Besides the two major tests for intelligence, there are many others that are used, often for specific purposes. These are called “intelligence” tests, but really are tests of cognitive (or learning) abilities. These can be helpful in certain situations, but should not be confused with formal IQ tests.

Group intelligence tests are often used by schools. These serve as benchmarks for educators but have little or no relationship with formal IQ tests. These test results should be used very cautiously. There are many questions surrounding them about what they actually measure and about their accuracy. In fact, I do not use this type of data at all.

There are some other cognitive tests that are given individually.  The Woodcock Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities or the Cog-Med tests would be examples of this type of test.  These serve specific purposes in schools. Often they may be used to help understand a learning disability or they may be used to determine who should be included in gifted programming. These tend to be tied more to educational theory than they are to psychological ideas about intelligence.

Be Careful

Do not assume that these are IQ tests, even though sometimes they give out results using the term IQ.  These are good tests for their own purpose, but they are not substitutes for a formal IQ.

Here’s where they can be helpful:

  • If your child has had difficulty in school and is currently getting help. These tests can help monitor whether the plan you have in place is working.
  • If your child is experiencing problems in one academic area, in math for example, but is doing well in all other areas. Before beginning an extensive program of testing, some schools may administer one of these tests as a starting point.
  • These tests will give you a snapshot of how your child is doing at the present time.  These will not predict how your child will do in the future.
  • Some schools use them as a way to determine eligibility for gifted programs.

Note to Parents

Make sure you pay attention to the tests that uses and interpret these carefully.