IQ – not a true measure of intelligence

A high IQ is sometimes misconstrued to be an indication of high intelligence. But if you look at how IQ scores are obtained, you would realize that it does not give an accurate representation of intellectual capacity.

How are IQ scores calculated ?

Your IQ is the ratio of your mental age (MA) to your chronological age (CA).

MA – the age of your brain’s processing capacity ( if you are 11 and your brain possesses the mental capacity of an average 14-year-old, then your MA is 14 years )

CA – this is your natural age at present, calculated as the difference between the present year and your birth year. ( if you were born in 1996 and it is now 2016, your CA would be 20 years )

The formula for calculating IQ is given by,

IQ = (MA/CA) x 100

The Mental Age ( MA ) is calculated by using scores obtained on a standardized test. The test contains questions that test the brain’s ability to think and recognize complex patterns.

What a ‘high’ IQ really mean?

If you have a high IQ, it means only that your mental age is greater than your actual age. In layman’s terms, you are ahead of your peers(people the same age as you) in brain processing capacity. That only means that IF you use your brain as much as your peers do, you will be conventional more intelligent than them. Recent studies have found out that there are several types of intelligence that are not detected by IQ tests. The time is not far away when our understanding of intelligence will become more nuanced and IQ will become obsolete.

And if history has been any indicator, not every successful person has had a high IQ. Intellectual and social success is still a result of hard work. Talent (brain power) is the best fuel for success. But if you don’t know how to build a rocket (work hard), you will never succeed.


The subject of intelligence is highly nuanced and needs a detailed analysis. All of the intelligence tests can’t be covered in such a short post. But if you want to know more, you can write to me at or get in touch on my social profiles – links are on the right-hand side.



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