IQ Testing IQ Testing

IQ Testing IQ Testing




Thehistory of IQ testing

IQ testing began when researchers and scholars were eager to know ifwas possible to measure accurately the level of human intelligence.In 1904, the French government asked Alfred Binet, a Frenchpsychologist to find a method of identifying students with learningdifficulties (Murdoch, 2007). The French government intended to usethe findings to help weak students improve in their studies. It wasmandatory for all school-going children to attend primary school inFrance. Binet responded by collaborating with another psychologist,Theodore Simon to find a solution to the problem. They created a testtool with questions that tested attention, problem solving, andmemory. Some children answered advanced questions while others didnot. A few years later in 1916, Lewin Terman, a psychologist atStanford University brought the Binet – Simon scale to the Americanpublic. It was named the Stanford-Binet Intelligence scale. Foryears, it became the standard tool of testing IQ.

Proponentsand Opponents of using IQ tests in schools

Therehas been a debate on whether it is necessary to test children’sintelligence. Proponents of the IQ test in schools support theirassertions with following reasons (Sternberg, 2004): 1) the IQ testdiscloses the patterns of abilities, strengths, and weaknesses ofchildren. The information is vitally for helping them to childrenimprove their performance in the areas of difficulty. 2) The factthat trained psychologists administer the IQ test under theprescribed standard conditions means that the information it provideshave a significant bearing on the child’s intellectualcapabilities. 3) Proponents also claim that IQ test profiles are usedwith a battery of other measures to make decisions and not as anisolated tool. Thus, the results are a product of tests on variousaspects of intelligence.

Opponentsof the IQ test have different views. Firstly, legal institutions donot consider the IQ test as a universally acceptable for measuringthe academic ability of a child. (Mackintosh, 2011). Secondly,opponents contend that IQ tests are culturally biased. Cultural biasrefers to the extent to which tests puts candidates from othercultures at an unfair disadvantage because it has cultural-specificfeatures that are unknown to children of other cultures. Whenchildren from other cultures do not pass the IQ test, it may not beindicative of their low IQs. Thirdly, opponents of using the IQ testin schools cite the historical contradictions between GPA levels inschool and the results of IQ tests. Some children that recorded highIQ results do not get high grades commensurate to there the resultshence, the tool fails to serve as an accurate tool to predict studentabilities. Finally, opponents consider intelligence as multifacetedtrait rather than a single trait.

Onwhether the IQ test should be used

The school should not administer IQ tests. Its use has not added anyvalue to student outcomes and instructor delivery. Based on data onstudent results, the administration found massive contradictionsbetween the IQ test results during student entry and the GPA theyscored later in their final exams. It is also vital to state thatstudents that had low IQ test results did not get special attentionfrom instructors. Secondly, children excelled differently in varioussubject areas. Even those that scored a low average score performedwell in some subjects. Finally, IQ tests do not necessary predictfuture career advancements. For those reasons, the school will notadminister IQ tests anymore.


Mackintosh,N. J. (2011). IQand human intelligence.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Murdoch,S. (2007). IQ:A smart history of a failed idea.Hoboken, N.J: J. Wiley and Sons.

Sternberg,R. J. (2004). Handbookof intelligence.Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press