History of Intelligence Tests

History of Intelligence Tests

At the turn of the twentieth century, scientists began pondering questions regarding the way in which human cognitive ability was measured and evaluated. Soon, the scientific community of that era began to look into the many theorized factors that would influence one’s intelligence; from the shape and size of one’s head, to their ability to memorize and recite words and numbers. In almost no time at all, the framework for what would later become what we now refer to as an IQ test, or intelligence quotient test, was set and hurriedly brought about many new ways of measuring intelligence.

The inception of intelligence testing in modern history can be attributed to the works and curiosities of two psychologists, Alfred Binet, and Theodore Simon. Initially, they designed a test that would measure someone’s verbal abilities, which they believed could help them decipher which school children might struggle most in class. Shortly after their initial experiment, the world’s greatest psychologists were busy attempting to quantify as much of the human cognitive spanse as possible, which opened the doors for tests such as the Stanford-Binet, Wechsler, Cattell Culture-Fair, including the Wonderlic test.

IQ tests work by measuring someone’s ability to navigate a certain set of obstacles, either in the form of written questions or as visual puzzles, that increase in complexity relative to a person’s age as to keep them competitive within their age range. Depending on the test that someone is taking, the questions might be tailored to assess their quantitative reasoning ability, verbal reasoning ability, visuospatial abilities, etc. By allowing a gamut of unique variables to be measured about someone, it became easier for scientists to assess where someone’s strengths and weaknesses are, allowing them to tailor a unique approach to improving one’s results. Certain high IQ societies require scores above a certain threshold to qualify someone for membership; these tests are usually administered by trained psychologists in a proper testing environment, in order to ensure the most accurate representation of someone’s IQ as possible.


Here is a quick overview of the most popular intelligence tests and some of their best uses:


  • A wonderful tool for assessing aptitude and growth capacity for professionals and businesses. The Wonderlic test is used by the NFL, as well as Fortune 500 companies to assess prospective employees.

    • Great for assessing your skills and abilities in a professional fields.

    • Fantastic tool for businesses and organizations.

    • Grow professionally and prepare for market changes by keeping your skills sharp.


  • The Stanford-Binet is a great asset for evaluating and quantifying multiple factors of someone’s intelligence. The latest test offers a reliable way of measuring quantitative reasoning, visuospatial processing, working memory, and fluid reasoning abilities.  

    • Scores intelligence using a variety of factors.

    • Multiple test forms offer granular representations of someone’s abilities.

    • Can help assess where someone needs most help, and allow for a more targeted growth strategy.

Wechsler Test:

  • Optimized for those older than eighteen years of age, the Wechsler test uses a large variety of assessment tools to measure the full scope of one’s abilities, beyond that of exclusively personal or professional applications.

    • Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) and General Ability Index (GAI) allow for a modular analysis of one’s potential, by allowing for quick, and in depth assessment.

    • Developed to utilize a varied set of tests, making it easier for to grow your skills.

    • Broad use case allows for a variety of applications in everyday life.

Cattell Culture-Fair:

  • Designed to measure someone’s intelligence while limiting the effect of socio-environmental barriers, such as language or cultural differences, that might make it harder for someone to be properly assessed by other intelligence tests.

    • Measures Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence for an accurate measure of someone’s complete intelligence profile.

    • Removes limiting factors, allowing a more even representation of IQ.

    • Wonderful for testing children, adolescents, and adults.  

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test:

  • Created to determine which branch of the armed services someone’s abilities were best suited for. The ASVAB is certain to be of great utility to anyone applying to the armed services, or looking to develop a strategy to deploy prior to enlisting.

    • Precision analysis to best assist in strategic growth prior to enlistment.

    • Grow your skillset, and enlist in your branch of choice.

    • Great assessment tool for those in high school, including college degree and GED holders.