Intelligence Quotient (IQ tests) are standardized assessments used to evaluate reasoning skills and other cognitive abilities. These tests are designed to provide test-takers with a relative measure of intelligence.
Of course, not all IQ tests are created equal, so we’re here to help you find the most reliable IQ tests. Typically, IQ tests administered by a trained psychologist are considered the most valid. It is difficult to mirror these results online, because the majority of official IQ tests contain manipulatives.
However, if you want to get an estimate of your intellectual ability without spending too much money or time, there are some valid options online. In this article, we’ll discuss the ten most reliable IQ tests.
We’re including some options that can be found online, so whatever your preference, we have an IQ test for you.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence ScaleThe Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was designed by David Wechsler to assess cognitive ability in the ‘50s. Since then, the tests have been adapted multiple times and continue to be widely used today.
In fact, the WAIS is perhaps the most trusted of all IQ tests for adults. The WAIS is designed for ages 16 and up. The most recent version of the test, the WAIS-III, takes about 60-75 minutes to complete.
The WAIS focuses on two key areas: Verbal and Performance. There are 14 total subtests on the WAIS-III: seven for the Verbal section and seven for the Performance section.
The Verbal subtests are:
The Performance subtests are:
Each subtest starts with very easy questions and proceeds to very difficult questions. For tests administered in person, the test administrator may end a subtest if the test-taker seems to have reached the limits of capacity.
You can purchase an official version of the Wechsler to take online, or you can find a free online IQ test that is based on the Wechsler.
The free online versions of the Wechsler, although based on the same skills, typically take only about 15-30 minutes to complete and are not as reliable as the official WAIS.
Mensa Practice Test
Mensa is a high IQ society, the largest and oldest in the world. To qualify to join Mensa, members must score in the 98th percentile or higher on a supervised, standardized intelligence test.
Although the Mensa admissions test is supervised in person and costs $40, there is also a Mensa practice test that is available online.
The practice test asks questions aligned with the skills commonly tested by IQ assessments, and it offers an equivalent score that correlates to your IQ range.
The Mensa practice test takes only 30 minutes to complete. If you’re interested in joining Mensa, this test also gives you a very good indication of how successful you will be on the official admissions test.
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SBIS)
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, like the WAIS, is one of the most widely used and highly regarded IQ tests today. The most recent edition, the SB5, was released in 2003.
This assessment is divided into 10 subtests, which typically take about five minutes to complete. The subtests provide comprehensive coverage of the five factors of cognitive ability:
For each of the five factors, the SB offers a verbal portion and a nonverbal portion, comprising the ten subtests.
Although the official Stanford-Binet is not available online, there are several online IQ tests that were inspired by the Stanford-Binet and are based on the same skills. These online tests generally ask about 30 questions and take very little time to complete.
Brain Metrics Initiative (BMI) Online IQ Test
At www.test-iq.org, you can take a free IQ test created by the Brain Metrics Initiative. The test claims to be the most accurate online IQ test in the United States.
Although there is a free Demo IQ test on the site, there is a more in-depth Certified IQ Test that comes with a $20 fee.
The test is only 20 questions, and at the end you’re provided with an IQ score, an IQ certificate, and a Performance Report detailing your intellectual strengths and weaknesses.
This test is generally considered to be one of the more reliable IQ tests online because the distribution of results is comparable to results on official IQ tests like the WAIS and the Stanford-Binet, whereas many other online IQ tests seem to exaggerate scores.
Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities is a set of subtests developed in 1977 by Richard Woodcock and Mary E. Bonner Johnson. The test can be administered to children as young as two and adults into their nineties .
The most recent version is the WJ-IV. Unlike many IQ tests, the WJ does require reading and writing. Tested skills include:
The amount of subtests you take depends on whether you complete the Standard Battery (10 tests) or the Extended Battery (20 tests). Either way, the WJ is believed to give a very detailed understanding of intelligence, and each subtest should take about five minutes.
IQ Test Labs
Another of the more reliable IQ tests online can be found at www.intelligencetest.com. The IQ Test Labs assessment asks 30 questions and is a timed test. It is automatically scored after 15 minutes.
The test measures the same skills as some of the most prominent IQ tests, including visual/spatial abilities and logical reasoning.
The test can only be taken once per device. This test, too, has a normal distribution of IQ scores. You’re also provided with a score report indicating strengths and weaknesses.
The Progressive Matrices were developed by Dr. John C. Raven in 1936. These multiple choice tests measure problem-solving and reasoning skills by asking test subjects to logically complete patterns of geometric shapes.
The RPM are the world’s leading nonverbal intelligence test, and no reading or writing is required to complete the assessment.
There are two types of Raven’s Progressive Matrices appropriate for adults: the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) and the Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM).
As the name suggests, the Standard Progressive Matrices is the original form of the test, first published in the 1930’s. The test contains 60 questions (Sets A-E) that increase in difficulty. This test is used with the general population and can be taken online, with a fee upon completion.
For each item, test-takers are presented with a figure containing a missing piece. They must choose the piece that is needed to complete the figure from either six (sets A & B) or eight (sets C through E) choices.
Although the test is not timed, it generally takes about 45 minutes to complete.
The Advanced Progressive Matrices is appropriate for both adolescents and adults with above-average intelligence. It contains 48 items of increasing difficulty, presented as a set of 12 and a set of 36.
You can find a variety of free IQ tests at www.testyourself.psychtests.com .There’s a classical IQ test, a logic IQ test, a culture fair IQ test, and visual-spatial and verbal-linguistic intelligence tests.
The various IQ tests on the site measure several factors of intelligence, including logical reasoning, math skills, and general knowledge. They also assess your ability to classify, analyze, and determine relationships between objects and ideas.
The classical IQ test is the most similar to renowned official IQ tests. It includes complex words, 3-D shapes, and number puzzles, while the logic IQ test is more focused on numbers. The culture fair IQ test doesn’t require you to work with words or numbers—just colorful shapes.
At www.IQexam.org, you can take a free IQ test that measures cognitive performance in key areas such as spatial reasoning and word analysis.
The test asks 43 questions and has a time limit of 25 minutes.
Results are free, but you do have to register to view your scores. As with many other online exams, your score may be slightly inflated, but it should give you an idea of your IQ range as well as your strongest and weakest cognitive abilities.
Rutherford Intelligence Analysis
Another of the most reliable IQ tests online can be found at www.rutherfordiq.com. The test claims to be the most accurate online IQ assessment, and it was developed by psychology experts from Duke and Harvard University.
The test was designed to be representative of official IQ tests in terms of question format and difficulty, and questions are continually calibrated for accurate scoring.
Average scores reported by Rutherford Intelligence Analysis seem to align with average scores on official IQ tests, with women averaging 100.6 and men averaging 99.6.
Viewing your test results will cost you $4.99, but results are guaranteed to be accurate within +/- 3 IQ points.
Since you’re thinking of taking an IQ test, you likely want to know what is considered a “good” IQ score.
Technically, the average score on an IQ test is set to 100. This means that a score of 100 indicates you have average intelligence for your age. However, psychologists typically classify a range of 95-105 as normal or average.
According to an IQ study of over 80 countries conducted by British professor of psychology Richard Lynn and Finnish professor of political science Tatu Vanhanen, the true average IQ score in the United States is a 98.
Any score that is a 70 or below is typically considered low. About 2.2% of people fall into this range.
In the past, a low IQ score was regarded as a benchmark for intellectual disability. Today, IQ tests alone are not considered reliable enough to diagnose a mental disability, and other factors must be considered as well.
High or genius-level IQ scores are 140 or above. However, because 68% of all scores fall into the 85-115 range, anything above 115 can be classified as above average.
The majority of reliable IQ tests will also give you scores correlated with specific skills, giving you an idea of your relative strengths and weaknesses.
For example, the WAIS provides you with a full scale IQ, a Performance IQ, and a Verbal IQ, as well as index scores related to categories like Verbal Comprehension and Working Memory.
If you want to learn more about your intellectual abilities, the ten assessments mentioned here are reliable IQ tests that will give you an accurate analysis of your Intelligence Quotient.