Could IQ Scores Be a False Indicator of Intelligence?

It is a well-known fact around the world that most people associate smartness and intelligence levels with their scores on IQ tests. The IQ test, which stands for intelligence quotient, is supposed to tell us how smart somebody is and what their intelligence is by giving them a number.

The number is a score they get after doing a series of tests that measure different parts of human intellect and problem-solving. There are various types of problems and tasks involved which give a score. Since around two-thirds of people score between 85 and 115, this is said to be the average. Less than 3% of people score either below 70 or over 130, which automatically makes one think of them as less intelligent or geniuses.

These tests have been in use in one form or another for well over a century and they are established as the go-to measurement and requirement for many opportunities, academic and otherwise. However, how accurate are these scores, and does an IQ test really indicate what it is supposed to?

Does the test that is more or less the same give everyone a good judge of how smart someone is? What does it mean if you score lower than you expected, or perhaps higher? In this article we talk about IQ scores and if they are really what they are supposed to be. Could an IQ score be a false indicator of your intelligence?

Read on to learn more about this. For more info on these tests as well as a chance to take one yourself and see how you do, make sure to visit



The most common practice of using IQ tests to actually do something and help determine someone’s intellectual worth is in educational placements, assessments, and job applications. They have been used in many research contexts, but also to measure if someone is the right candidate for a certain job, what their future might hold, and whether or not they are the right candidate for an academic institution. IQ tests also measure the rough averages of intelligence in regions, populations, and other demographics. In recent years, however, a few decades even, it has been said that all IQ tests really do is gatekeep people who may score lower than they should.

It is said that they are not nearly as accurate and that they measure the wrong things. The proof for this exists in different scores by the same people at different times of day, on different days, during different stages of life, and in different surroundings. Mood can also influence the final score. After all, not all tests are the same. How can all these variables then give a precise measurement of someone’s intelligence? It almost becomes as if the test measures the candidate’s ability to solve the tasks and problems in the test, rather than measure their actual intelligence. What does measuring intelligence even mean? Not many people know that there are different types of intelligence in the first place.

Multiple Intelligences

Logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, naturalistic… these are all different types of being intellectually gifted or simply different. And of course, it is not one or the other but a combination of all of them. Each and every one of us has a different combination of these, which means we are all good or bad at different things in life. That is also where talent comes from, naturally gifted ability to do something better than the rest. It is also where being so bad at something else that it is hopeless comes from. And that is okay. One can never be great at everything. But of course, one’s intelligence should also not be measured through one and the same test as literally everyone else.

Overall Inaccuracy and False Indication

For an IQ test to truly be the indicator of someone’s intellectual ability, it needs to have so many different things, most of which cannot be done with a pen and paper. And therefore, to answer the titular question of this article, yes. Absolutely yes. An IQ score can indeed be a false indicator of your intelligence because it is thought of as being supposed to give you this answer. Since it is inherently bad and not at all objective, it cannot give you this answer. The number you score may literally not mean anything. All it does is measure a certain type of intelligence and the speed at which you can do the tasks at hand.

Doing well is but a sign of intelligence but by no means can it be a sign of a certain lack of intelligence. What about people who panic during pressure, or those who think deep and hard about something before doing it? Cultural biases are a well-known, documented problem of IQ tests because they use standardized language that is not spoken everywhere and by everyone, and views that are not the same for everyone. Interpretation of the score you get matters a lot as well. Not everyone is capable of explaining to the candidate what they did wrong. The term “wrong” is not even right here because many are not able to perceive the test the same.


Conclusion and Takeaways

Overall, it is a flawed system that has been flawed from the start. It is only now that people are realizing what IQ tests truly are. They are far from being useless or redundant as they can still help so much, particularly for detecting certain learning and mental difficulties.

However, the gatekeeping part needs to disappear as do the tests made by higher powers that aim to research the intellect levels of less developed peoples and nations that do not have the same world views as them.

Multiple intelligences exist, it is a fact, and one test that does not even touch most of them cannot evaluate the total brain capacity of a person. Again, to answer the titular question, IQ scores can indeed falsely indicate the intelligence of a person. They have been doing so from day one.