Intelligence Quotient tests are designed to indicate a person's abilities compared to others of the same age. An IQ test generally tests a person's capacity for intelligence, not their actual intelligence. It's designed to test an individual's ability to learn and process information. IQ tests were first developed to understand academic success in students, testing the students with basic skills that involved problem solving and memory. The test determined how easily the students were able to learn and use the information they developed.
When you take an IQ test, your score is compared with people around your own age. After the comparison a score is given. The average IQ score is generally around 100. The test usually consists of 10-15 sections with many questions in each section. These areas each focus on their own cognitive ability. For example, IQ tests take into account vocabulary, comprehension, sequences, reasoning and spatial ability. The idea behind these tests is they are abilities and not skills, meaning a person should not be able to study for or manipulate the outcome of the test.
IQ tests remain a popular and somewhat reliable means of predicting a person's ability to achieve academic success, as well as gauge their level of cognitive abilities fairly and easily.