Intelligence tests
January 5, 2007 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to prepare for Intelligence tests ? If yes, what are the mainstream Intelligence tests that firms or institutions use ?
posted by Yiba to Education (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are lots of IQ tests online, I would recommend at least taking a few to get an idea of the questions they ask. There are a number of general test preparation strategies to employ such as monitoring your time to allocate enough time to each question and learning how they are scored so you know whether it is better to guess or leave questions blank.
posted by sophist at 12:20 AM on January 5, 2007

The WAIS is one of the more common ones. It has to be administered by a trained professional, which is very costly.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:06 AM on January 5, 2007

There are a limited number of types of question in an intelligence test, i believe; thirty-something; i don't know where you'll find details on them, because that's obviously not something the people who create the tests want you to know. I mean, do you think the people who draw up the tests are all geniuses ;)
posted by londongeezer at 4:36 AM on January 5, 2007

A good way to prepare for any test is to find a book of similar tests and start taking it at the same time of day and under similar circumstances as you will be doing. Establish a pattern of eating, sleeping etc. If you will be traveling to the test-taking location, then take a walk prior to the practices.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:05 AM on January 5, 2007

There are 13 subtests, about half of them are "mental" activities and the rest are "performance" activities. They are going to ask you to do simple math problems in your head, do vocabulary problems, analogies, put blocks into certain shapes, do mazes, sequence sets of pictures, and other things like that. They are designed to be tasks that can't be prepared for. So, the short answer to your question is "No". The online IQ tests won't parallel the WAIS very closely.
posted by crapples at 5:23 AM on January 5, 2007

Crapples: They are designed to be tasks that can't be prepared for.

That rarely means they can’t be prepared for. Ebay only gives me one entry on searching for “wais test” but if I were looking for other test material at inexorbitant rates to practise, practise, practise on, I would go there first.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 5:53 AM on January 5, 2007

Oops, sorry, linked to the wrong Gladwell article. I meant this one.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 5:56 AM on January 5, 2007

I weigh in on the "can't prepare" side. Depends what exact test it is, but when I took an IQ test several years ago, it was as crapples describes... building things with blocks, putting pictures into correct sequences, giving verbal definitions for words, etc. Stuff that even a little kid could do. The emphasis is more on how quickly you can perform these tasks then any accumulated knowledge.
Possibly you could try to prepare by exercising your mental fitness -- doing sudoku, crossword puzzles, solving logic problems, etc -- but that depends how much time you have before you take the test.
posted by crackingdes at 7:24 AM on January 5, 2007

I very much believe you can practise for these tests. Whenever I do some prep for them, I consistently score very well, and when I go in cold, not so good. I believe it puts you into a short-term 'IQ test-taking mode'. Are you taking the test as a screening for employment? If so, definitely look around the net for the tests that employers commonly use and try them. They are rarely the full WAIS.
posted by sid at 8:47 AM on January 5, 2007

You can prepare - to an extent. Many of these tests require that you think, quickly, in ways different than most people think on a day-to-day basis. For example: choosing the next number in a sequence, choosing the correct image representing an initial image rotated, etc. Some practice may make you more comfortable and may slightly increase your speed.

If you can find out the specific test, and you are able to get practice questions, then do some, and do them in conditions close to what you believe the actual test taking conditions will be.
posted by KAS at 10:02 AM on January 5, 2007

Get plenty of sleep beforehand.
posted by neuron at 12:29 PM on January 5, 2007

I second crackingdes's idea of working on your mental fitness. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Games magazine or its cousin Games World of Puzzles. The difficulty ranges from quite simple to near-impossible, and the puzzles are all well constructed and fun. I recommend Paint by Numbers (fun logic puzzles), diagramless or cryptic crosswords (they take a while to learn to do correctly, but they both work both your language and logic skills), Sudoku, etc. If nothing else, they're a lot of fun.
posted by SBMike at 1:33 PM on January 5, 2007

Hosh Posh, mental fitness... Over the years I've been able to watch my scores increase little by little, there are only so many types of questions that can be asked. Just take as many tests as you can before the one that counts. Tests that offer to show you the answers once you've finished are best. It's important to go back through once you've got the answers. My advice, mentally seperate every question, once you have answered one, forget it. Keep in mind that the answers are always right there. And do your best to think like the test preparers. I like this one (mininova Torrent site)/strong>
posted by nintendo at 2:05 AM on January 6, 2007

If an IQ test is worth it's salt, you should not be able to pump up your score through preperation. This is because IQ tests only use the most basic, overpracticed kinds of operations (i.e. arithmetic) in order to make them fair to everyone. In other words, if you have been through at least 3 or 4 years of school you have already had all the practice you will ever need for an IQ test.

That said, if you are really out of the loop as far as even being in a test-taking situation, you might need to prepare simply for being tested because you might get anxiety. If you have been out of school a long time it also might help to practice some basic arithmetic or read some difficult books just to re-activate those "dormant" regions of the brain.
posted by Paladin165 at 4:48 PM on November 15, 2007

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