Human intelligence is a truly fascinating phenomenon, which is only just beginning to be truly understood. Far-ranging, hugely varied, and made up of countless different factors, it comes as no real surprise that a ‘normal’ intelligence or ‘normal’ IQ test score is something which is difficult – if not impossible – to accurately define.
Does a ‘Normal’ IQ Test Result Exist?
Simply put, there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ IQ test result, although psychologists, scientists, and the general public can distinguish average intelligence (which is arguably different than ‘normal’ intelligence) by looking at mean figures. With over 50% of the populous scoring between 90 and 110 on a certified IQ test or reliable international IQ test, and with a score of 100 always being the baseline for averages, we can say that this deviation is as close as we can get to proclaiming an IQ test result as ‘normal’.
It’s also important to point out that IQ test writers are usually keen to avoid using loaded terms such as ‘normal’, or ‘genius’ when it comes to defining categories of intelligence. Even the words ‘gifted’ and ‘highly gifted’, which are commonplace definitions for high and very high IQ test results, have been considered controversial, due to the fact that they suggest they are the result of natural phenomena rather than acquired intelligence, concentration, or specific training.
Calculating IQ Test Results
Certified IQ test scores are calculated in a standard manner: they’re based on a norm group, with the average score being set at 100, and with a standard deviation set at 15.
This standard deviation is essentially a measure of the spread of IQ test scores. What this means is that within a standard deviation of 15, 68% of the group will have scored between 85 and 115 (100-15 and 100+15 respectively). To put it another way, 68% of the group has an IQ test score within a single standard deviation of 100, which is always set as the average.
This is, in essence, as far as certified IQ test results can go when it comes to defining what is average, above average, or below average intelligence levels within a group. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t make average test subjects ‘normal’, or exceptionally high or low scorers ‘abnormal’, as there are more factors in intelligence than can ever be obtained by a standard test.