The Limits of IQ

Quora: After taking an IQ test, and receiving a humiliating score of 98, I have developed a serious insecurity surrounding my intelligence. I do well in school as an AP/Honors student, and have been told I am intelligent my entire life. How can I cope?

Dave Voorhis · Computer scientist; lead developer of Rel, a true relational database system

I’m a software engineer and computer scientist. I worked in academia for twenty-six years. For sixteen years of it I was a full-time senior university lecturer in computer science. For almost ten years of that, I was programme leader for the university’s undergraduate computer science degree. For ten years before that I was a part-time university lecturer and a full-time software entrepreneur and senior partner in a successful software company. I created an implementation of a computer language that is used for research and in educational institutions around the world.

My IQ was measured as two points lower than yours.

IQ tests are only good for showing whether or not you’re good at IQ tests.

Actually I think IQ tests are somewhat more useful that that… but only somewhat.

I’ve always felt that a 120 IQ generally leads to a better life than a 170 IQ. And now, I learn that you can do perfectly acceptable intellectual/theoretical work – even a cut or two above average, with a salary to match – with a 96 IQ.

Really, don’t worry about your IQ. Worry about good work habits, putting in the hours to master your trade, treating people with respect, etc.

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