One of the more interesting fall-outs from Boris Johnson’s recent speech is that he’s got people talking about intelligence and IQ a lot. This is likely a good thing. Intelligence is a tricky subject, so the more public discussion there is about it the better, in terms of keeping people informed. Because it’s not unusual to encounter someone who will mention having a high IQ without specifying why they think this is and what it actually means.

There are numerous online IQ tests used by psychologists, such as the Stanford-Binet test, the Weschler Adult intelligence scale and so on. These are typically thorough tests designed to assess various different abilities via different types of tasks. They are regularly revised and updated, and typically have to be administered by a trained professional in specific conditions. They can also cost a fair bit, as they are actually scientific tools, like microscopes and the like.

Most non-science types outside the field of intelligence research won’t have access to these official tests though, so will have to look elsewhere. The obvious place to look is online, and sure enough if you type “IQ Test” into Google you get a lot of hits. There are countless free IQ tests online, and odds are someone bragging about their IQ got their score from one of these. But are they a valid, legitimate way of assessing your IQ?
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