An IQ test is a psychological measure of a person’s “intelligence quotient” (IQ).
Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, is a theoretical construct used by psychologists within standardized tests as a means of describing one’s intelligence level. In the most commonly-administered IQ test — the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) — an average score is 100; about 95% of IQ scores fall between 70 and 130. It is important to note that IQ is not real — is simply a philosophical construct psychologists have created to describe a subset of human functioning they believe to be subjectively important in modern society. (Because of this, unless a test has been specifically adopted for a different culture or country — and the most popular one has — Tests are very culturally specific and may be invalid when used in other cultures.)
Tests involve the measure of two primary components — verbal and performance. Because the performance portion of the test requires physical manipulation of objects in front of the testing psychologist, a legitimate test cannot be taken online. All of the so-called “IQ tests” you see online are invalid — none have been validated against real-world tests with peer-reviewed journal publications.
When a test is scored, three primary scores are obtained — verbal IQ, performance IQ, and the full scale IQ. The full scale IQ is what is commonly referred to as one’s “IQ score” by laypeople. Most people perform better in one component over the other in IQ testing (one either has a strength in verbal or performance).
These two sections of the IQ test are divided into subscales, each measuring a different component of IQ.
You cannot “fake” your performance on a test. Either you have the abilities or knowledge tested on, or you don’t. Each subscale test starts off with easy questions or problems, and gets progressively more difficult with each successive question or problem. Only geniuses (those scoring higher than 130 on full scale IQ) will be able to answer all of a scale’s questions or solve all of its problems.
People who score generally between 70 and 130 are considered to be within the normal range of IQ functioning, where 100 is the theoretical average. Those scoring 130 and above are significantly smarter than the average population, and those scoring 70 and below are significantly less smart than the average population.