Genius|
|120 to 130||Superior Intelligence|
|110 to 120||Bright Normal Intelligence|
|90 to 110||Normal/Average Intelligence|
|80 to 90||Dull Normal Intelligence|
|70 to 79||Borderline Mental Retardation|
|50 to 70||Mild Mental Retardation|
|35 to 50||Moderate Mental Retardation|
|20 to 35||Severe Mental Retardation|
|0 to 20||Profound Mental Retardation|
One thing that should be noted here is that the range gradation of mental scores is approximate. There is no clear boundary between normal and dull normal intelligence or between mild and borderline mental retardation. This is a purely statistical scale. The average IQ score of individuals all over the world is around 100 to 110. All IQ score graphs peak at this average score and taper towards the higher or lower end.
Modern psychologists have realized that more than IQ, what matters most is the 'Emotional Intelligence' of an individual. It is the ability of a person to control his emotions and deal with people. A high IQ may make you successful, but it can't guarantee happiness. A high IQ combined with a high emotional intelligence quotient makes for a balanced personality. So don't worry too much about what your IQ is. Figure out what you like doing and what you are good at and pursue it with all you've got. For some like me, it's exploring the world through the written word, for others it may be something else. The only bit of intelligence you require is in figuring out what you are good at or what is your 'thing'!