Article updated on February 20, 2023
Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog dedicated to HPI and neurodiversity in France. Here you’ll find information on High Learning Potential, hypersensitivity, autism spectrum disorders, DYS disorders and ADHD.
More and more websites are capitalizing on the media coverage of giftedness to offer free or paid online IQ tests. However, these tests can never reliably assess your IQ. In France, only the WAIS / WISC and WPPSI tests are recognized for assessing IQ, and they are only offered by trained psychologists.
The explosion of online IQ tests
Giftedness is being democratized. The media take on the subject, and blogs, books, podcasts, articles and programs on Giftedness and neurodiversity are multiplying at full speed. Even though at Suivez le Zèbre we think it’s great, we’d also like to alert you to the business abuses linked to the craze surrounding the notion of intelligence and IQ.
To find out if you’re gifted, you need to take a test to be detected. In France, the commonly used test is the WAIS IV (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale).
To find out more about this test, go to > How does the WAIS test work?
What is an IQ test?
An IQ test is taken during a psychological assessment. An IQ test is a psychometric examination designed to measure a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ is a measure of a person’s general intelligence based on abilities such as problem-solving, verbal and non-verbal comprehension, memory, speed of information processing, etc.
IQ tests generally include a series of questions and exercises that assess different cognitive skills. IQ test results are used to compare the abilities of the person tested with those of other people of the same age or socio-economic group. The scales vary according to the IQ test you’re taking.
For example, for the CATTELL, the scale is calibrated up to a possible result of 180, whereas for the WAIS, the maximum is 160. An IQ test is the result of a psychometric test designed to provide: a standardized quantitative indication of human intelligence. IQ is measured by a psychologist for reasons that may be educational, psychological or psychiatric.
The raw IQ figure alone, without knowing the measurement scale, is meaningless… That’s why it’s important to take the test with a trained professional and, above all, via a reliable IQ test approved by the scientific community. Otherwise, the results of the IQ test will be unreliable.
IQ tests are not universally accepted!
It is important to note that IQ tests are not a definitive measure of intelligence, and have been criticized for their lack of validity in certain cultures or for certain groups of people.
IQ tests are therefore often used in combination with other measures of intelligence, such as behavioral or academic assessments.
What is intelligence?
I don’t know if Socrates ever existed, but at Suivez le Zèbre we love this maxim, which is all too often forgotten!
The definition of intelligence according to the dictionnary Le Robert :
- The ability to know and understand; a quality of the mind that understands and adapts easily.
- The set of mental functions whose object is rational knowledge (as opposed to sensation and intuition).
Yes, we agree, it’s a bit vague. Especially since our knowledge of how the brain works (also known as neuroscience) is even more vague and incomplete.
That’s the first breach. Intelligence isn’t an exact science like physics or mathematics, so everyone has their own opinion and hypothesis, asserting truths that have never been proven (I’m thinking of our friends at HEP and multiple intelligences…) Interesting concepts, but never scientifically proven.
The WAIS test: a measurement tool validated by the scientific community
I can see you coming, ” but Giftedness is the same…” Not quite! The WAIS test is what it is, but it has the merit of being a measurement tool capable of identifying potential functioning and segmenting the population via a result calculated using a mathematical method that is both concrete and reliable! The brain function of people identified as gifted has been corroborated by MRI via a sampling of gifted and non-gifted profiles thanks to a study conducted by neuropsychologists from the Psyrene center in Lyon and published in a scientific journal.
Is this the case for the theory of HEP and multiple intelligence? I don’t think so… Perhaps time will tell.
If you have a test that works and seems reliable, why are you taking psychological assessments and IQ tests for a fee online that are, in fact, big scams?
Passing the WAIS is expensive!
The success of online psychological assessments and IQ tests can be explained by three factors:
– the prohibitive cost of WAIS testing by a psychologist: 300 to 500 euros for 3 sessions and test correction.
– the impostor syndrome felt by many Gifted profiles (fear of failure, fear of psychologist’s judgment in case of non-gifted, feeling of pretension to consider being gifted).
– the fantasy generated by intelligence in our society, which leads people to want to estimate their IQ.
Understanding the mechanics of the WAIS test
Online tests are incomplete and insufficient for calculating an IQ, especially without an identified calculation scale! As previously mentioned, either the Wechsler or Cattell scale is used to identify Giftedness.
The 4 WAIS calculation indices
The WAIS is made up of 4 indexes which include several sub-tests:
- Index of verbal comprehension IVC
- Processing speed index PSI
- Perceptual Reasoning Index PRI
- Working memory index WMI
Using these subtests, the psychologist can refine his analysis of a profile and determine an individual’s total raw IQ.
Knowing that a conscientious psychologist will have previously taken the time to interview the person and take his or her history.
The history, the starting point for the WAIS test
Definition of anamnesis: Return to the memory of the lived, forgotten or repressed past. When identifying a Potential Gifted profile, case-history is essential to understand why the person wants to take the test. It allows you to tell your story, your experience and also your feelings, in order to explain and make links with specific cognitive functioning, including Giftedness.
Online IQ tests, a big scam?
Why do we warn you about free or paid online IQ tests? It’s a big scam! As you can see, calculating IQ is a lengthy process involving a series of subtests. Answering 20 questions online can’t assess a reliable IQ.
Some even charge up to 50 euros for their tests! But we don’t know what scale they’re using, or what calculation method they’re using… Not to mention that it’s an algorithm that analyzes the answers. We know what we’re talking about, we’ve created numerous tests on Suivez le Zèbre. We can give trends, but an exact IQ figure is impossible.
Online psychological assessment, beware!
Some sites even go so far as to validate giftedness, HEP or Hypersensitive without ever having met the person who took the test. We end up with people who are convinced that they are gifted or HEP or Hypersensitive or whatever because they bought a test for 50 euros online… Therein lies the great danger of these tests. We lie to people to make money off them, and potentially manipulate their cognitive functioning.
The marketing process is extremely well honed. They explain that the psychologist is overbooked and that to make an appointment, you’ll have to take a pre-test, which will cost you the modest sum of €49. Otherwise, of course, the psychologist won’t consider your request and you’ll never get an appointment.
If you see an IQ test online, a gifted test, an HEP test (big scam), a test for Hypersensitive, a certifying psychological assessment where you are asked to pay without even having a single interview with a certified and licensed psychologist, RUN!
There are tests that can put you on the right track, and that’s great, but there’s no way to validate neuroatypical functioning online, let alone autism spectrum disorder or Gifted.
No online test is worth a test with a professional
Remember : only a psychologist with a degree in psychology and psychology only (psychoanalysts are not the case) can detect you as gifted, ADHD or DYS. For people with hypersensitivity or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), these are doctors or psychiatrists.
You can’t identify a gifted, ADD/ADHD or Asperger’s person with certainty just by asking them 30 bogus questions – it’s a guaranteed barnum effect!
What about the tests on Suivez le Zèbre?
You must think we have got a nerve to write an article like this when we’re offering tests on our blog. Our tests are there to guide you in your quest for answers, but they are not certifying. We’ve tried to develop more complex tests, but they’re still online tests…
For example, our almost free gifted test will give you a result that indicates giftedness is very likely, giftedness is doubtful or there is little chance that you have a gifted functioning. But the result will never be the equivalent of the IQ assessed by the WAIS test, and there’s no mention of IQ in this test either.
Our gifted test is not intended to replace the WAIS, but to motivate those who wish to take the plunge. We propose it as an intermediate step to reassure ourselves. Our tests are almost free of charge. We’re asking you to contribute a symbolic euro to recognize the work of the team that makes up the Suivez le Zèbre tribe.
Why other websites lie about their tests
Between a WAIS at 300 – 400 euros and a test at 20 euros or even 50 euros, the financial investment is not the same. Psychologically, it’s easier to be detected behind your computer with a degree of anonymity and without the financial stakes involved.
DARE! If you feel the need to do so because you’re looking to get to know yourself better, have the courage to push open the door to a real professional, one who’s caring and welcoming if possible!
You can also find more information, resources and tools on Gifted in Mel POINAS‘ book. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- Giftedness : Explanations and record of Mel Poinas
- The differences between Giftedness and High Emotional Potential
- The best books about High Learning Potential
- Impostor’s syndrome
- Giftedness : 20 characteristics of complex and laminar profiles
- How to take the WAIS 4 test?
- How to tell others we are gifted?
- Giftedness and Hypersensitivity