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SAT score vs IQ score vs Intelligence

AtaulfAtaulf Registered User Posts: 1 New Member

I'm a junior in high school, soon to be a senior. Anyway, I took an IQ test and scored 120-ish. But on the SAT I got a 2280/2400, which is 99th percentile, and on my ACT I scored 35/36, again in the 99th percentile. In both cases I didn't take a single study session nor buy any review books like most people do to get really high scores.

So now I wonder, since I can discern three cases:
1. I'm moderately smart for the whole human population, but smarter than all other 16/17 year olds taking the test because they've an IQ lower than 120
2. I've actually only mediocre intelligence but I'm somehow really good at thinking through standardized tests
3. I'm really smart but the Mensa only tests for spatial knowledge and pattern-recognition

Which is most likely to be true?
Post edited by Ataulf on

Replies to: SAT score vs IQ score vs Intelligence

  • BatgirlBatgirl Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    sat is not, in any fashion, an iq or intelligence test

    if you forced me to bet on one of your three options without knowing you, i'd bet on 2. that you have decent intelligence and very good academic and test-taking skills. dont underestimate the value of the latter two.
  • blahblah9393blahblah9393 - Posts: 606 Member
    My sister has an IQ of 140 and she received a 1770 on the SAT.

    Regardless of what an IQ test said, I think you will probably be successful noting the 35 on the ACT.
  • cheerioswithmilkcheerioswithmilk Registered User Posts: 948 Member
    Speaking as a person who got a 2360 on the SAT, I don't believe that there is any "test" that you can take to quantify intelligence. The score I got was all from studying; it doesn't mean that I'm in the .4% of intelligence at all.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    The question of SAT scores' bearing on IQ and intelligence is frequently posed here. A mainstream response is to cite an ostensible counterexample to the putative positive correlation between SAT scores and IQ, as blahblah9393 has done here.

    Empirical research on the SAT score-IQ relationship is less developed and more outdated than is desirable. Here we find support for a moderately strong to strong positive SAT score-IQ correlation, in which conversion of SAT scores is considered a fairly reliable means of estimating IQ; it should be noted that the SAT 's content has changed over time but not in so fundamental a way as to significantly mitigate let alone nullify the suggestions.

    The nature of an imperfect, even strong, correlation renders anecdotal refutation unconvincing: A correlation reflects a net tendency, not a universal law of association. Examples also suffer from salience bias, in which the more counterintuitive findings (here likely those in which there seems to be a great SAT score-IQ differential) arise more prominently in our perceptions and recollections than do predictable ones.

    Also worth noting is that a seemingly inexplicably low SAT score or IQ given the respective other metric may in fact be attributable to something other than random anomaly because even the most well-regarded notions of general intelligence, g, describe a cognitive system driven not by a hegemonic g but instead one also complemented by other (so-called "multiple") intelligences, You can have deficiencies in essay writing or standardized test time management or spatial reasoning or grammatical analysis or mathematical logic and be smart nonetheless. To these potentialities and others in the same vein we may impute the imperfect validity of metrics that attempt to quantify intelligence. Additionally, even insofar as we accept the existence of some g, we must recognize the attempted quantification of intelligence at large as coarsely monolithic and reifying.

    Because a successful life is achieved through the bold, affirmative exploitation of one's strengths and not lost through the course-correcting follies into which our weaknesses get us, for those who are prudent it is not a game of weak links' limitation but instead an endeavor in which the strongest link is determinative of their possibility. To this end, be proud of your SAT/ACT performance and neglect your IQ result, if you must turn to any extent to numbers for worth appraisal.
  • AustroHungarianAustroHungarian Registered User Posts: 346 Member
    Correlation does not prove causation. My IQ and SAT scores never matched up
  • steelergolf11steelergolf11 Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    You are very intelligent and I bet you would do a lot better if you took the IQ test again.
  • OhioMom3000OhioMom3000 Registered User Posts: 2,063 Senior Member
    I would question the IQ test's accuracy. What kind of IQ test was it?
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    Correlation does not prove causation.

    What is this in response to? No one would assert that scoring well on an IQ test causes one to score well on the SAT, or vice-versa. I guess you could be alluding to a hypothesis that more intelligent people do better on the SAT because they have smarter parents, who were able to get higher paying jobs, which allowed them to send their children to better schools and furnish them with preparatory courses, for example. But if you're arguing down those lines, you need to develop your point.
  • cocksurecocksure - Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Holy S***, it's Silverturtle!
  • DesafinadoDesafinado Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    My SATs are lower than my IQ but I think both tools lose a lot of accuracy at the high end
  • njhp90njhp90 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'd like to jump in on this late because I think that I have some valuable insight into this. I had an 86 average at a top high school and scored a 720V/680Math on the SAT, which is not a bad score but not a great one. I went to college and completed a major in quant econ and a minor in math in only two years with a 3.9, and I can honestly say that it wasn't that difficult. I took the RAPM test and scored in the 99.9 percentile in "g," so obviously this was much more strongly correlated with my college studies than my high school studies. I also found college (proofs-based and econometric) math to be simple, and I did better in math that I did in high school (4.0 in math). Perhaps that sort of intelligence is most strongly correlated to college performance than high school. I never had a great long-term memory and I think that it showed in my ability to perform on the SAT. I find this interplay between types of intelligence and SAT scores interesting, and I believe that my particular "vein" of intelligence, so to speak, is not strongly correlated with SAT scores. I do better when I have time to prepare and think about answers and found my mind wandering during a standardized test. RAPM had no pressing time limit. Just my $.02
  • humanities2014humanities2014 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    If these questions were meant to be serious, it probably means that you are not that more intelligent than your fellow 16/17 years old students. If you were truly intelligent, you would go on database website, search for the studies, and draw a discreet conclusion from that, instead of asking this question on CC with no clue.
  • RMIBstudentRMIBstudent Registered User Posts: 697 Member
    The problem with using SAT scores to predict IQ is that the former can easily be increased through preparation and cumulative academic experience. My sophomore PSAT was 193; by junior year it was 230. The first practice SAT I took was a 2140; recently I scored a 2330. I somehow doubt that taking practice tests and studying vocab drastically boosted my intelligence in a matter of months.

    That being said, just because the correlation is very imperfect doesn't mean it isn't there. Studies have consistently demonstrated a strong positive correlation between SAT scores and IQ; it's just that studies would also show a strong positive correlation between SAT scores and number of practice exams taken, or hours of sleep obtained. So if you saw that someone had scored tremendously high on the SAT, you can be more sure than not of his/her intellectual competence, even if there are exceptions.

    Just my sleep deprived two cents.
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