What Is the Normal Range for IQ?

Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2022
An IQ scores above 140 Indicates genius or nearly genius. Einstein's IQ estimated IQ scores range from 205 to 225 by different measures.
An IQ score above 140 Indicates genius or nearly genius. Einstein's IQ estimated IQ scores range from 205 to 225 by different measures.

The intelligence quotient or IQ is a standardized method to know the mental ability of a person, usually against a peer group.

IQ scores between 90 and 109 indicate a normal range or average intelligence. Individual adults usually score somewhere in between the 70-130 range, with 100 being the theoretical average.

If you score above 130, then you would have a score higher than the average population, and below 70 would be lower than the average population.

What is an average IQ for my age?

As per research, the average IQ for each age group may be interpreted in the following manner:

  • The average score for 16-17 year-olds is 108, which denotes normal or average intelligence.
  • For adults between 18 and 19 years of age, the average IQ score is 105, which also denotes normal or average intelligence.
  • The average score for people between 20 and 24 years of age is 99, which also denotes normal or average intelligence.
  • For people between 24 and 34 years of age, the average score is slightly lower at 97, which still denotes normal or average intelligence.
  • The scores begin to go up again after that age, among older adults. For example, the average score for people between 35 and 44 years of age is estimated to be 101, still within the normal or average intelligence scale.
  • For people between the ages of 45 and 54, the average IQ score goes up to 106 within the normal or average intelligence scale.
  • The highest average score for people under 64 years of age is attained by those people between the ages of 55 and 64, who get 109 on the IQ scale.
  • People between 65 and 69 years of age have an average IQ score of 114, which puts them in the superior intelligence or above-average end of the scale. But people between 70 and 74 years who are tested for IQ get an even higher average score of 119.
Table: IQ scores and Intelligent Chart
Scores Intelligence
Between 110 and 119 Superior intelligence or above average
Between 120 and 140 Superintelligence or being gifted
Scores over 140 Indicates genius or nearly genius
Scores between 80 and 89 Indicates dullness or “lower average”
Scores under 70 Definite “feeble-mindedness” or low

Is a 120 IQ good?

An IQ score of 120 is a good score since it means superior or above-average intelligence.

What is a good IQ score?

A score of 100 is said to be the average IQ and anything above that is above average intelligence for the person’s age. IQ is based on a statistical calculation considering people who are expected to have a certain IQ. Hence, IQ scores are not calculated in isolation for an individual. A person’s IQ doesn’t exist in isolation. The IQ score represents how a person’s results compare to those of other people of their age.

IQ tests generally focus on a person’s:

  • Memory
  • Mathematical skills
  • Reasoning ability
  • Processing speed
  • Language, including vocabulary
  • Visuospatial processing (the ability to perceive, analyze, recall, and manipulate images oriented in space and keep track of the location of moving objects)


The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue See Slideshow

What do you mean by IQ?

IQ stands for intelligence quotient, which remains a popular tool for job placement and educational services, particularly helping to place children in an appropriate setting for their educational needs.

  • An IQ score is a numerical representation of an individual’s intelligence within a normalized scale of test results.
  • Most modern tests are adjusted so that the mean score is 100.
  • IQ score is a combination or an average of multiple scores.

Questions on an intelligence test judge various categories such as working memory, verbal comprehension, processing speed, and perceptual reasoning. All these individual scores are combined to create your overall IQ. IQ scores are often a combination of verbal and performance scales. Typically, individuals are stronger in one area than the other; therefore, the combination of these scores can better identify intelligence.

What are the uses of an IQ test?

An IQ test may be used for:

  • Assessing a person’s eligibility for a job
  • Educational assessment
  • Diagnosis of intellectual disabilities
  • Psychological research purposes
  • Evaluating a person’s cognitive abilities, including attention, memory, mathematical skills, problem-solving skills, and response time

What factors influence a person’s IQ?

Several factors can influence a person’s IQ, such as

  • Age - IQ increases with age,
  • Educational background
  • Cultural practices and beliefs
  • General health, including any underlying health conditions
  • Environment
  • Genetics
  • Musical training
  • Brain anatomy

To summarize, although IQ is commonly used to measure a person’s intelligence, the concept of IQ has earned significant disrepute over the years.

  • Researchers argue that IQ calculation may not be comprehensive enough to classify a person as more or less intelligent. There are various aspects to intelligence including spiritual, emotional, and creative aspects.
  • People with a higher IQ do not necessarily perform well under different circumstances, including different levels of physical and mental stress.
  • Classifying people based on IQ can result in prejudice against people with a lower IQ. People have even made groups open for those with a certain level of IQ.

Moreover, IQ does not measure the abilities that are important for making good judgments in real-life situations. Hence, intelligence may span far beyond the confines of IQ, but a person’s work productivity, ability to adapt to life situations and emotional health cannot be predicted by their IQ score.

What are the differences between aptitude tests and IQ tests?

The difference between aptitude tests and intelligence quotient (IQ) tests is as follows:

Aptitude tests

Most aptitude tests assess a specific set of skills; cognitive aptitude tests can measure a broad range of abilities and provide individual scores for each ability. Cognitive aptitude testing can be done through standardized tests or game-based assessments.

  • These tests can measure specific areas of intelligence.
  • Age is not a factor.
  • There is a score for each category.
  • These tests are highly predictive of job performance.
  • The most common use is pre-employment testing.

IQ tests

They are typically standardized tests that cover a wide range of questions including logical, visual, spatial, classification, analogical, and pattern-driven questions. The IQ is determined by the deviation between the test score and the average test score of people of your age. IQ is considered a rough metric for general intelligence.

  • These tests measure general intelligence.
  • Age is used to determine IQ scores.
  • One general score is determined.
  • These are moderately predictive of job performance.
  • The most common uses are research and education.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 12/15/2022
What is IQ? https://www.mensa.org/iq/what-iq

Medscape Medical Reference

GracePoint https://www.gracepointwellness.org/18-psychological-testing/article/8217-intelligence-quotient-iq

Mensa International https://www.mensa.org/iq/what-iq

Assessment Psychology Online http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/iqclassifications.htm