What Is the Normal Range for IQ?

When you hear people talk about IQ or Intelligence Quotient, they’re usually talking about a score on a test that measures a person’s cognitive abilities. Basically, IQ tests try to see how good you are at things like problem-solving, understanding concepts, and logical reasoning. The score you get falls on a scale that gives an idea of where you stand compared to others. Most people score between 85 and 115.

What Is the Normal Range for IQ?

What Does an IQ Score Mean?

So, you took an IQ test and got your score. Now what? Well, IQ scores are grouped into different categories to help describe a person’s cognitive abilities. You might find it useful to check out this table that breaks down the different IQ score ranges and what they generally mean. Here’s a handy guide for you:

IQ Score RangeCategoryWhat It Generally Means
Below 70Significantly Below AverageUsually suggests challenges in cognitive functions; often qualifies for additional support.
70-84Below AverageSlightly below average; may face some difficulties in problem-solving and academics.
85-114AverageMost people who fall into this range typically do not face challenges related to cognitive abilities.
115-129Above AverageHigher-than-average cognitive abilities; often find learning new things easier than most.
130-144GiftedExtremely high problem-solving abilities; may excel in intellectual pursuits.
Above 145Genius or Near-GeniusExceptionally high cognitive abilities; extraordinarily skilled in logical reasoning and problem-solving.

What is an Average IQ for My Age?

IQ tests are pretty smart themselves! They adjust your raw score based on your age. This way, a 13-year-old who answers the same number of questions correctly as a 30-year-old won’t get the same score because what’s expected for each age is different.

Most IQ tests aim to keep the average score at 100, but what’s average can vary a bit depending on the test and the age group. Still, here are some general guidelines:

Kids and Teens

  • 5-8 years: 90-110
  • 9-12 years: 95-115
  • 13-19 years: 100-120


  • 20-35 years: 100-120
  • 36-50 years: 95-115
  • 51 and up: 90-110

Why Do IQ Scores Vary?

You might wonder why some people score really high while others don’t. Well, IQ can be influenced by a lot of factors! These can include:


Yep, the genes your parents passed on to you can play a role in your IQ score. But that’s just one part of the puzzle.


The environment you grow up in also matters. Good schools, loving families, and access to resources can give you a boost.


Being healthy can help your brain function better. So, eating well and exercising are not just good for your muscles; they’re good for your brain, too!

Cultural Factors

Different cultures value different types of intelligence. So, IQ tests might not fully capture what you’re good at, depending on your cultural background.

Does IQ Change Over Time?

Good question! In kids and teens, IQ can change quite a bit as you learn and grow. For adults, it usually stays pretty consistent, but it can change due to life experiences or health conditions. Plus, practice can make you better at taking IQ tests, but whether that means your ‘true’ intelligence has changed is up for debate.

Are IQ Tests Accurate?

According to experts, IQ tests are generally reliable for measuring the types of intelligence they’re designed to measure. But keep in mind, they don’t capture everything about you. You might be awesome at art or sports, and IQ tests don’t measure that.

What If My IQ Isn’t “Normal”?

If your score is below or above the average range, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, IQ is just one measure of ability. If you’re concerned about a low score, professionals can help figure out if there are specific challenges to address. On the flip side, a high score might mean you could benefit from more advanced learning opportunities.

Remember, your IQ score is just a number. It doesn’t define you or your future success. So, go out there and be the best you, whatever your IQ may be!

Is a High IQ Score a Guarantee of Success?

Having a high IQ can give you some advantages, like being able to learn things quickly. But it’s definitely not a guarantee that you’ll be successful in life. Many other factors, like hard work, social skills, and being in the right place at the right time, also play huge roles in success.

When Should I Take an IQ Test?

Honestly, anytime is a good time if you’re curious! Just know that most professionals will look at more than just one test or one number to get a full picture of your abilities.

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