Intelligence tests are a collection of tasks designed to assess an individual’s capacity to create abstractions, learn new skills, and deal with unexpected situations. Higher-level capabilities, such as abstract reasoning, cognition, problem-solving, and judgment, as well as the ability to comprehend, express emotion, use imagination, and adapt to meet the demands of the environment, have all been characterized as intelligence (Irby and Floyd 1064). On IQ tests, scores follow a nearly “normal” distribution pattern, with the majority of individuals scoring near the curve’s center and scores rapidly decreasing in frequency outward from the curve’s center. Numerous theoretical and empirical ways to measure giftedness have been offered. However, some have questioned the influence of the tests on pupils’ performance. While intelligence tests have been used in education for decades to identify talented and special needs pupils, their validity and reliability are contested.
Importance of the Research Topic
Eliminating Role Confusion
The concept of students’ intelligence measures has led to different viewpoints among all stakeholders. The research topic is essential to unravel the role and implications of intelligence tests in education evaluations. The first important element to understand here is the definition of intelligence. Stakeholders have been confused about what elements constitute the meaning of intelligence and their evaluations. According to Kretzschmar et al., some people associate intelligence with the ability to solve complex problems, while others base it on the ability to pass academic tests (56). On the same note, there have been many varied views on how standardized tests should be used in education. While some educators require these tests for special needs identification, others use them to filter students for school programs (Kranzler et al. 445). This research is crucial for facilitating a comprehensive analysis to eliminate confusion on the role played by intelligence scores and how intelligence should be defined and measured.
Value Assessment through Outcome Evaluation
Every parent and educator wants to see improvement in students’ performance in the long run. The question most people ask is whether intelligence tests fulfill their purpose. Whether students who got accepted to schools through intelligence tests turned out better or worse is an issue that has raised mixed reactions among educators (Irby and Floyd 1064). Outcome evaluation entails assessing the results of a process based on the initial expectations (Kretzschmar et al. 55). Through this research, educators can evaluate whether intelligence tests contribute to value addition in the education sector.
Concerns have been raised over the essence of intelligence tests in determining college admissions. According to research was done by Oak et al., standardized intelligence tests have not translated to high performance in institutions of higher learning (680). Graduates have not demonstrated positive growth throughout their academic journeys. In this regard, this research topic is crucial not only for national education boards but also for the global integration of education policies. Many people have misunderstood the place of intelligence tests in education since, to some, it only serves to block some students from high-ranking institutions. However, as technology shifts focus from theoretical knowledge to practical skills, it would be important to consider whether intelligence tests will have a place in the future of education.
Identifying Errors and Gaps in Intelligence Tests’ Applications
Assuming that intelligence tests are deemed necessary in evaluating students’ skills, it would be crucial to identify any gaps and errors that may limit the achievement of set objectives. Irby and Floyd (1066) note that despite substantial evidence for the convergent accuracy and consistency of brief IQs, the resultant dependability coefficient is only 0.80, indicating relatively low interchangeability across tests and examiners. Error variance components, including examiner-examinee, test-examinee, and examiner-test interactions, produced significantly varied results.
These findings have implications for the design and implementation of brief intelligence tests and their interpretation of intellectual giftedness. Oak et al. agree that graduate students and school psychologists may wrongly interpret student needs and giftedness (685). The interactions between students and the examiners may produce different effects that alter the true picture of a learner’s intelligence score. Ignoring these points would translate to wrong conclusions and consequently missed value. This research helps to identify and bridge those gaps to ensure optimum results are obtained.
Promoting a Learning Culture
A clear understanding of intelligence and its various facets will most likely promote knowledge acquisition among students fuelled by the desire to improve their cognitive abilities. Despite multiple criticisms being lodged against intelligence tests in schools, they are still used widely (Kretzschmar 60). When students understand that intelligence tests are meant to reveal their unique skills and facilitate intervention in their weak areas, they will have a positive attitude towards their education. Irby and Floyd (1064) agree that motivation is a significant performance determiner. Therefore, this research indicates that learners can derive a substantial level of motivation by knowing that the tests administered will give them a better understanding of their intellectual abilities and not be used to hinder them from accessing specific school programs.
Intelligence tests can be used to compare students with each other and to the average levels expected at specific levels in life. As a person grows, they understand things better and develop advanced problem-solving skills. According to Kretzschmar, the ability to understand and solve problems in class and in life situations constitutes the definition of intelligence (62). When a student gauges their intelligence level in relation to others at the same level, they can be motivated to improve their thinking and problem-solving skills. This will lead to a competition for excellence, with each student trying hard to become better each day. Consequently, a learning culture will be developed.
Development of Viable Alternatives
Identifying the limitations of intelligence tests in education will guide educators and other stakeholders in developing plans for better options. One key point to consider here is that intelligence tests tend to ignore some of the areas a student does better outside academics (Kranzler et al. 445). Some evaluation methods can be designed to assess extracurricular and co-curricular activities because they are a crucial elements in education. Notably, most tests are based on English, mathematics, and sciences, giving the false impression that these disciplines are superior to others (Kretzschmar 65). If people can comprehend the shortcomings of intelligence tests and their impact on a student’s long-term career goals, better methods can be designed and implemented.
In conclusion, intelligence tests have been used extensively in learning institutions to evaluate students’ needs and filter applicants for school programs. Over the years, debates have developed over the applicability of intelligence tests in facilitating students’ cognitive development and performance improvement. Educators differ on the meaning and value of these tests and their future implications. Technology has introduced dynamic shifts in the education sector, making this research topic crucial for global education policies.
Irby, Sarah M., and Randy G. Floyd. “The Exchangeability of Brief Intelligence Tests for Children with Intellectual Giftedness: Illuminating Error Variance Components’ Influence on IQs.” Psychology in the Schools, vol 54, no. 9, 2017, pp. 1064-1078, Web.
Kranzler, John H. et al. “How Do School Psychologists Interpret Intelligence Tests for the Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities?” Contemporary School Psychology, vol 24, no. 4, 2020, pp. 445-456, Web.
Kretzschmar, André et al. “Construct Validity of Complex Problem Solving: A Comprehensive View on Different Facets of Intelligence and School Grades.” Intelligence, vol 54, 2016, pp. 55-69, Web.
Oak, Erika, et al. “Wechsler Administration and Scoring Errors Made by Graduate Students and School Psychologists.” Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, vol. 37, no. 6, Sept. 2019, pp. 679–691, Web.