So it seems I'm functionally retarded. What to make of this?
September 23, 2013 10:07 AM Subscribe
Whenever I've taken an IQ test, in childhood or adulthood, I've scored fantastically low. I probably shouldn't have the cognitive faculties to be typing this right now. Help me make sense of what's going on?
posted by jumelle to health & fitness (49 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't feel stupid. As a kid, I never had any problems making decent grades in school. It feels lame to talk about stuff from so long ago, but with a few exceptions I received straight A's from 7th grade on up. Admittedly, the schools I went to did not have the highest standards. However, I still managed to make 4s and 5s on my AP courses which were judged on a national level. 98th/99th percentile in standardized tests, blah blah blah. I don't remember being a study-maniac at this time. I just did the work that was required of me, made sure I understood it and went on my way.
I think I did fine in college. The majority of my grades were As and Bs. I worked a lot harder (on average), but during that time I was/am dealing with a lot of different problems-- PTSD, depression and other exciting things. I'm not sure how much of the difficulty was due to my being a moron versus my being distracted.
How smart I am compared to other people is not something I usually think about. I've always been shoehorned into gifted classes and I've always seen myself as average. Other people tell me how smart they think I am but I'm not sure what information they're basing these thoughts on.
My question is: how am I pulling all this off when I shouldn't be able to do much more than drool down the front of my shirt?
IQ tests are considered a pretty valid measure of intelligence. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding them but I'm not sure if there's anything, research, studies, whatever, that accounts for the fact that someone as low-scoring as I am is still able to tie their shoes and live a relatively normal life.
Part of what I think might account for my low scores is that I'm a person who needs to do things multiple times before "getting it." Anecdotally, I'd say I do poorly on tasks initially (It's kinda hilarious) but then I learn quickly from my mistakes. So in first grade, I started off in the "special" reading group but by the end of the year, I was at the top of the class. This pattern has repeated itself many times in my life. I.Q. tests rate accuracy heavily. Is it valid to argue that there's a distinct difference between being literally "slow" and being outright stupid?
I feel like the topic of this question is going to make my usual typos and grammatical errors stand out even more than they usually do. And before anyone mentions it, I've not been taking online I.Q. tests.