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Types of Intelligence Tests

IQ tests measure general intelligence levels. IQ tests are administered by school districts (e.g. the Cognitive Abilities Test), private psychologists, the military (e.g. Army GCT) and human resource departments (e.g. the Wonderlic).

There are two broad types of intelligence test:

  1. ‘Culture-fair’ tests of fluid intelligence (Gf), which is our ability to reason and problem solve, independently of  training and practice.
  2. ‘Full-scale’ IQ tests, made up of subtests for all five factors of IQ – fluid intelligence (Gf) as well as (typically) vocabulary and general knowledge, visuo-spatial ability, short term memory, and processing speed. Sometimes quantitative/mathematical reasoning is also tested in full scale tests.

Very popular among standard intelligence tests

Mensa accepts scores from approximately 200 different standardized intelligence tests (click for qualifying test information here). For more information on Mensa requirements click here.

Raven’s tests are popular career / job aptitude tests. As described by the publishers of the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices Test:

The APM score can be used as an indication of a candidate’s potential for success in high-level technical, professional, and executive positions that require high levels of clear and accurate thinking, problem identification, holistic situation assessment, and monitoring of tentative solutions for consistency with all available information. The APM score also can be used for developmental purposes in occupational and advanced educational settings. The nonverbal aspect of the test minimizes the impact of cultural or language bias.


Progressive Matrices Tests

The Ravens IQ tests are progressive matrices tests. Performance on matrices tests can be improved with IQ training.

Here is an example of a progressive matrix problem:

free online iq test
Matrix reasoning IQ problem


This kind of test has proved to be an excellent measure of fluid intelligence (Gf) – your ability to problem solve and reason ‘off the cuff’ – without prior practice.


How To Test IQ? How Do You Find Out Your IQ?

Knowing that most IQ tests on the internet are not standardized tests, f you want to test your own IQ level, how do you go about it?

One approach is to take a professional IQ test administered by a qualified test-administrator, such as a private psychologist or a Mensa test official.


Professional IQ Tests

Professionally administered IQ tests (e.g. WAIS-IV or Cattell III B) give you an accurate measure of your IQ level. They are typically administered by a certified psychologist, educationalist or clinician. They cost to you will be in the region of $300-$500 for an assessment. The test kits can be purchased independently – at a high cost: $1,110.00 for the test battery (link).

A cost-effective method of measuring your true IQ level is to take a Mensa Supervised Test. Mensa offers supervised IQ tests ( $40.00 in the US /  £17.50 in the UK). This fee includes:

  • A reserved place at the centre of your choice.
  • The opportunity to take two IQ test papers. The Cattell III B and the Cattell Culture Fair III A.
  • The marking of your IQ test papers and your results returned to you in confidence.

Mensa Supervised test sessions are held at centres throughout your home country. Click here for details from International Mensa. For those in the US click here. For those in the UK click here.

Performance on Mensa admissions tests can be improved with IQ training.


Online IQ TestFree Online IQ Tests With Instant Results

There are many so-called ‘IQ tests’ online. The vast majority these or more are not scientifically valid or standardized.  They may be fun, they may even be good for training purposes, but they are worthless as a measure of your true IQ.

Free Online Culture-Free Fluid Intelligence (Gf) Tests

Here is a culture-free progressive matrices tests based on the Raven’s standard and advanced matrices tests. The methodology used by the test makers for standardizing the scores for this test are not made explicit, and its validity is not guaranteed. This is an example of a test that may inflate your IQ score in a way that is not accurate. However, it is a useful test for gaining practice in matrix IQ tests.


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IQ-Brain.com offers realistic fluid IQ tests based on Cattell, RPM and the Mensa-administered Figure Reasoning Test (FRT). The IQ score estimates are comparable what users have been able to achieve on proctor-administered tests. The tests have a similar number of questions and time pressure as both FRT and the Cattell culture fair IIIa tests which are often administered by Mensa to test fluid intelligence. This test-developer recruited a cohort of test takers from all walks of life, but more importantly several test takers who had ‎taken a Mensa-administered IQ test. The test developer calibrated the test to ensure that the raw score required to achieve a passing score of 132 was in line with the Mensa threshold of difficulty. The test developer believes that if you can achieve an IQ score of 132 on his tests, that you stand a good chance of achieving a similar result with a Mensa-administered test.

The cost of 1 test result is $9.00, 2 test results for $12.00 and 3 test results for $15.00. The tests measure IQs up to 148.


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Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test Equivalent

A version similar to the classic Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test can be found at this link below. Note that at the end of the 60 questions, you will be asked for a small fee for the standardized results. This is a valid IQ test for your fluid intelligence, and since fluid intelligence is highly correlated with other factors of IQ, this test provides a valid measure of overall IQ score. Practicing on this test may help you with a job aptitude test, since Raven’s tests are popular here.


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The GIQ ‘Full Scale’ Test – Almost Free!

The GIQ test will give you a valid estimate of your IQ. This is a good general IQ test, combining non-verbal (spatial) and verbal problems, providing a valid measure of your full-scale IQ.

The fee is only $10.

According to the test-makers:

The GIQ Test is an online analog for the most common clinically proctored IQ tests. In our internal study, the GIQTest correlated within about 4% of an individual’s full scale score on a clinically proctored IQ test. The GIQTest’s sections are modeled after clinical IQ test sections.

The GIQ has the following features

  • Time required: 25-45 minutes estimated. No time limit.
  • Components of intelligence measured: full scale intelligence, ‘verbal’,  ‘spatial’ and ‘quantitative’ intelligence. Your performance sub-score on this test can substitute as a measure of your fluid intelligence.
  • Culture fair IQ test? No. Vocabulary, similarities and arithmetic subtests are culture-dependent.
  • Repeat testing: No
  • Fee: $10


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IQ level can be increased through training

Scientific research indicates that an individual’s IQ level is not fixed genetically and training to augment IQ  level is possible. Evidence-based software to increase IQ and IQ test scores is reviewed here.