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Do you know what the IQ score is? No, no, no. I don’t mean if you know about it; everyone knows about the IQ score, but hardly anyone knows what it is. And even though no one is really certain about what the IQ score is, or how it is calculated, society puts a lot of pressure on us if it seems too “low”, or makes us feel like we have extra responsibilities if it is really “high.” Well, let me clear some things up for you right now.
It is generally known that the IQ is a number, that the number measures level of intelligence, and that the level of intelligence is determined by the individual’s performance on an intelligence test. Beyond that the average person knows little about the IQ.
The letters IQ stand, of course, for Intelligence Quotient. This quotient is obtained by dividing mental age by chronological age and multiplying the result by 100.
It is Mental Age that is supposedly measured by the test. For example, if a child’s test score indicates a mental age of nine years and the child is actually aged eight years and six months, his IQ would be 106, and the whole thing is calculated like this: 9/8.5 x 100 = 106
Another child who makes the identical score but whose chronological age is ten years would have an IQ of 90, and that is calculated like this: 9/10 x 100 = 90
So, the question is then, what is Mental Age?
Mental Age is the average score made by people of a particular age group. Mental Age is arrived at by a process known as “standardizing testing.” The test is given to a large number of people of all ages and of presumably similar backgrounds.
When the results for the test are averaged for each age group that took it, that average test score becomes the yardstick that measures all other people of the same age. So if a person of the same age gets a lower score, the math would calculate that person to have a lower than average IQ. And if a person get a higher score, they would end up having a higher than average IQ.
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