Is Your IQ Score Above Average? (2023)

IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a measure of your ability to reason and solve problems. It reflects how well you did on a specific test compared to other people of your age group.

While tests may vary, the average IQ on many tests is 100, and 68% of scores lie between 85 and 115.

A low IQ score is anything 70 and below. A low score and other indicators might suggest that a person has an intellectual disability. Anything over 140 is considered a genius IQ score. For context, while there is no evidence that he was ever tested, is it estimated that Albert Einstein had a score of around 160.

While IQ can predict things such as academic success, experts caution that it is not necessarily a guarantee of life success. Sometimes people with very high IQs do not fare well in life, while those with average IQs may thrive.

What Does IQ Mean?

IQ tests measure mental ability and provide a score to show how a person's results compare to others in their age group. IQ encompasses a range of mental abilities, including verbal reasoning, visual abilities, spatial awareness, processing speed, and pattern recognition.

Average IQ Scores

The measurement of intelligence has long been a hot topic in psychology and education—and a controversial one. Intelligence tests are one of the most popular types of psychological tests in use today. Ever since the first IQ tests emerged, attempts to classify IQ have followed.

In order to understand what an average IQ score is and what it means, it is essential to first understand how IQ is measured. While different test publishers utilize different scoring systems, for many modernIQ teststhe average (ormean) score is set at 100with astandard deviationof 15 so that scores conform to a normal distribution curve.

(Video) Comparison: You At Different IQ Levels

Important Considerations

  • On many tests, a score of 100 is considered the average IQ.
  • Sixty-eight percent of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean (that is, between 85 and 115). That means that nearly 70% of all people score within plus or minus 15 points of the average score.
  • Ninety-five percent of scores fall within two standard deviations (between 70 and 130). Outliers beyond those points represent only a small portion of the population, which means that only a small percentage of people have a very low IQ (below 70) or a very high IQ (above 130).
  • Scores below 70 may represent the presence of some sort of developmental or learning disability while scores over 130 may indicate giftedness.

How IQ Is Calculated

Historically, IQ tests have been scored in one of two ways. In the first method, a person's mental age was divided by their chronological age and then multiplied by 100. The other methods involve comparing scores against the scores of others in the individual's same age group.

In this method, psychometricians utilize a process known asstandardizationto make it possible to compare and interpret the meaning ofIQ scores. This process is accomplished by administering the test to arepresentative sampleand using these scores to establish standards, usually referred to as norms, by which all individual scores can be compared.

Because the median score is 100, experts can quickly assess individual test scores against the median to determine where these scores fall on the normal distribution. This means 50% of the scores fall above and below the median. In the case of IQ scores, both the mean and median score is 100. Classification systems can vary from one publisher to the next although many do tend to follow a fairly similar rating system.

For example, on The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford-Binet test, scores that fall between 90 and 109 are considered average IQ scores. On these same tests, scores that fall between 110 and 119 are considered high average IQ scores. Scores between 80 and 89 are classified as low average.

So in most cases, if you receive an IQ score of around 100, then you have what is considered an average IQ. Don't worry—you are in good company. Most people score within one standard deviation of this average.

How to Find the Mean, Median, and Mode

(Video) What is your IQ? Test your TRUE intelligence

How Intelligence Is Measured

Intelligence tests are designed to measurecrystallized and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence involves your knowledge and skills you have acquired throughout your life whilefluid intelligenceis your ability to reason, problem-solve and make sense of abstract information.

Fluid intelligence is considered independent of learning and tends to decline in later adulthood. Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, is directly related to learning and experience and tends to increase as people grow older.

IQ tests are administered by licensed psychologists. There are different kinds of intelligence tests, but many involve a series of subtests that are designed to measure mathematical abilities, language skills, memory, reasoning skills, and information-processing speed.

Scores on these subtests are then combined to form an overall IQ score. A few of the most common IQ tests in use today include:

  • The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale for Adults
  • The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
  • The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
  • The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
  • The Cognitive Assessment System
  • The Differential Ability Scales
  • The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

It is important to note that while people often talk about average, low and genius IQs, there is no single IQ test.

Many different tests are in use today including the afore-mentioned Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, as well as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Each individual test isdifferent in terms of exactly what is being measured, how it is scored, and how these scores are interpreted.

Controversies Over IQ

Ever since the inception of the very first tests of intelligence, both academics and armchair psychologists have debated differences in intelligence, including possible connections between IQ and race.

(Video) If Your IQ is Above Average You'll Solve These Riddles

In addition to connections between race and IQ, people have also attempted to connect IQ disparities to other factors such as sex differences and nationality.

One important factor to also note is that overall, IQ scores have been rising worldwide, a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect.

Race and IQ Scores

During the 1920s, the US Army utilized IQ testing on recruits and found that different populations showed group differences in average IQ scores. Such findings helped fuel the eugenics movement and those who supported racial segregation.

The 1994 book The Bell Curve rekindled the argument and controversy, as the book promoted the notion that racial group differences in average IQ scores were largely the result of genetics. Critics suggest that such group differences are more accurately a product of environmental variables.

Such arguments over race and IQ are a reflection of the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Are certain traits, characteristics, and abilities more heavily influenced by genetics or by environmental causes? Those who believe that race is a determinate of IQ are taking the side of nature, suggesting that heritability is the primary determinant of IQ.

However, research has found that while genetics play a role in determining intelligence, environmental factors also play an important role. Some factors linked to group differences in average IQ scores include education, health and nutrition, socioeconomic status, testing bias, and minority status.

In response, the American Psychological Association formed a special task force led by psychologist Ulric Neisser to investigate the claims made by the book. They found no direct evidence to support genetic explanations for test score differences between Blacks and Whites. Instead, they stated that there are no known explanations for such differences.

(Video) Jordan Peterson - What Kind Of Job Fits Your IQ

Discrimination and systemic bias may also play a role in these differences, including educational and healthcare disparities. It is also important to consider biases that may be inherent in the tests themselves.

Nationality Differences in Average IQ Scores

Studies of national cognitive ability suggest that there are differences in IQ scores among different nations. Such studies remain limited, but some explorations of this topic have been conducted by creating estimates of average IQ for different nations. Such differences may be largely linked to environmental influences such as socioeconomic factors, literacy rates, educational rates, and life expectancy.

According to research conducted by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, Hong Kong had the highest average IQ at 108 while Equatorial Guinea had the lowest at 59. Average group IQs of some other countries included the United States at 98, the United Kingdom at 100, and Italy at 102.

Sex Differences in Average IQ Scores

Over the years, some researchers have argued that either males or females held an advantage in terms of IQ while others have argued that there are no significant differences between men and women.

One study found that while there was no average difference in IQ scores between men and women, there tended to be more variability in IQ scores among men.

Research has found that there are slight differences in the performance of verbal and spatial tasks, with women performing better on some verbal tasks and men performing better on some spatial ability tasks. However, researchers believe that this disparity is only partially due to biological differences and is also influenced by culture, experiences, and education.

What Does It Mean to Have an Average IQ?

While some limited generalizations can be made in relation to your average IQ score, keep the following in mind:

  • It means you have average reasoning and problem-solving skills.Your IQ score might be a good general indicator of your reasoning andproblem-solving abilities, but many psychologists suggest that these tests don't tell the whole story.
  • An average IQ score might not tell the whole story about what you are capable of.A few things they don't measure are practical skills and talents. You might have an average IQ score, but you might also be a great musician, a creative artist, an incredible singer or a mechanical whiz. Psychologist Howard Gardner developed a theory ofmultiple intelligencesdesigned to address this perceived shortcoming in popular conceptions of IQ.
  • IQ scores are not necessarily set in stone.Researchers have also found that IQ scores can change over time. One study looked at the IQ's of teenage subjects during early adolescence and then again four years later. The results revealed that scores varied as much as 20 points over that four-year period.
  • Some experts suggest that EQ might matter even more than IQ.IQ tests also fail to address things like how curious you are about the world around you and how good you are at understanding and managing emotions. Some experts, including writer Daniel Goleman, suggest thatemotional intelligence(often referred to as EQ) mighteven be more important than IQ. And researchers have found that while having a high IQ can indeed give people anedge in many areas of life, it is certainlyno guarantee of life success.

A Word From Verywell

Don't stress out if you're not a "genius"—the vast majority of people aren't geniuses either. Instead, most people are somewhere within a 15-point range of the average IQ score.

(Video) The Results & Features of a Person with a High IQ | Jordan Peterson

Just as having a high IQ doesn't ensure success, having an average orlow IQdoesn't ensure failure or mediocrity. Even if you have what is considered a low IQ, you may be smart in many other ways and have many other talents and abilities that aren't reflected on a single test. Other factors such as hard work,resilience, perseverance, and overallattitudeare important pieces of the puzzle.

Are High IQ People More Successful?


What does it mean if your IQ is above average? ›

If you have a high IQ score, it means your reasoning and problem-solving abilities are better than average and may signal intellectual potential. An IQ of 70 or below may indicate limited intellectual functioning.

Is above average IQ good? ›

In general, an IQ score is defined with a median and mean of 100. Scores above 130 are labeled as above average or “very superior,” while scores under 70 would be considered below average or labeled as “borderline impaired.” Most people have an average IQ between 85 and 115.

Is an IQ of 128 good for a 12 year old? ›

Scores of 90-109 are Average. Scores of 110-119 are High Average. An IQ of 125 is considered by many schools to be “gifted.” Scores of 120-129 are Superior.

What IQ is considered average? ›

IQ tests are made to have an average score of 100. Psychologists revise the test every few years in order to maintain 100 as the average. Most people (about 68 percent) have an IQ between 85 and 115. Only a small fraction of people have a very low IQ (below 70) or a very high IQ (above 130).

What is average vs above average IQ? ›

85 to 114: Average intelligence. 115 to 129: Above average or bright. 130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted.

What percent of the population has an IQ that is above average? ›

Approximately 95% of the population has IQ scores between 70 and 130. Approximately 99.7% of the population has IQ scores between 55 and 145. Only approximately 0.3% of the population has IQ scores outside of this interval (less than 55 or higher than 145).

Does IQ change with age? ›

An individual's IQ does not change with age. In other words: if you did an IQ test now and then another one in 10 years' time, your IQ score will probably be very similar. This is because IQ is always measured relative to other people your age.

What is the average American IQ? ›

IQ compared by countries

With an average IQ of 98 points, the USA ranks 29th in this ranking. With 108 points, the inhabitants of Hong Kong reach the highest intelligence quotas worldwide. The last place, with only 56 points, is occupied by Equatorial Guinea.

Can you increase your IQ? ›

Although science is on the fence about whether you can raise your IQ or not, research does seem to suggest that it's possible to raise your intelligence through certain brain-training activities. Training your memory, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence levels.

What 9 year old Mexican girl has a high IQ? ›

Adhara Pérez Sánchez, from Mexico, scored an astonishing 162 on her IQ test, which is believed to be two points higher than Einstein and Hawking, two of the cleverest men who ever lived. Adhara has set her sights on being an astronaut, travelling to space, and even colonising the red planet.

How rare is an IQ of 130? ›

Just 2.2 percent have an IQ of 130 or greater. What's fascinating is that people who score well on one of the tests tend to score well on them all.

How common is an IQ of 128? ›

Historical IQ classification tables
IQ Range ("deviation IQ")IQ ClassificationPercent Included
128 and overVery Superior2.2
111–119Bright Normal16.1
2 more rows

How to check my IQ? ›

One of the most well-known online exams available to you is It has 20 questions that will measure your IQ score accurately. After this test, you have to give your birth date since the test calculates your IQ score based on your age. This way, you may compare yourself to your peers.

How do you know if you have a high IQ? ›

Research shows that the signs of intelligence are usually good memory and thinking ability, good attitude and hard-working nature, general and tacit knowledge, language proficiency and reasoning, decision-making, trust, creativity, achievements, good intuition, and problem-solving.

What are the traits of high IQ? ›

7 common traits of highly intelligent people
  • They're highly adaptable. ...
  • They understand how much they don't know. ...
  • They have insatiable curiosity. ...
  • They ask good questions. ...
  • They're sensitive to other people's experiences. ...
  • They're open-minded. ...
  • They're skeptical.
Jun 15, 2015

Are IQ tests accurate? ›

Psychometricians generally regard IQ tests as having high statistical reliability. Reliability represents the measurement consistency of a test. A reliable test produces similar scores upon repetition.

Do most people think they are above average? ›

Findings like that are easy to laugh at, until you realize that most people think they're above average at almost everything. A meta-analysis of a number of studies shows that people rate themselves as above average in creativity, intelligence, dependability, athleticism, honesty, friendless, and on and on.

What IQ is considered gifted? ›

Although there are no standard IQ levels of intellectual giftedness, some experts suggest the following IQ ranges: Mildly gifted: 115 to 129. Moderately gifted: 130 to 144. ighly gifted: 145 to 159.

Is IQ a genetic trait? ›

Researchers have previously shown that a person's IQ is highly influenced by genetic factors, and have even identified certain genes that play a role. They've also shown that performance in school has genetic factors. But it's been unclear whether the same genes that influence IQ also influence grades and test scores.

At what age are you sharpest? ›

In short, at what age is your brain the sharpest? The reading age, although there are plenty of ways to stay sharp as you get older. Make use of this information to exercise your mind. As long as you work on your cognitive function, it can only get better.

At what age does intelligence peak? ›

Smaller improvements are still noticeable from age 20 until what the researchers described as a “peak” begins at age 35. The peak lasts until roughly age 45, at which point chess skill – and, the study theorizes, overall mental performance – begins a marked decline.

Is your IQ set from birth? ›

IQ tends to remain relatively stable over the lifespan. The key word there is relative. Keep in mind that IQ researchers are interested in explaining differences. Developmentally speaking, an individual's intelligence is not fixed at birth.

What is the average IQ of a woman? ›

IQ scores between 90 and 109 indicate a normal range or average intelligence. Individual adults usually score somewhere in between the 70-130 range, with 100 being the theoretical average.

What was Albert Einstein's IQ? ›

His performance beats those of physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, who were both estimated to have IQs around 160.

What is the average IQ of military officers? ›

Officers scored 121.9, bringing up the average IQ for those who died. Non-commissioned officers scored an average of 106.7.

Are geniuses born or made? ›

Summary. Geniuses are both born and made. While genetics can explain up to 75% of variations in IQ levels, factors like socioeconomic status and home environment decide whether a person achieves their full genetic IQ potential.

What games increase IQ? ›

  • Sudoku. Sudoku is a number placement game that relies on short-term memory. ...
  • Lumosity. Lumosity is one of the most established brain training and mental fitness programs. ...
  • Crosswords. ...
  • Elevate. ...
  • Peak. ...
  • Happy Neuron. ...
  • Braingle. ...
  • Queendom.
Sep 24, 2022

What is the difference between IQ and intelligence? ›

Intelligence refers to one's cognitive abilities, including memory, comprehension, understanding, reasoning, and abstract thought. Intelligence is not quite the same as IQ, although people use the terms interchangeably. IQ, which stands for "Intelligence Quotient," is a score determined by an IQ test.

What is the smartest girl IQ? ›

Anything above 130 is considered exceptional and 160 and above and you're in genius territory. The person with the highest recorded IQ of all time is a woman named Marilyn vos Savant and, according to Guinness World Records, she holds the record with an astonishing score of 228.

What is the IQ of a smart kid? ›

Scores of 110-119 are High Average. An IQ of 125 is considered by many schools to be “gifted.” Scores of 120-129 are Superior. And scores above 130 are Very Superior. IQ scores are based on a person's test performance compared to others their age.

What is the highest IQ Bill Gates? ›

Bill Gates IQ was set at 160 IQ, which put him ahead of Warren Buffet and Elon Musk in the most recent rankings. Bill Gates IQ is 151.45, despite the fact that he has never publicly disclosed it. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs in 1973, which converts to a score of 1590 out of 1600.

What is Kim Kardashian IQ? ›

Kim Kardashian IQ is estimated to be 190. Although some people are known to have IQs above 200, the theoretical maximum IQ in the world is 200. This IQ demonstrates that Kim is among the smartest people in the world. With a $1 billion net worth, Kim Kardashian is ranked 17th on the Forbes World Billionaires list.

What is the 99.9 percentile IQ? ›

The Triple Nine Society (TNS) is an international high IQ society for adults whose score on a standardized test demonstrates an IQ at or above the 99.9th percentile of the human population. The society recognizes scores from over 20 different tests of adult intelligence.
Triple Nine Society.
5 more rows

Can you have a 200 IQ? ›

The highest IQ possible in the world is theoretically 200, although some people have been known to have an IQ of above 200. Let's discuss how that's possible below. Everyone with an IQ score higher than 110 is lucky enough to have an above average intelligence.

Is 120 IQ smart? ›

An IQ score over 140 indicates that you're a genius or nearly a genius, while 120 - 140 is classed as "very superior intelligence". 110 - 119 is "superior intelligence", while 90 - 109 is "normal or average intelligence".

What was Jeffrey Dahmer's IQ? ›

Jeffrey Dahmer - 145

The Milwaukee Cannibal is one of history's most disturbed and infamous serial killers. But he was also, according to his IQ tests, damned clever too.

What IQ is needed for Mensa? ›

Membership requirement

The minimum accepted score on the Stanford–Binet is 132, while for the Cattell it is 148 and 130 in the Wechsler tests (WAIS, WISC).

Does Elon Musk have a high IQ? ›

Elon's IQ is estimated to be around 155, while Albert Einstein's is 160. With such a slight margin, Musk is undoubtedly an incredibly smart person. Who is the smartest person on earth in 2022? Born in 1975 in Adelaide, Australia is a mathematician, Terence Tao with an IQ score of 230.

Who has 1 IQ in the world? ›

With a score of 198, Evangelos Katsioulis, MD, MSc, MA, PhD, has the highest tested IQ in the world, according to the World Genius Directory.

Who has the highest IQ in the United States? ›

Christopher Langan
BornMarch 25, 1952 San Francisco, California, U.S.
EducationReed College (dropped out) Montana State University–Bozeman (dropped out)
OccupationHorse rancher
Known forHigh IQ
2 more rows

What is the most accurate IQ test? ›

Which IQ test is most accurate? The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, or WAIS, is the most accurate IQ test.

Is there a legit free IQ test? › is one of the most well-known online exams. It contains 20 questions that will determine your IQ level with acceptable accuracy. When taking this exam, you need to mention your birth date because the exam measures your IQ as per your age.

Does high IQ always mean smart? ›

"IQ is only part of what it means to be smart," says Evans. As an illustration of how rational-thinking ability differs from intelligence, consider this puzzle: if it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

How rare is a high IQ? ›

The IQ scores of most people are represented in the middle of the bell, between 85 and 115. Overall, about 98 percent of people have a score below 130. If you're among the 2 percent with a higher score, you're an outlier.

How do geniuses think? ›

Geniuses think productively, not reproductively

They tend to come up with many different responses, some of which are unconventional and possibly unique. Leonardo da Vinci believed that to gain deep knowledge about a problem, you have to learn how to restructure it in many different ways.

Does having a high IQ Matter? ›

Past studies have also shown that high IQs are comparably reliable in predicting academic success, job performance, career potential and creativity. Antonakis says high IQs are particularly notable predictors for success in highly complicated, skilled occupations like physicist, engineer or even neurosurgeon.

What was Einstein's IQ? ›

His performance beats those of physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, who were both estimated to have IQs around 160.

Do IQ tests actually measure intelligence? ›

While IQ tests are generally considered to measure some forms of intelligence, they may fail to serve as an accurate measure of broader definitions of human intelligence inclusive of, for example, creativity and social intelligence.

Does IQ increase with age? ›

Abilities change, but IQ scores tend to be very stable. However the intelligence ability is changing during the life, the IQ (intelligence quotient) does not. This measure is defined to have mean of 100 in each age group. So the average IQ e.g. in the age 5 is 100, and the same in the age 50.

What is the disadvantage of having a high IQ? ›

You might not learn the value of hard work.

A number of Quora users mentioned that intelligent people feel like they can get by with less effort than other people. But a high IQ doesn't always lead directly to success, and highly intelligent people may never develop the perseverance required to succeed.

What are the signs of high IQ in adults? ›

Signs of Genius in Adults. The signs of high intellectual power in adults are similar to those in children. They include quick learning, interest in unique topics, and the ability to process information fast, among others.

Am I gifted or just average? ›

A score between 90 and 110 points on an intelligence scale is described as an average IQ. Generally a score of 130 or more is considered in the gifted range.

Can your IQ change? ›

Study finds brain structure and IQ can change during adolescence. A new study confirms what parents have long suspected: Adolescence can do a number on kids' brains. Researchers have found that IQ can rise or fall during the teen years and that the brain's structure reflects this uptick or decline.

What is Zuckerberg IQ? ›

Various sources, however, estimate it at 152 IQ based on biographical data, publications, and achievements. He is regarded as a genius and among the world's most intellectual individuals. A score of 152 is regarded as high, while a score of 100 is considered normal.

What is the average IQ in USA? ›

IQ compared by countries

With an average IQ of 98 points, the USA ranks 29th in this ranking. With 108 points, the inhabitants of Hong Kong reach the highest intelligence quotas worldwide. The last place, with only 56 points, is occupied by Equatorial Guinea.

What is the IQ of Elon Musk? ›

Elon Musk IQ is close to this starting point, with an estimated score of 155. The typical genius has an IQ of around 140.

Who has 400 IQ? ›

Marilyn vos Savant
BornMarilyn Mach August 11, 1946 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationAuthor columnist
SpouseRobert Jarvik ​ ( m. 1987)​

What was the IQ of Ted Bundy? ›

A test result revealed that Ted Bundy's IQ was 136, which is considered "gifted." The University of Washington awarded him a psychology bachelor's degree. He used cunning to lure his victims in close by tricking them, including making up injuries and passing for a police officer.


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