So around a month ago I did an intelligence test. It was part of the process for finding any correlation to autism or anything else. I won’t go into the details of the test because it isn’t allowed for obvious reasons of course.
First my experience.
I was extremely nervous. An intelligence test, even though it has a pretty good chance of being inaccurate, has always been one of those things that could suggest a significant change of meaning regarding my cognitive talents like my memory and calculating ability. It was one factor I had to take into account on my path to finding out who I am and especially what I am.
The test was long, around 2 and half hours I think, I wasn’t paying that much attention to the time. The questions weren’t really hard and the tasks weren’t too difficult. Different things were tested. My working memory (fluid memory) , language (language is crystallized intelligence) and a few other things but not all were mentioned. Before I got the results, I had a pretty good feeling regarding my score on working memory but the others I had no idea. I thought my lowest score would be in language since I am not native and if I do have autism then that could affect my linguistic skills as well. After I had done the test, I was sceptic about this test. Not about the methods but the test itself. I was worried that this was an old test and a low ceiling test. Some tasks suggested this and this could be troublesome since a low ceiling test would mean a bottleneck to my cognitive talents and thus an inaccured result. This was my number 1 worry in my topic “digit span of 16”.
Afterwards I was mentally tired but I was not as drained as I was after I did the tests for autism around a month prior to this. Those tests drained me for a few days. The days after the intelligence test I could recall about 90% of the test and I went through them in my head to see how I actually performed and I found some unnecessary mistakes, mistakes that I wouldn’t normally make but because I was so nervous I did. It bothered me for a short while but I accepted it since it was an in-the-moment test and in that moment, I was very nervous.
Now this is the juicy part of course. What y’all have been waiting for. What score would someone with my brain actually have, right? A key question for myself as well.
Well, the kid who could do 4 by 4 multiplications in his head in elementary school, the middleschool boy who only needed to read a chapter once and ace the test, the teenager who could recall the release year of every movie he had ever seen after one glance, the school dropout who can solve a word search and sudoku in his head without a pencil, now the man who can absorb hours of footage and remember them for weeks without making any notes has an IQ of…
Not what you would expect right?
I was just as surprised. The actual score was 115-125, they didn’t give me a specific number. My psychologist explained that my test scores were non-harmonic, the results were very divided. My lowest score was on iirc the perceptual part, 90-105, I think? My highest score was on working memory, 130-140. She asked me what I thought about my general score of 115-125. I said I could not stand behind that score. I gave 2 reasons. Reason 1 was that I felt very capped in the parts where my cognitive talents were significant. I told that I i.e. noticed that the digit span part of the test only went to 9 digits forwards, 9 digits backwards and 9 digits for putting them in order but my actual digit span is much higher than that, around 15-16 digits. The arithmetic parts where extremely easy and it dealt with very small numbers which doesn’t even come close to my full range. I gave her the example that apparently, people who score 160 cannot even do 3 by 3 multiplications in their head yet here I am doing them in seconds. The test missed out on such a large part of my cognitive ability that I could not take the results seriously. My second reason what that it also doesn’t add up. I explained that with my cognitive talents I seem to outperform others by a lot, even people with a genius IQ. It doesn’t make sense that someone with all this ability is not even gifted and only has a 115-125 IQ. I said if my cognitive talents were correlated to someone with an IQ of 115-125 then there wouldn’t be a problem, this would be the perfect score and I would be happy about it but the numbers say they aren’t. Not even close apparently.
I joked that I was being Richard Feynman’d haha I explained how he was a nobelprize winner physicist yet his IQ was said to be 125 according to one test but a lot of people don’t buy that score and say that his mathematical skills weren’t represented in that score and that his linguistic skills and crystallized intelligence were only tested. He was a math genius, at the age of 15 he was doing world class competition in math. She said that there are some parts where interest plays a role. She gave the example of language. I scored above average on that part, which surprised me. Language is very depended on interest. She said if I was interested in language, I would score much higher on that part (and thus score higher overall). At the end she understood where I was coming from and she also said that I could leave this result as it was and that it doesn’t mean that my intelligence is set in stone. She said that people who are socially very capable are often not represented well in a test like this, it wasn’t made for them and it could be that this specific test just isn’t made for someone like me.
It was hard facing the results because they were so contradicting to what I was experiencing, to what others were experiencing of me and to the data concerning cognitive abilities like mine. The test also wasn’t very helpful for signs of autism. She said that on the part where people with autism score low, I scored very high. Normally someone with autism is distracted by the details and scores lower. She said that it could even be the case that if I do have autism, that I would’ve scored even higher if I did not have autism. My processing speed could actually be even faster than the already very high result but because of autism, still capped.
So, it has been a while since I got the results and I am at peace with it. Not that I agree with it, I just found it inconclusive. The test ceiling was too low, I would guess 145 since I scored 130-140 on the working memory part and I got 2 questions wrong at max. It also said not much about autism which was the main objective in the first place. I do find it funny in someway, that someone with my brain potentially has a 115 IQ. The fact that the result has a 10 point margin (115-125), which is huge, says a lot about its accuracy. The normal margin is often 5 points or less. I do think that the parts (except language) where my cognitive talents are less significant are closer to the truth than even my working memory score of 130-140. The score I liked the most was my lowest score on perceptual, 90-105, because it is probably one of the few scores that are close to the truth.
I look forward to your comments and reactions haha:)
One tip I have for those who want to also do an intelligence test, go for the test with higher ceilings. It has a much better chance of representing your abilities.