How to Prepare for an IQ Test

Truth be told, you can’t really “prepare” for an IQ test any more than you can prepare for a physical examination. It’s really just a matter of taking stock of what is there and the operating condition it’s in. Theoretically, an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test measures how efficiently the brain functions (thinks), rather than how much data is stored there.

However, there is a debate that IQ testing is slanted toward education rather than thinking prowess. I believe the argument can be made that the level of one’s intellectual gifts would determine the amount of interest and enjoyment a person would have in learning about anything and everything, so perhaps the two things cannot really be separated. Nonetheless, the point is, you really can’t “cram” for this exam!

There are many different types of IQ testing techniques today, and each is designed to measure different types of thinking abilities. There are reasoning, mathematical and language skills evaluations, to name a few. Not all IQ tests are given on printed pages, either. Knowledge of how the human mind functions can be measured in many different ways today. So relax and be yourself. There is no “Pass” or “Fail” here.

There are a few factors that can affect your performance though. One of the most important, I believe, (and as a member of American Mensa, I’ve taken plenty of these tests over the years), is how much rest you have. Another is your level of self-confidence. So let’s see what you can do to help yourself perform at optimum on test day:

1. Try to get a good night’s sleep each night during the week before your test.
2. Balance your physical activity with mental activity each day so you will not only sleep well but your circulation will be stimulated and your mental clarity will be maximized.
3. Eat a balanced diet to provide good nutrition. Avoid alcohol, etc.
4. Build your confidence for the testing format by doing word or number games and puzzles.
5. You can even get a “sneak peek” at typical tests by visiting the American Mensa website, or by picking up any of the many Mensa Quiz books.
6. Finally, when you get to the test, just relax and think of it as a series of games you are going to play.
7. When testing, go with your first hunch, don’t labor over any one question, move on and then come back to any you really feel uncomfortable with.

IQ testing can be a valuable tool to help you find strengths and weaknesses, talents or disabilities. Knowing what your unique mental features are can be a real advantage in helping you understand yourself better. It can aid you in determining career choices and/or help others know how best to enable you to learn more easily. Don’t be afraid of an IQ test. It’s painless.