Adult IQ Tests and Children.
Recently, a searcher arrived on my site with the terms: "If a child takes an adult IQ test." I didn't have the time to respond, then, but I shall now.
Many - in fact, most - of the tests available online are for adults. They are for adults in a very special way. If they are proper tests, they will have been normed for adults. This means that a body of adults will have been tested using the IQ test, and a distribution of performances plotted. This will have verified the test against a standard population. It is what gives the test validity and allows us to interpret what its results mean. For instance, that a person of a particular IQ result was better than 1 in 100, or 1 in 1000 of the test population. We are, in effect, comparing anyone new who takes the test, with those who originally took the test. This is what all official IQ tests have had done. (Well, deviation IQ tests anyway.)
Now, there is a big problem if a child takes such a test. The problem comes when the adult (usually a parent), doesn't understand how tests are constructed and verified. If they don't understand that a test has been normed against an adult population, they may be very, very upset with the result their "bright" child gets. By taking the test, the parent is, unwittingly, comparing the child against an ADULT POPULATION. The result is not compared against a population of the child's agemates. As a result the outcome is not what it seems. If, for instance a six year old takes an adult IQ test and scores at an IQ of 70, the parent might be rather shocked. But it doesn't mean that at all. It means that the child of six was performing as an adult with an IQ of 70 would perform. For a six year old, that would, in fact, be a pretty good result - not a bad result, as the parent might have thought.
What if another six year old scored above a 100 on an adult IQ test? That would be phenomenal. For it would indicate that the six year old was performing on a par with adults...or above average adults. It would be a very good result indeed. However, the parent might think "Oh...100, (or 108 or whatever) is pretty average, little Johnny can't be that bright after all..." and be disappointed. So, again, the parent would get an unfortunate impression of their gifted child.
Thus, it is misleading to use an adult IQ test for a child. The IQ result only tells us how your child compares to an adult population. It does not tell us the child's true IQ, in the way the term is meant these days: comparison for rarity with children of their own age.
The child who scores 100 in an adult IQ test, at the age of 6, might actually score in the region of 200 to 300 on a child's test, normed for 6 year olds. That is just a ballpark estimate of the situation. So, one can see how misleading adult IQ tests can be for the assessment of the intellectual performance of children.
If you want to know your child's real IQ, there is only solution: an IQ test that has been normed on a relevant population - children of their own age. Any other test, is going to give you an incorrect assessment.
So, for all those parents who have given an adult IQ test to their children...I would suggest finding a proper test, and trying again - if you really want to know the truth.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and no months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and five months, and Tiarnan, twenty-two months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)