With so many different types of intelligence tests out there – from standard and certified IQ tests, international IQ tests, EQ tests, and cognitive tests to name but a few – it can be a little confusing knowing the difference between them.
For most of us, this isn’t a major issue: if we want to get an inkling of our intelligence levels or general intelligence quotient, there is no shortage of online IQ tests to choose from, which can be completed in the comfort of our own home. However, for those seeking more profound results, or those looking into IQ tests for assessing gifted children or individuals with learning difficulties, the differences become somewhat more significant.
Potential Differences Between IQ Tests and Cognitive Tests
Overall, cognitive tests and IQ tests are more or less the same thing. Most people think of IQ testing as a highly specific type of assessment, based around a specific array of question types and puzzles, and as a result, most psychologists and IQ assessors will refer to IQ testing and cognitive testing in the same context, and often as exactly the same thing.
While many test centres, clinicians, or psychologists will make no real difference between cognitive tests and IQ tests, there can be a slight difference that’s worth bearing in mind. IQ tests will evaluate general cognitive abilities – including verbal comprehension, spatial reasoning, logic, and working memory and processing speed. Cognitive testing, on the other hand, can include many other factors, such as planning, organisation, attention, and memory function. Often, such tests will be referred to as neuropsychological assessments, and will be explained as such when the test is being taken.
The other key difference to remember is that IQ tests calculate their score based upon a representative sample of the population, meaning the numerical score will always be based around an average result of 100. Cognitive testing, on the other hand, might not conclude with a numerical score whatsoever, and the test might well be tailored to the individual sitter.