IQ Testing - Understanding the Value of IQ & Cognitive Assessments and Learning

The value of IQ tests and the purpose of IQ or cognitive assessments by qualified or registered psychologists have often been misunderstood. The following guiding principles may be helpful in avoiding misunderstanding on the value of IQ or cognitive profiling tests:
  • IQ test scores are used to describe a person's current cognitive profile and learning potential, not a numerical score to stigmatise or label. IQ scores are never an end in itself. The multi-dimensional aspect of intelligence is much larger than what can be captured through IQ tests alone. Nevertheless, the IQ test scores do reveal the cognitive skills profile and patterns of strengths and limitations in all of us. Read some stories of children assessed at Gifted Academy, Singapore - (i) youngest MENSA member in Singapore (ii) Smartest kid? (iii) Gifted? (iv) The 5 Show 2015.
  • A high IQ test score does not necessarily equate life success, although it may be a relatively good predictor of academic achievement. Other factors such as personal integrity, emotional intelligence, resilience, leadership, motivation, attitude, sustained effort, personality and timely opportunities are also critical for achieving future career and life success.
  • For the more enlightened, IQ and/or cognitive testing has often been an empowering experience. Test scores are useful for parents to facilitate a better understanding of their children's cognitive strengths and weaknesses objectively, explaining their potential instead of being a stigmatising label, be it intellectual giftedness or otherwise
  • Similar to the usual routine visit to your licensed doctor to obtain your health profile, IQ testing is like a visit to a registered psychologist to obtain one's cognitive profile. For oneself, the more we appreciate our own cognitive strengths and limitations, the better we can leverage or manage for personalised success. For parents, with new and deeper insights of their children's cognitive profiles, they can now make more informed decisions about the appropriate choice of schools as well as to invest in talent developmentbrain training or academic programmes to nurture their children holistically and realistically. Remember, it is only wise that "diagnostic assessment" should always inform and come before "programme prescription", and not vice-versa.
  • Finally, before you invest time and money, be sure that the IQ test or cognitive assessment is conducted by reliable and experienced qualified registered psychologists and internationally recognized by the relevant professional psychological associations / governmental authorities / hospitals / schools. After all, the IQ or cognitive profiling test is merely a tool and a tool can only be as good as its user, that is, the attending psychologist.
  • Otherwise, it may be futile to undergo IQ or cognitive assessments with unqualified practitioners which may neither be valid, reliable or recognised. Worse of all, you may risk getting an inaccurate or invalid cognitive profile of you or your child and may unintentionally do more harm than good. You and your child definitely deserve more!