January 10, 2001    





Do you believe standardized tests accurately judge a person's intelligence?

Well, I know that as a kid, I was always stressed out by those silly tests. I did an average job on the test because my head was fuzzy with worry. I think most tests are given from a fairly narrow point of view and are not incredibly accurate.

Tina, 31
, MA   USA

I don't know enough about the subject to offer an opinion.

Laura, 35
, MA   USA

My test scores on, say, the ACT, went down in the order I took them. So the last one I took, when I couldn't stand to be sitting there anymore, was the lowest one. I actually got the same science score in 11th or 12th grade that I did in 8th, I think. Between that and taking a test ACT was still working on, I'd have to go with no here. But then,the tests like that are supposed to demonstrate knowledge, not intelligence, right? (The last time I took an IQ test was probably in 2nd grade, and I don't know what it showed. . .) And they do show how much knowledge you have of what the test-makers think is important, to the extent that you're a good test-taker as well.  Some people just aren't good at taking tests like that, which doesn't mean that they are unintelligent.

Karen, 21

It accurately judges whether or not teachers are doing their jobs. Whether  or not their job is to make poeple more intelligent is another issue.

Alias Irrelevante

Absolutely not!!

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

As someone with a great aptitude for taking aptitude tests, I should like to think that they do. In fact, however, I believe that standardized tests are a good judge of whether a person has the mind set that will make academic achievement a good possibility. Many other factors come into play when one moves into the real academic world, out of the testing environment -- self-discipline, motivation, good work habits, self-knowledge about how one actually learns. IQ tests are not an accurate predictor of how or whether a person will succeed in the adult world.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

Not really. But I'm also not so sure there's a better way.

Firelady, 23
, TX   USA

Hmm... I dunno. I guess in some cases, it could, but I'm sure for the majority of people out there it's not very accurate. You could be feeling really bad on the day you took the test, or you could be feeling really great with a clear mind. It all depends on how you feel and what attitude is when you take the test.

Jeremy, 13
Highlands Ranch

I think the only things standardized tests prove is the stupidity of those giving the tests.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

I'm just finishing Stephen Budiansky's IF A LION COULD TALK, an reevaluation of animal intelligence and his observations are influencing my answer. In the broadest definition, intelligence is a measure of the ability to survive. Many environments require more hard work than inspired ingenuity. Standardized tests measure "intelligence" in a narrower sense--general information and the ability to apply that information to new circumstances.  While they measure this aspect of intelligence, they do not necessarily measure the ability to survive in our culture or in any other culture.

Jill, 60

No, because an intelligent person often does not study for these tests.

Melodi, 19
, OH    USA

No. I believe there are 2 types of smart people. One is book smart and has learned all they have from books. The other is street smart and they hvae learned all they have from tv and the world. Be it from documentaries or even museums.

Stephanie, 25

Probably to a certain extent. But definetly not 100%.You can't classify the entire world or even one state with a "standardized" test. That's crazy. I don't know who in the world thought it would. But, I'm sure the people that make those tests do the best they can.

Lisa J., 22

Nope, besides, who is to say that "intelligence" ?

Bruno, 31
, CO    USA

Standarized tests make up for some of the flaws in grade point average, and vise versa. A GPA is more a measure of work ethic, while the  standardized test is a means of measuring proficiency in a specific area of knowledge. However niether acurately measure the range of creativity or simple common sense. I have a 2.84 GPA and my SAT score was 1180 both times.  Yet I truly belive I am one of the most inteligent students at my high school. (Not to blow my own horn.)

A-Dog, 18
, OR   USA

They judge a person's ability to do well at standardized tests, and that's all. I did pretty shoddy on the GREs (38th percentile or so), but graduated summa cum laude from my college; should I be judged on 4 years of academic work, or on 4 hours or so of tests?

Talia, 23
, CT    USA

No, I think they may give a very rough measure of intelligence, but everyone is intelligent in different ways. For instance most standrdized tests don't measure one's writing, creativity, etc, etc.

Sarah S., 17
, NY    USA

Not at all... there are so many different kinds of intelligence. Just because a person can't do an algebra problem or write a brilliant essay under pressure doesn't mean they are less intelligent than someone who can. Maybe they are able to play an instrument or just have amazing common sense, or maybe they just don't test well. Who is to say that the other kinds of intelligence is less valuable than what a standardized test calls "intelligence"

Maggie, 20
, IL    USA

Intelligence is based on so many different factors, I don't think there is any way to judge a person's intelligence with complete accuracy.

Kim, 30
New York
, NY    USA

No, I don't believe that a person's intelligence can be summed up through a standardized test.

Mandy, 24
, VA   USA

Only to a point. Lots of people take an IQ test as if their very existence depends on it. This can interfere with clear thought processes and should be taken into consideration; in some instances, it is, and a certain amount of consideration is given to just that - however some tests are written and graded in a much more stringent manner. I suppose, overall, they serve a purpose.

Fisch, 45
, CT    USA

No. I believe they accurately judge one's ability to memorize facts and procedures.

etoile, 19
, DC   USA


Gemma Lynn

Yes, I do.

Gavin, 15

not really. yes they do show something. but an entire persons high school or college career shouldn't be based on a test like that. people make such a big deal about them anyway (any massachusetts kids remember the mcas test?) that a lot of people just crack under the pressure and tension. it doesnt show too much either, if you're an awesome guesser but dont have a clue what you're really doing (thats my case) you'll do better than a smart person who knows whats going on but just doesnt test well.

Karen2, 15
, MA   USA

Absolutely not. Intelligence is based on much more than simple knowledge of facts.

Eric, 18
Beverly Hills

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