Self-test of intelligence

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A self-test of intelligence is a psychological test that someone can take to measure one's own intelligence.

As with other intelligence tests, a self-test of intelligence normally consists of a series of verbal and non-verbal intellectual tasks and puzzles. These tests usually give the taker instructions on how to complete the tasks and offer a performance score after the test has been completed.

These self-tests can be performed in various ways that are quick, easy, and can be done at home or on the go. Web sites on the internet, apps for mobile devices, and one or more books are popular choices for taking these tests.

There are two ways that one can look at intelligence: either as an innate, intrinsic, static characteristic of a person; or as a characteristic that is acquired which can be influenced by the environment and that can be improved on. These opposing points of view are part of a more general nature vs. nurture (or hereditarianism vs. environmentalist) debate that dates back to Ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle. Implicit theories of intelligence can be at the basis of the chosen point of view, and whether or not the results of a self-test of intelligence are considered definitive or can be improved upon may depend on this.

Self-tests of intelligence can contribute to the self-assessed intelligence (SAI) of a person, where SAI can be defined as people's estimates of their cognitive abilities in relation to the overall population.[1]

Resources for self-tests of intelligence[edit]

Websites on the internet[edit]

Various self-tests of intelligence are offered online on the internet, on websites like,,,, Metis International and that of IQ Certificate.

The official website of Mensa International, which is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world,[2] does not offer an online IQ test. It does offer an online quiz for entertainment purposes which is called "Mensa Workout". Sites that claim to offer a Mensa IQ test online may not be related to this organization.

Apps for mobile devices[edit]

There are apps for devices such as smartphones and tablets for self-tests of one's IQ with names such as IQ Test and What's My IQ?. These apps are offered on app stores like the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

Some of these apps - for example IQ Test - Brain Training Puzzle Game and Stupidmeter - tool to test your intelligence - are mainly meant for entertainment purposes and can be considered games.


Hans Eysenck, author of early books on checking one's own I.Q.

There are also books that offer self-tests of intelligence.[3][4][5][6] While some of these books are mainly meant to train the reader for official IQ tests, most give the reader the opportunity to determine an IQ score based on tests in the books themselves.

Alfred Binet can be seen as the father of the intelligence test. He made various publications on human intelligence and intelligence tests. The Stanford-Binet test of 1916 which was published by Terman became known as the first IQ test.[7] However, books on self-tests of intelligence were written later. One of the early books on this subject was Know Your Own I.Q. by Hans Eysenck, which was first published in 1962. Four years later, his book Check Your Own I.Q. was published. As low cost pelican paperbacks, these books were popular and reprinted for years under multiple names like Test Your IQ.

Self-tests versus other tests of intelligence[edit]

Self-tests of intelligence are quite different from tests that are administered by others, like the Woodcock–Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, the Stanford-Binet IQ test, and the Wonderlic test as with a self-test normally no other parties are involved in the assessment of one's intelligence.

Other tests of intelligence are mostly performed under more controlled circumstances: under the supervision of trained psychologists (mostly in groups but sometimes individually).

The motives of self-tests of intelligence are also different. Other tests can be motivated by organizations like the military, educational institutions, or scholars, but self-tests are normally based on individual motives like curiosity, test anxiety, or pride.


Certificates one can obtain for self-tests of intelligence are called by various names such as Certificate of Intelligence, Certificate of Intellectual Achievement, Certificate of High IQ, IQ examination, and intelligence test.

Many self-tests are not offered by an official certification organization. If self-tests are not conducted by some officially certified organization, the value of them may be doubted. An IQ certificate may be offered for commercial reasons, or the way the intelligence quotient is measured may not be based on solid scientific grounds. In fact, any company that would like to do so can offer a certificate based on a self-test of intelligence. If companies do not have some sort of validation or certification to issue such certificates themselves, the value of the certificates can be taken with a grain of salt. It can be questioned who certifies the certification organization. In general, for many other kinds of certifications there are certification boards or standards. If there is no such board or standard, a certification may lack the proper accreditation, which can be defined in this context as The formal recognition by an independent body, generally known as an accreditation body, that a certification body operates according to international standards.[8]

In certain cases, self-tests of intelligence do not even offer an IQ Certificate, although it may seems obvious that they will offer them (for instance if they ask for payment for the self-test and mention an IQ certificate). At times it may seem self-evident that some test report or IQ certificate is generated as one pays for that, but none is offered.

Characteristics of self-tests of intelligence[edit]

There are various types of self-tests of intelligence, those that offer a general score, and those that offer a score based on parts of one's abilities, like logical, numeric, expressive, spatial and other abilities. Intelligence can be seen as a very complex concept, in that it encompasses many dimensions.[9][page needed] Also emotional intelligence can be measured and self-reports of this have been investigated.[10]

There are tests which work with a time limit, and tests that do not. This may depend on the psychological theory or framework that the test is based on.[citation needed]

Studies on self-assessed intelligence[edit]

According to Tatiana V. Kornilova et al. The concept of self-assessed intelligence (SAI) appeared at the intersection of three major fields of research: studies of self-evaluation and self-esteem, studies of lay (or implicit) theories of intelligence, and studies of intelligence as a general cognitive ability.[11]

The relation between narcissistic traits of a person who performs self-evaluations of intelligence has been studied in relation with physical attractiveness.[12]

Also, the relation between self-assessed intelligence and academic performance has been studied.[13]


  1. ^ Little more than personality: Dispositional determinants of test anxiety (the Big Five, core self-evaluations, and self-assessed intelligence) in Learning and Individual Differences Volume 18, Issue 2, 2nd Quarter 2008, Pages 258–263 by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzica, Gorkan Ahmetoglua, Adrian Furnhamb, University College London
  2. ^ Percival, Matt (8 September 2006). "The Quest for Genius". CNN. Retrieved 30 October 2007.
  3. ^ Test Your IQ: 400 Questions to Boost Your Brainpower, by Philip Carter and Ken Russell, Kogan Page, London 2009
  4. ^ Advanced IQ Tests: The Toughest Practice Questions to Test Your Lateral Thinking, Problem Solving and Reasoning Skills Testing Series, by Philip J. Carter, Kogan Page, Northwestern University, 2008 ISBN 9780749452322
  5. ^ What's Your IQ? Book and Card Kit: A Book and IQ Test to Find Out Just How Smart You Really Are! by Janet Terban Morris, Peter Pauper Press Inc. New York 2003.
  6. ^ Test Your IQ, 6th Edition, by Alfred W. Munzert, Ph.D, Pocket Books, New York 2003.
  7. ^ The IQ Mythology by Elaine Mensh and Harry Mensh, 1991 ISBN 0-8093-1666-8
  8. ^ "Certification Page on International Organization for Standardization Website". Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  9. ^ Ruane, Janet M. (February 2016). Introducing Social Research Methods: Essentials for Getting the Edge. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-87425-7.
  10. ^ Brackett, Marc A.; Rivers, Susan E.; Shiffman, Sara; Lerner, Nicole; Salovey, Peter (October 2006). "Relating Emotional Abilities to Social Functioning: A Comparison of Self-Report and Performance Measures of Emotional Intelligence" (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 91 (4): 780–795. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.4.780. PMID 17014299. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2016.
  11. ^ SELF-ASSESSED INTELLIGENCE, PERSONALITY, AND PSYCHOMETRIC INTELLIGENCE: PRELIMINARY VALIDATION OF A MODEL WITH A SELECTED STUDENT POPULATION in Psychology in Russia: State of the Art by Tatiana V. Kornilova et al.Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 2012.
  12. ^ Narcissistic Illusions in Self-Evaluations of Intelligence and Attractiveness by Marsha T. Gabriel, Joseph W. Critelli and Jullana S. Ee, Journal of Personality Volume 62, Issue 1, pages 143–155, March 1994
  13. ^ Self-Assessed Intelligence and Academic Performance DOI:10.1080/01443410500390921 by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzica and Adrian Furnhamb, Published online: 19 Jan 2007