The Difference Between Children and Adults IQ Tests

By  //  October 6, 2021

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Intelligence testing is the assessment of a person’s existing cognitive functioning through the performance of different tasks created to assess various intellectual and logical abilities.

■ Intelligence means the ability to think, analyzing and solving the problem, understanding social or societal values, norms, and customs. Intelligence assessments measure two forms of intelligence:

■ Verbal intelligence

■ Non-verbal intelligence.

Verbal intelligence is the capability to understand and answer language-based issues and situations while non-verbal intelligence is the capacity to understand and answer sequential problems. Intelligence also known as intelligence quotient (IQ) measures intellectual working, aptitude, thinking, and overall ability. 

Common types of Intelligence tests for children 

Intelligence tests among children are of various forms. Some of them are used to compare the skill levels of various children of the same age. The results from such tests help the educators to have a better understanding of student’s intellectual capabilities.

Group intelligence tests

Such tests usually have scanned result scoring sheets. Group intelligence tests measure the ability of students in various academic areas. Sometimes, these tests also include some portions of cognitive measures.

Research has shown that group intelligence tests are not recommended to assess children with any kind of disability. These tests are helpful when the purpose is to find a child’s educational background and academic history.

Individual intelligence tests

These tests, generally, include game tasks, puzzles, and a questioning sessions. In these tests, some of the tasks are timed to assess the time management skills of children. The tests such as WISC and the Stanford Binet-Intelligence Scale are examples of individual intelligence tests.

Computerized tests

These tests are widely available and are largely used. But before opting for computerized tests examiner must consider the needs. The test format must be according to the need of children.

Non-verbal intelligence tests

These tests are used to assess the children who have certain language problems, for example, limited proficiency in the English language. In these tests, the sections of verbal reasoning are removed and the child is assessed based on sequential reasoning, problem-solving ability, and analogical thinking.

The objective of children intelligence tests

Students need to be approached differently in problem-solving tasks as compared to adults. In the environments where the children (under the age of 12) are encouraged to explore new concepts and to learn new models, problem-solving tasks become less difficult for them. Over time, children learn what to look for in a certain situation.

In rigid settings, it is hard for children to perform better. So, there is a need to have a flexible approach when assessing the intellectual abilities of children. Let the children flourish by focusing on the external as well as internal perspectives.

Recent improvements in early childhood education led to the formation of various learning types, a few of which help children build confidence, permitting them to make progress at their own pace, as well as build exclusive approaches to solving problems.

Common types of Intelligence tests for adults

 The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test

This test was created by David Wechsler in the 1950s. The goal of the test was to assess cognitive ability. Since then, the test has been modified numerous spells and continues to be commonly used today.

The WAIS is suitable for the assessment of adults (16 years and above). The most recent form of the test, the WAIS-III that takes around 60-75 minutes to complete. There are two key focus areas of WAIS: Verbal assessment and Performance.

The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

Similar to WIAS, this test is also widely used. It contains 10 subsets, which take almost 15 minutes to complete. This test measures cognitive abilities based on quantitative reasoning, memory, visual-spatial processing, and knowledge.

The official version of Stanford-Binet is not accessible online but there are many online tests that are inspired by Stanford-Binet and follow the similar format.


This test is considered to be the most trustworthy IQ test available online in the United States. It has 20 questions. This test claims to measure the intellectual strengths and weaknesses of the individual.

The free demo is available Brain Metrics Initiative (BMI) is available online. However, the more in-depth IQ test version holds a fee of $20.

The objective of adults intelligence tests

Adult intelligence tests ( are advance because as a person grows older his or her brain becomes stronger to recall past information. He or she becomes capable of using the available information to create logic used for problem-solving.

With technological advancements, the dimensions of intelligence are also changing. For instance, there is a paradigm shift in which physical books are replaced by e-books. The IQ tests should also be modified to cater to these changing trends.

Final Words

The most obvious difference between the intellectual abilities of an adult as compared to that of a child is that an adult has a broad set of experiences to draw their conclusion from. The experiences make future operations much easier for them as compared to children.

Research has shown that children have a broad range of creative skills as compared to those of adults. A child’s brain is more inclined towards creative thinking. As the child grows, the requirement of “fit inside the box” narrows down his or her creativity.

Children also don’t have the same level of understanding of languages as compared to adults. Adults have more mental capacity to learn languages as compared to youngsters. That is why adults have a more refined approach to problem-solving. These differences call for separate IQ tests to assess the intelligence of children and adults.

Lastly, like all the other skills, adults, as well as children, are required to undertake multiple tests to build confidence and command over the assessments. This practice will increase their ability to apply reasoning and knowledge in various problem-solving situations. Testing platforms must be designed in such a way so as to permit the children as well as the adults to grow at their own pace and advance their skills on their own time