The Top Types of IQ Tests Used Today and What They Assess

Types of IQ Tests

The Top Types of IQ Tests : You’ve probably heard about IQ tests and wondered what exactly they measure. While the concept of intelligence testing has been around for over a century, the types of assessments used to determine IQ scores have evolved over the years. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common IQ tests used today and what cognitive abilities they aim to evaluate. From historical intelligence scales to modern IQ batteries, we’ll break down the purposes and components of tests like the Stanford-Binet, the Wechsler scales, Raven’s Progressive Matrices, and more.

You may be surprised to learn just how many different factors contribute to intelligence and how psychologists quantify them through standardized testing. Whether you’re curious how professionals measure IQ or want to better understand your own test results, read on to learn about the top varieties of intelligence quizzes used in the 21st century and what they can tell you about your cognitive strengths.

Overview of Intelligence Testing

Types of IQ Tests

Intelligence tests are designed to measure certain cognitive abilities, such as reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, and learning. The first intelligence test was developed in 1904 by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon. Since then, several standardized intelligence tests have been created to assess intellectual functioning for various purposes.

Types of Intelligence Tests

The most well-known intelligence tests are the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales and the Wechsler Intelligence Scales. The Stanford-Binet test measures verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities for ages 2 to adult. The Wechsler tests, including the WPPSI for preschoolers, WISC for school-age children, and WAIS for adults, are the most widely used IQ tests. They measure verbal comprehension, visual spatial skills, fluid reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

Other common IQ tests include the Differential Ability Scales, the Cognitive Assessment System, the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test, and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities. These tests assess a range of cognitive abilities, including verbal, nonverbal, and fluid reasoning skills.

How Intelligence Tests Work

Intelligence tests present a series of standardized questions and tasks to evaluate specific cognitive abilities. They typically include verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative sections. The results are compared to the average scores of others in the same age group to determine if a person’s intellectual abilities are significantly below, at, or above average. IQ scores follow a normal distribution with the average at 100.

Intelligence tests have been criticized for cultural bias, but they continue to be widely used for educational placement, diagnosing learning or intellectual disabilities, and evaluating job applicants. When interpreted by a licensed psychologist, IQ tests can provide useful information about a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. However, they do not measure all aspects of human intelligence and potential.

The History of IQ Tests

The concept of IQ, or intelligence quotient, originated in the early 1900s. French psychologist Alfred Binet developed the first modern intelligence test to help determine which children in schools were struggling and needed extra academic help. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, as it’s now known, provided a way to measure a child’s mental age compared to their actual age.

The Army Alpha and Beta Tests

During World War I, the U.S. Army asked psychologists to develop intelligence tests to screen the intellectual ability of recruits. The resulting Army Alpha and Beta tests assessed verbal and nonverbal skills, respectively. The Alpha test included verbal questions involving common sense logic, math, and general knowledge. The nonverbal Beta test included pictorial puzzles, tracing mazes, and assembling objects. These group-administered tests were the first to be given to a large population.

Wechsler Scales

Psychologist David Wechsler believed that intelligence involved a range of abilities, including verbal comprehension, reasoning, and perceptual skills. His tests, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), provided a more comprehensive assessment of IQ that is still widely used today. The WISC and WAIS have been revised several times to incorporate new understandings of intelligence and cognitive abilities.

While IQ tests have been useful for educational placement and identifying intellectual disabilities, they have also been misused and controversial. IQ scores are not perfect measures of intelligence and potential. But when interpreted properly and as part of a larger assessment, IQ tests can provide meaningful insights into a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Major Types of IQ Tests Used Today

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

Developed in 1916, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales are among the most well-known IQ tests. They measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning, and short-term memory. The test provides a measure of general intellectual ability for ages 2 to adult. Scores are reported as an IQ between 40 to 160.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

The WAIS is one of the most commonly administered IQ tests for adults. It measures both verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning as well as working memory and processing speed. The latest version, WAIS-IV, has 10 core subtests and provides scores for four cognitive domains and a full-scale IQ. It is suitable for ages 16 to 90.

Differential Ability Scales (DAS)

The DAS evaluates a child’s verbal and nonverbal reasoning abilities as well as their spatial thinking skills. It provides a general cognitive ability score for children ages 2 years 6 months to 17 years 11 months. The DAS is often used to identify learning disabilities or giftedness in children. It has high reliability and validity for diverse populations.

Raven’s Progressive Matrices

Raven’s Matrices is a nonverbal test of abstract reasoning and problem-solving ability. It uses geometric designs, figures and patterns to assess a person’s ability to think logically and find solutions to new problems. The test consists of multiple choice questions of increasing difficulty. It is suitable for individuals aged 5 and up, and provides a measure of fluid intelligence and general cognitive ability.

Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test

The Cattell test measures abstract reasoning and problem-solving ability using geometric shapes and figures. It is designed to minimize cultural influences on test scores. The test has three subscales: Series, Matrices, and Conditions, with questions ranging from simple to progressively more difficult. It can be used for ages 8 and up and provides a measure of fluid intelligence.

In summary, the major types of IQ tests assess a range of cognitive abilities that provide measures of both general intellectual ability as well as specific reasoning and thinking skills. The choice of test will depend on factors like a person’s age, the purpose of assessment, and population.

Verbal IQ Tests Like the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Types of IQ Tests

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is one of the most well-known IQ tests used today. It aims to measure different aspects of your verbal intelligence and reasoning ability. The latest version, WAIS-IV, evaluates four cognitive domains: verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

The verbal comprehension section requires you to define words, answer questions about social situations or common concepts, and tell a story based on pictures. This part of the test assesses your ability to think about and understand verbal information, evaluate the relationships between words and concepts, and express your thoughts logically. A high score suggests strong language abilities and verbal reasoning skills.

The working memory section evaluates your ability to temporarily store and manage information in your mind. You’ll be asked to memorize and recall numbers, symbols, and spatial locations. High performance on working memory tasks indicates an ability to quickly perceive and mentally manipulate information.

Perceptual reasoning refers to your capacity to examine a problem, find solutions, and visually grasp relationships between shapes, objects, and patterns. The perceptual reasoning portion may involve completing an unfinished picture, assembling blocks or puzzles, or determining rules that govern a sequence. Strong scores point to keen visual-spatial skills and logical reasoning abilities.

Finally, the processing speed section measures how quickly and accurately you can perform simple mental tasks like searching for symbols, comparing numbers or letters, and marking duplicates on a page. Fast, accurate performance suggests you can efficiently scan, sequence, and organize information.

Your scores on the four domains are combined to produce a total IQ score, which provides a broad measure of your intellectual ability. The WAIS is designed for adults and older adolescents, ages 16 to 90. It takes between 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on the version. The test is administered by a licensed psychologist.

Overall, the WAIS aims to provide insight into key areas of cognitive function and an estimate of your general intellectual capacity compared to others of your age group. The results can be useful for educational planning, career guidance, or diagnosing learning disabilities.

Nonverbal IQ Tests Such as the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test

Nonverbal IQ tests assess a person’s problem-solving abilities without requiring them to speak or read. They use visual puzzles, mazes, and patterns to measure fluid intelligence, which is the ability to reason and solve new problems. These tests are useful for evaluating children and adults who have language barriers or impairments.

The Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test

The Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT) uses a variety of geometric shapes, symbols, and patterns to measure problem-solving and reasoning ability without cultural or linguistic bias. Test takers have to determine relationships, complete sequences, and choose which image does not belong from a set of options.

The UNIT comes in versions for children aged 5 to 17 years and adults. It generates an IQ score as well as scores for fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, and visual-spatial thinking. The UNIT can identify gifted students as well as learning disabilities. It is popular for evaluating individuals with autism, speech impairments, or limited English proficiency.

Benefits of Nonverbal IQ Tests

Nonverbal IQ tests have several advantages. They can be administered without needing instructions, so language ability does not influence the results. They reduce cultural bias by using abstract and non-verbal stimuli. They also minimize the impact of reading skills and educational level on test performance.

The main limitation is that nonverbal tests may miss verbal and linguistic aspects of intelligence. They should be used in combination with other measures for a comprehensive assessment. The UNIT and other nonverbal tests can identify intellectual strengths as well as possible learning disabilities, even in those with limited language. They provide an opportunity for children and adults to demonstrate their cognitive abilities without being hampered by their difficulty in expressing themselves verbally.

Nonverbal IQ tests are an important tool for gaining insights into the true reasoning and problem-solving potential of individuals, regardless of their linguistic or cultural background. Paired with other assessments, they help create a balanced view of someone’s intellectual abilities and potential.

Full Scale IQ Tests Including the Stanford-Binet

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales is one of the most well-known IQ tests. It measures five factors of cognitive ability: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. The Stanford-Binet test provides an overall IQ score as well as scores for the five cognitive factors. It is suitable for ages 2 to 85+.

What the Stanford-Binet Assesses

The Stanford-Binet assesses both verbal and nonverbal abilities. The verbal subtests measure vocabulary, comprehension, and reasoning using words. The nonverbal subtests assess fluid reasoning, visual-spatial skills, and quantitative knowledge using pictures and diagrams. The test includes subtests for different age groups, allowing it to measure a wide range of cognitive abilities at all stages of development.

How the Stanford-Binet Is Administered and Scored

The Stanford-Binet is administered individually by a psychologist or other trained professional. It includes both verbal and nonverbal subtests, with different subtests for different age groups. The results provide an overall IQ score as well as scores for the five cognitive factors: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory. The overall IQ score has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.

The Stanford-Binet is a comprehensive assessment of intelligence and cognitive abilities. It has been revised and restandardized several times to provide the most up-to-date measurement of intelligence across the lifespan. The test is suitable for educational placement, clinical diagnosis, and research studies. For individuals, the results can provide insight into cognitive strengths and weaknesses and help guide decisions about education and career choices.

Achievement Tests That Measure Learning Abilities

The Stanford Achievement Test

The Stanford Achievement Test is one of the most well-known achievement tests. It measures a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, mathematics, language, spelling, and other areas. The test is designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It allows educators to determine if students are performing at, above, or below grade level based on national norms.

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, or ITBS, are a series of tests that measure student achievement in reading comprehension, mathematics, sciences, and social sciences. The tests are designed for students in grades K-8. They provide detailed diagnostic information to help guide instruction and identify skills that may need additional focus or practice.

The Cognitive Abilities Test

The Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT, measures a student’s learned reasoning abilities in the areas of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal skills. It is designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The CogAT can be used to determine a student’s strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and problem-solving skills. It is often used for admission into gifted and talented programs.

These achievement and ability tests provide valuable insights into a student’s skills and knowledge. They can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses, determine appropriate interventions, gauge grade level performance, and assess eligibility for special programs. The scores from these tests should be used to supplement other measures of student achievement like classroom performance, portfolios, and teacher recommendations. While a single test score offers a limited snapshot, when combined with other indicators, it can provide a more well-rounded view of a student’s abilities and needs.

Emotional Intelligence Tests for Interpersonal Skills

Types of IQ Tests

Emotional Intelligence (EI), or the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions, is an important factor in how well we interact with others. Several tests measure your emotional and social skills, which are key to success in relationships and the workplace.

The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) assesses your ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions. It measures skills like identifying emotions in faces, understanding how emotions progress, and managing emotions. The test provides an overall EI score as well as scores for each branch of abilities.

The Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale (SEIS) uses self-reporting to evaluate three aspects of EI: regulation of emotion, utilization of emotion, and appraisal of emotion. It measures traits like empathy, impulse control, optimism, and social responsibility. The 33 questions assess how well you can control your own emotions and navigate the emotions of others.

The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) also relies on self-reporting to measure 15 traits like adaptability, assertiveness, and self-motivation. It evaluates how well you understand your own emotions and the emotions of people around you. The 153 questions produce scores for each trait as well as an overall EI score.

Emotional and social intelligence are learned and developed over time. While tests can measure your current abilities, practicing skills like empathy, communication, and conflict management can strengthen your EI. Exercises such as identifying the emotions of people in photos, role playing tough social interactions, or keeping a journal of your emotional responses to situations are all ways to boost your emotional aptitude. Staying aware of how your words and actions affect others is key to navigating relationships successfully. Focusing on EI will enrich both your personal and professional life.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of IQ Tests

So you’re curious about IQ testing and want to learn more about the different types of IQ tests. No problem, we’ve got you covered. Here are some common questions people have about the varieties of IQ tests available today:

What are the major categories of IQ tests? The two broadest categories are verbal/linguistic tests and nonverbal/visual-spatial tests. Verbal tests measure verbal comprehension, reasoning, and mental processing using words and language. Nonverbal tests use visual patterns, diagrams, and images to measure visual-spatial and fluid intelligence. The most well-known IQ tests, like the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler scales, include both verbal and nonverbal components.

What is the Stanford-Binet test? The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales are some of the most widely used IQ tests for measuring verbal and nonverbal abilities in children and adults. There are separate versions for different age groups. They provide an overall IQ score as well as scores for verbal comprehension, visual-spatial processing, fluid reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

What does the Wechsler scale measure? The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) are two of the most commonly administered IQ tests. They measure both verbal and visual-spatial intelligence using tasks like vocabulary, arithmetic, block design, picture completion and digit span. The WAIS provides scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.

What other well-known IQ tests are available? Other popular IQ tests include the Differential Ability Scales (DAS), Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), and the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT). Each has a different focus, measures a variety of cognitive abilities, and can be used to assess intellectual giftedness or learning disabilities.

If you have more questions about IQ testing, the types of tests available or what they measure, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re happy to provide an overview of this important area of psychological assessment.


So there you have it, folks – the top types of IQ tests used today and what they assess. From the classic Stanford-Binet to more modern tests like the WISC-V, professionals utilize these standardized tools to measure different aspects of intelligence and cognitive ability. While IQ tests have limitations, they remain important instruments in psychology and education when used ethically. Just remember that your IQ score doesn’t define you as a person. Intelligence is complex and manifests itself in many ways that tests can’t fully capture.

The brain is an incredible organ we are still just beginning to understand. Maybe someday we’ll have IQ tests that can accurately measure not just logic and reasoning but creativity, wisdom, empathy and other marks of humanity too. But for now, be proud of who you are and how you uniquely contribute to the world around you. Keep learning, stay curious and don’t let any one number limit your potential! Now go out there and show the world what you’re made of.



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