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IQ and Creativity Testing for Children

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I am mother of 3 years old daughter. How to test child's intelligence, IQ & creativity at this age?

A: A note on intelligence and IQ. Howard Gardner (1983, a well known name in the study of intelligence today) looks at intelligence from a multidimensional point of view. Gardner suggested multiple intelligences and described seven aspects to be taken in view such as linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intra-personal skills. Problem solving is viewed as a key element in each domain.

In order to measure intelligence, tests are used by simply dividing mental age by chronological age and multiplying the sum by 100 (to derive an intelligence quotient or IQ). Presently, intelligence is looked at more broadly and measured by intelligence tests that require one to complete verbal and visual analogies, to envision the abstract, to deduce numerical sequences, and other similar tasks. Scoring is also based on a statistical population distribution among age peers. This is assumed to give a more accurate measurement of intelligence.

A child's intelligence can be tested using a test of intelligence there are so many in the market today. Some are even free online. For a 3 year old, you may want to perhaps get an educational psychologist to test her IQ as written tests may not be possible due to reading and writing ability at this stage.

However, whilst intelligence tests do predict general levels of intelligence, supplementary methods should be used for prediction of skills that the tests are not able to capture, such as musical and artistic abilities. There are specific tests that measure these skills. A more general test to predict skills apart from that of intelligence is the creativity test. Creativity tests are a little more difficult to score and you would need a professional to conduct and score such tests, as subjectivity in terms of scoring is rather high. Again an educational psychologist may be able to advise you on the availability of such tests and the procedures involved.

At this stage, it is best to nurture her skills and teach her new and exciting ways of learning so interest in educational learning becomes fun. If you realize that she may show potential in certain areas associated with giftedness, (by general observation or testing by an educational psychologist), you may want to seek advise to enroll her in a suitable nursery or learning center that provides differential learning for more advanced children.


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