Another Way of Looking at IQ – the Importance of Subtest Scores

RL: A 115 IQ is absolutely enough to graduate from college, and most of them do. Is it enough to get an advanced degree? I would say that it is enough to get a Master’s Degree, but at that range, getting a PhD might be a challenge, and at the very least, they would have to work very hard for it.
Oops I did it again: Are we talking of Black-Studies and Social Work Ph.D.’s? :)) Jokes aside…A mindful person wants a Ph.D if they can be real researchers.
My IQ is 115-125 (different scores at different times, but on average: 110 spatial, 125 numerical/logic, 130/135 verbal), I could have achieved a Ph.D., but I would have felt it was “fake” or just a title to boast.

This commenter is absolutely brilliant and is one of the better commenters we have had here in a while. With a 120 IQ, he readily quotes Heidigger and Schopenhauer (!) and generally seems to “get it” more than many of my other commenters – for instance, he was the only one who seemed to figure out the post on Heidigger and surface and deep meanings of objects.
A 120 IQ gets put down too much on this site. We have some commenters in that range lamenting that their IQ’s are not very high. Come off it. Keep in mind that if you have a 120 IQ, you are in the top 10% of the IQ range. Ten people in a room? You are smarter than everyone in the room, all nine of them. I do not know about the rest of you, but I would love to be in the top 10% of just about any positive category.
But I think what we are really looking at here in this commenter is the 132 verbal IQ. That is truly kick-ass. He is in the Gifted range of Verbal IQ or the top 2% of the population. Based on verbal IQ only, he is smart enough to get into Mensa.
So the reason this 120 IQ fellow seems to be so brilliant is not so much that there is something special about his 120 IQ or that he has all sorts of extra-IQ factors going, but instead it is all wrapped up in that 132 verbal IQ that is part of the 120 score.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to look at whole IQ scores. It’s probably more reasonable to look at the specific IQ breakdowns on the subtests to get the true whole picture of the individual’s intelligence.

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6 thoughts on “Another Way of Looking at IQ – the Importance of Subtest Scores”

  1. I have a 130 verbal comprehension IQ and an 85 in processing speed. (WAIS-IV). People sometimes think I’m really brilliant but I can’t get papers cranked out unless I take my meds.

  2. Robert, I have a question about the similarities subtext on the WAIS.
    Say you get the correct abstraction, but use the wrong knowledge, would you still get full credit. Eg. The similarity between a human and a monkey is that they walk. The respondent says they walk on the hands. Would the respondent get full credit.
    Also, say you use a word to compare two things, which is a synonym of the answer, but is rarely used in such a context. I’m going to use a real test example here (it really doesn’t matter if test items get out there, they’re already out there anyway), enemy and friend. Relationships would be a 2 point answer, but if you say relations, would you get 2 points.
    The reason I’m asking this is because I took the actual WAIS test which was on youtube to score myself, and I gave myself points for these because they were the right abstractions. If I don’t get these points, my scaled score would literally go from 13 to 10.
    About the article. Yeah, subtest scores probably do matter much more than the actual IQ. I mean, if your IQ is fucked because of processing speed and working memory, with a good Nonverbal and a Verbal IQ, you can still do whatever you want. Many people have average IQs, but are above average on some indexes. A person with a 122 Nonverbal IQ, but a 100 Verbal IQ can still become a physicist, and if it’s visa versa, the person can still become an excellent writer.

  3. Hey Robert, I have a question about the similarities subtest on the WAIS.
    Say if you got the right abstraction, but had a wrong usage of knowledge, would you still get two points? Like, if the question was what was the similarity between a human and a giraffe, and the two point answer was that they both walk, and the respondent say that they both walk on the their hands, would that garner two points the the respondent said they walk?
    Also, if you used a synonym of the answer, but that synonym is rarely used in that context, would you still get full credit? Thank you.

      1. Yeah, I kind of took the similarities test, and I was asking those question based on my experiences. BTW, I gave myself those points anyway. I’m sure those issues are very rarely come across anywa

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