Learn How to Score High on an IQ Test With Our 9 Expert Tips!

Thanks to our expert test-taking strategies, you’ll learn how to score high on an IQ test and solve the most common types of questions.

Learn How to Score High on an IQ Test With Our 9 Expert Tips! main image

Teachers and employers have used IQ tests to measure intelligence quotient (IQ) for decades. Considering that the result can impact our lives in various ways, it’s not surprising that so many people wonder how to score high on an IQ test.

Whether you’re taking the test just to find out your score or as part of the pre-employment process, you could probably use a few tips. Today, our experts will uncover some of the most effective strategies for acing an IQ test.

Let’s dive in.

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Key takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Common IQ test tasks measure numerical and logical reasoning, pattern recognition, visualization, and the ability to understand analogies.
  • You can study for an IQ test by taking practice tests.
  • To crack an IQ test and get a great score, you need to stay calm, manage your time, read questions carefully, and avoid overanalyzing.
  • A great way to score high on an IQ test is to bring your IQ closer to its maximum potential.

The Most Common Types of IQ Test Questions

A person taking an IQ test on his tablet

A person taking an IQ test on his tablet

Before we teach you how to score high on an IQ test, we should take a look at some commonly encountered questions. That way, you’ll gain a better understanding of IQ tests and feel more prepared to take one.

Here are some of the tasks you’ll find in all the best IQ tests.

#1. Numerical Reasoning

Questions that test numerical reasoning measure your ability to understand number sequences and the underlying principles that govern them.

For instance, a typical example of a numerical reasoning task would be to complete the following number sequence:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ?

This type of task usually comes in a multiple-choice format, so once you figure out the logic behind the sequence, you have to pick the correct answer from the options presented to you.

#2. Logical Reasoning

Logical reasoning tasks test your ability to think abstractly and deduce the correct answer from the available information.

Just like numerical reasoning tasks, these questions are non-verbal and usually involve a set of geometrical figures. The test taker needs to puzzle out what rules govern the changing characteristics of these figures and, applying those rules, deduce which figure fits the empty slot.

#3. Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition tasks measure your visual-spatial intelligence and the ability to spot patterns and apply their governing rules to come up with a solution.

In many ways, pattern recognition tasks are similar to logical reasoning tasks. They include a set of figures with changing characteristics and a blank slot that needs to be filled.

The simplest way to explain IQ test pattern recognition tasks is that they aim to see whether you can recognize some regularities even in chaos. As such, the figures in pattern recognition tests may seem less organized and feature various colors and symbols.

#4. Visualization

Visualization tasks test your ability to rotate, fold, and rearrange components of 3D objects in your mind. The better you are at visualization, the easier it will be to imagine a particular shape from various angles.

In these tasks, you may be given an image of a colored cube (or several cubes) and asked to imagine what it would look like if it was rotated 90° to the left.

Other tasks in this category may require that you visualize which piece is missing from a certain figure based on the information given. In this case, the shape doesn’t necessarily have to be 3D, but it often is.

#5. Analogies

So far, all the tasks we’ve mentioned have been completely non-verbal, involving only shapes or numbers.

However, analogies can come in both verbal and non-verbal formats, although the latter doesn’t test your linguistic intelligence. Instead, analogies measure your ability to comprehend the A:B=C:D formula.

For example, you may get a task in the following format:

Butcher → knife

Hairdresser → ?

In this case, it’s clear that the butcher uses a knife to do his job. So, by understanding the relationship between the first two items and applying it to the second set, we can deduce that the answer is “scissors.”

9 Tips to Help You Score High on an IQ Test

Now that you know what kinds of questions commonly appear on IQ tests, it’s time to learn how to score high on an IQ test. Below, you will find a list of helpful strategies to employ both before and during the test.

Try any of these, and you’ll surely ace the questions!

#1. Take Practice Tests

It’s a good time to take a moment and think back on your school days. How did you prepare for the tests you had to take in various subjects?

For history and biology, you likely sat down and studied the materials until you memorized the important information.

However, a subject such as math doesn’t work quite the same way. Instead, you had to do tasks upon tasks to teach your brain to develop strategies for solving math problems.

In many ways, taking an IQ test is similar. There are no materials to study, but you can familiarize yourself with the tasks, develop solving strategies, and gain insight into how high you can score on an IQ test.

All you have to do is take online IQ tests—the more you do, the better!

#2. Understand the Questions

How to score high on IQ test

How to score high on IQ test

As a rule, you can’t give the correct answer if you don’t understand the question. Of course, there is always the possibility of guessing correctly, but we suggest you leave that strategy for when you’re truly desperate.

Luckily, it’s unlikely to come to that, especially if you’ve reviewed a few practice tests before taking the real deal. Questions on IQ tests don’t tend to differ very much from one test to another, so you shouldn’t have trouble understanding them if you’ve gone over the basic ones.

#3. Read Instructions Carefully

Even if you believe you understand what’s expected of you, don’t skip over the instructions page. Many test takers do, and this prevents them from scoring high on an IQ test.

On the instructions page, you will find useful information about the test and its parts, as well as the kinds of questions you will encounter. Usually, a sample task is also included, giving you an idea of how to solve the upcoming problems and where to write your answers.

Although reading the instructions might take some of your allotted time, it’s worth it. Once you start the test, you’ll know what to expect, which will boost your confidence.

#4. Manage Your Time

In an ideal world, you’d have all the time you need to examine each question and come up with the correct answer.

Unfortunately, all official IQ tests have a specific time limit and usually take one to two hours to complete. Once the time runs out, you’ll have to hand in your test, even if you haven’t attempted to solve all the questions yet.

So, manage your time wisely. Don’t stay stuck on a single question for too long, and keep your eye on the clock. Give yourself about a minute for each task—that should be more than enough for most.

And remember: the more practice IQ tests you take, the quicker you’ll be at solving the typical tasks. As a result, you likely won’t struggle with time management while taking the official test.

#5. Examine All Options

IQ tests are usually formatted as multiple-choice questions with several answers from which you pick the correct one. In other words, even if you don’t know the solution right off the bat, the available options can help.

However, don’t skip examining the potential answers just because you think you know the solution. You might find a better answer if you take a closer look—one you’d likely miss if you were in a hurry.

#6. Use the Process of Elimination

Have you come across a question you don’t know how to answer? Before you panic or move on to the next one, take a look at the potential solutions.

By examining the possible answers, you’ll likely realize which ones are absolutely incorrect. Use this process of elimination to narrow down your choices as much as possible until, hopefully, you arrive at a single solution.

Even if you end up with two possible solutions, don’t worry—it’s better than what you started with. At that point, you have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer right!

#7. Don’t Overanalyze

A person overanalyzing and thinking

A person overanalyzing and thinking

As you progress through your IQ test, you’ll have to use your analytical skills to solve problems. However, make sure not to overuse them. That might have the opposite of the desired effect.

Overanalyzing the questions and your answers may quickly lead to self-doubt and misinterpretation. You might start reading too much into the tasks, changing the correct answers, and losing confidence in your own abilities.

Not to mention, you’ll likely waste time on something trivial when you could be solving tasks ahead. And, as we said, that could have a detrimental effect on your IQ score.

#8. Watch Out for Trick Questions

You shouldn’t overanalyze, but you also shouldn’t mindlessly solve tasks without giving them a second thought. If you do, you may fall into the traps the examiners like to prepare for careless test takers.

Although we can’t tell you exactly what these trick questions look like, it’s a good idea to pay attention to particularly easy questions. If they seem too easy, take another look—there might be something you’ve missed that completely changes the answer.

#9. Don’t Panic

It might be easier said than done, but try your best to stay calm while taking an IQ test. Panic is the enemy of thinking, and the last thing you need is to lose your reasoning ability in the middle of a test that measures it.

So, at the beginning of the test, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and focus on the tasks at hand. Remember the strategies you’ve learned and apply them wherever you can. And if you come across a question you absolutely can’t answer, skip it. You can come back and attempt to solve it later.

The simple rule is to focus on what you know rather than what you don’t. That way, you’ll keep your head cool and your cognition sharp, increasing your chances of scoring high on an IQ test.

Additional Strategies to Help You Score High on an IQ Test

How to score high on IQ test

How to score high on IQ test

Not happy with how you performed on the last IQ test you took? Luckily, there are ways to develop your IQ and bring it closer to your full potential, so you can do better on your next test.

Here are some activities we recommend for boosting IQ:

  • Playing chess. It’s hardly a coincidence that chess players tend to have high IQs. In fact, research has shown that regularly playing chess can improve your cognitive abilities and boost your score by a few points.
  • Playing an instrument. Taking up any new hobby challenges your brain and improves your mental agility and flexibility. However, music can be particularly effective in enhancing your memory and abstract thinking.
  • Solving puzzles. Puzzles aren’t just fun games to help you pass the time when there’s nothing better to do. On the contrary, they exercise your brain, keep your mind sharp, and help you improve your logical reasoning and visual intelligence.
  • Reading books. Reading is always a great way to challenge your brain to adopt new perspectives and ways of thinking, which can, in turn, boost your IQ.
  • Playing sports. The stereotype of a dumb jock is just that—a stereotype. It turns out that regularly doing sports boosts oxygen levels in your blood and improves neuroplasticity, making your mind more agile.
  • Studying. Even if you’re past school age, you can do your brain a favor and study any subject you have an interest in. Solve math problems, learn a new language, or read up on human anatomy. Whatever you choose, keeping your brain busy will increase your IQ and help you score high on an IQ test.

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Final Thoughts

Essentially, IQ tests are like any other test—the more you prepare and practice, the more likely you are to receive a high score.

In this article, we’ve shown you how to score high on an IQ test or at least increase your chances of doing so, and now the rest is up to you. Do a few free IQ tests to get an idea of what to expect, employ some of our strategies, and good luck!

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