• Question: Can we get IQ tests for Primary Schools

    Asked by jazz499hmm to Rachel E, Martin M, Lisa H, Kirsty R, Erin P, David B, Adam W on 24 Jan 2024.
    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      When I was at primary school in Scotland, we did IQ tests in P6 and P7. These were then used to stream us in high school into specific ability classes. It worked for me with an IQ of about 140. However, IQ is not the best measure of the ability of someone to do science… it more about a combination of knowledge, understanding, practical ability and inter-personal skills.

    • Photo: David Bremner

      David Bremner answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      Knowledge is not always about knowing everything but knowing where to look for the answers to things you don’t know.

    • Photo: Erin Pallott

      Erin Pallott answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      There are lots of tests we use in education, but it is not common to use IQ tests across schools. From a quick read of recent studies, it seems that IQ testing is not seen as a very effective measure of school performance. But I’m no expert in this!
      The 11+ exam, used for entry into selective schools, is partially modelled after IQ tests.

    • Photo: Adam Washington

      Adam Washington answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      Two quick annecdotes about IQ tests:

      1) When I was younger, I took an IQ test where the second question was “Why is Piccadilly Circus famous?” I answered that it’s famous because Count Dracula moved there in Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. That was marked incorrect, because Piccadilly is only famous for being mentioned in “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”. Given that both statements are true, is there an objective measure of which one is *THE* reason that Piccadilly is famous?

      2) When I was applying for university, I took a different IQ test. This one had a question:

      Which of the following is different from the others: A) Football B) Billiards C) Ice Hockey D) Baseball

      Football is the only game on the list where the players don’t hit an object with a stick. Billiards is the only game on the list played indoors and without teams. Ice Hockey is the only game on the list that doesn’t use a ball. Baseball is the only game on the list that is asymmetric (in both footbal and hockey, both teams have a goalie at all times, while only one baseball team at a time has a pitcher).

      If you’re wondering what the “correct” answer was, I’ll simply tell you that the man who wrote the test had previously been a hockey player.

    • Photo: Rachel Edwards

      Rachel Edwards answered on 26 Jan 2024:

      As the others have said, IQ tests are interesting, but they’re quite biased! They assume that you’re clever if you know stuff, and if you don’t have the ‘right’ knowledge (e.g. you’re from a different country or area and don’t know about the geography of where you’re taking the test, or you have no interest in e.g. sports) then you don’t score highly – and they can also be practiced so you get better marks. It’s more important to work hard and keep learning. Most scientists aren’t geniuses – but we are people who enjoy a challenge and have worked hard to get where we are.

    • Photo: Lisa Humphreys

      Lisa Humphreys answered on 27 Jan 2024:

      You probably can but each have their own bias. There are multiple ways of being intelligent. You won’t always know all of the answers to questions but knowing the strategies you can use to find the answers will set you up well in life. Reading books and other publications, learning from others, and doing your own form of hands on activities when appropriate will help you discover what you don’t know.

      I like a comment that I read from a book that Bob Iger (Disney CEO) wrote: If I’m the smartest in the room I’m in the wrong room. His point being there are always opportunities to learn from others and don’t be put off or intimidated by someone who happens to be smarter. We each have our own specialist subjects but together we’re experts in many.

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 29 Jan 2024:

      You can, but I’m not terribly convinced about how useful they are. I’m a big believer in the growth mindset. A growth mindset is a way of viewing challenges and setbacks. It refers to the belief that who you are, your talents, habits, and potential, can be developed and improved over time. People with a growth mindset believe that even if they struggle with certain skills, their abilities aren’t set in stone. They think that, with work, their skills can improve over time.