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IQ Scores and Meanings

Different IQ Scores Range and Meanings for You to Know

We often hear about people scoring 120 - 130 in IQ tests, but seldom do we take interest in the calculation of these scores or their meaning. In this article, we will stress on the latter.
Abhijit Naik
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Fun Fact
The Flynn effect, documented by James R. Flynn, suggests that the average IQ of human beings has been increasing with each generation.

Human intelligence has always fascinated researchers, and therefore, the popularity of IQ tests shouldn't come as a surprise for us. A tool to measure human intelligence, an IQ or Intelligence Quotient test assesses the person's problem-solving skills, reasoning ability, and the ability to store and retrieve the necessary information. On an average, IQ scores vary between 70 and 130, with less than 70 being considered low IQ, and more than 130, exceptional IQ.
IQ Scores and What they Mean
An IQ test consists of several questions which test the general abilities of the individual. Several theories are taken into consideration when compiling the scores. Critics argue that a person who can answer a mathematical question with ease, may not be so efficient when it comes to a question about logical reasoning. Those in support of IQ tests, however, refute this claim, stating that most people who do well in one category, perform well in all the other categories as well. In almost all the IQ tests, 100 is the median scale, and score within the margin of 10 points on either side is considered normal IQ score.
IQ Range and Intelligence Levels
IQ Range Intelligence Level
130+ Very superior
120 - 129 Superior
110 - 119 High average
90 - 109 Average
80 - 89 Low average
70 - 79 Borderline
69 and below Extremely low

Interestingly, only, 2.2 percent people who take an IQ test fall in the 'Very Superior' category, which consists of people with the highest IQ score.
Almost half of the people who take the IQ test fall in the average category with their score ranging between 90 and 109, which is considered 'Average'.
That any score above 130 is considered very superior may make you wonder, what the highest possible IQ score is. It is believed that the IQ of the renowned Italian painter, Leonardo Da Vinci was around 220.
A child's intelligence differs from that of an adult, and therefore, the IQ scores for adults differ from the same for children. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), for instance, measures the intelligence quotient in children between the age of 6 and 16. On the other hand, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) measures the intelligence quotient in adults. It is also observed that the IQ score of a child increases significantly over the period, while that of an adult remains stable or shows a minor rise or fall, owing to the underlying factors.
Are IQ Tests Reliable?
The score of an IQ test is a rough depiction of the person's academic intelligence, and is not necessarily the best measure to determine whether the person's intelligence is exceptional, average, or poor. The scores of an individual vary from test to test, which implies that several other elements come into picture when it comes to the assessment of intelligence through a legitimate IQ test.
While the scores may differ, drastic fluctuations rarely occur. At the most, a fluctuation of around 15 points is observed. A person who scored 130 in one test will seldom score 80 in the second, unless there are some underlying factors forbidding him from giving his best shot. The highest score an individual gets would be an ideal reflection of his or her IQ, but the margin of error will always be there.
You can take an IQ test online. Most of these websites interpret your IQ score for you and help you compare your score with the hordes of other people who have taken the same test. In fact, some of these websites even provide a legitimate IQ test certificate acknowledging your achievement. Having said that, if the website that you chose doesn't interpret the data, you need not worry. You can use the information we provided in this article to assess your own performance.