(Topic ID: 136497)

Steve Ritchie's Life Story:His I.Q. is 163


By Pinzzz

4 years ago



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    #98 4 years ago

    The raw IQ number can be misleading to an extent. You'll want to know the actual test that was taken which won't mean anything to you if you knew it anyway, so actually, you'll want the person to tell you the percentile that the raw number falls into, based on all the raw numbers of everyone else who took that particular test. The percentile is the better comparison as it equalizes all the different qualifying tests. I'll try to explain.

    Different IQ tests have different maximum point values. Maybe Test A has a maximum possible points of 163. Test B has maximum possible points of 183. If Tom gets 150 on Test A and Mary gets 150 on Test B, did Tom get more questions correct than Mary? Is Tom smarter? Or was Test B simply harder than Test A? Is Mary smarter? Is it fair to compare 150 to 150 with these hidden variables?

    I took two proctored IQ tests in the same day. On "Test C" my score was 143 and on "Test D" my score was 152. Of all of the people who (ever) took Test C, only 1 out of every hundred people got a score near 143 or higher. Therefore, my 143 placed me in the 99th percentile.

    Of all of the people who (ever) took Test D, only 2 out of every hundred people got a score near 152 or higher. Therefore, my 152 placed me in the 98th percentile.

    The higher raw IQ number was the lower percentile.

    More people could get 152 on Test D than could get 143 on Test C. So, my lower IQ number 143 actually reflected better on me than the higher number 152. Who would ever know that if comparing raw numbers?

    Which number do I throw around at cocktail parties? Neither, as it is considered gauche to mention them and besides, anyone "in the know" would know that the percentile is where the meaning is, not that raw number.

    A raw score of 163 is still going to be impressive, but we really don't know if the qualifying test had a higher maximum possible point score than other tests, or if a score of 163 was hard to get on that test. The name of the test would tell you the former. The percentile would tell you the latter.

    You can now see why comparing Tom and Mary's percentiles would be more fair than comparing their raw numbers.

    Mensa, one of the high IQ organizations, requires a 98th percentile ranking or higher for admission, using any of a number of approved tests. Raw numbers are not really the point.

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