The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Monday, March 26, 2007

IQ testing without IQ testing

Are there ways to discover an IQ, without an IQ test?

Yes. Many. In fact ANY test, that involves thought, can be found to correlate with IQ.

So, what does this mean for those of you who, perhaps, find traditional IQ testing too expensive (as it is in Singapore...)? Well, if you have taken other tests in the course of your education, they can certainly be used to estimate IQ. For instance, the SATs. There are conversion tools available that allow you to convert a SAT result into an IQ. They do this by relating the SAT result to the IQ typical of someone who gets that result. In this manner, an IQ may be derived, without actually taking a conventional IQ test.

The same, of course, applies to any test that involves g, the general intelligence factor. That means that any test which invokes higher thought will have a correlation with IQ. That basically means any rigorous academic test whatsoever. The only problem is knowing what the correlation is - but in principle it could be done for any rigorous academic examination. There will always be a correlation and there will always be a typical IQ of a particular result. For some tests these relationships will have been calculated. I don't know of any apart from the SAT for which this has been done - but it is not difficult to do.

In a very real sense, I did a similar sort of calculation for my son's Chemistry O Level - I calculated the mental age that is required to pass an O level. I then used this to derive my son's minimum ratio IQ required to achieve this milestone by dividing the mental age required for an O level, by his actual age. You, too, could do similar calculations for any rigorous test your child has taken. It is a valid, logical, reasonable procedure that is scientifically sound.

This means that ANY "achievement test", with a true thinking component, will be able to act as an indirect, surrogate method for estimating IQ. The Physical Sciences - with their very strong g component - would prove to be a very effective surrogate for an IQ test, if the relationship between score and IQ and age, has been worked out.

So, perhaps you won't have to spend a fortune on an IQ test to, at the very least, determine whether you are gifted - or your child is - and into what band they fall: MG, HG, EG or PG...or even PG+, as may be the case.

Good luck.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, and his gifted brothers, Fintan, three, and Tiarnan, fourteen months, please go to: I also write of child prodigy, IQ, intelligence, gifted education, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:44 PM 


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