25 October 2009


Who knew that a mistaken action – namely clicking on one of the side-bar adverts while on Facebook – would lead me to one of the few things about which I have a strong opinion: the issue of IQ.

This is a matter in which I actually have a vested interest because being a student – there are times, sitting in the back (or the front) of a lecture theatre, listening intently to your lecturer, when you think: “What the hell are you talking about?” And you look around, expecting at least a few people to share your sentiments only to find, lo and behold, THEY ALL SEEM TO UNDERSTAND. You ask yourself: “What’s wrong with me? Is this section that difficult?” You sigh. You deliberate. You ponder... This has probably happened more than a few times in your life. But the actual issue is not whether you are smart enough to understand or not, it’s the fact that you doubt yourself in the first place.

In school, we were made to take IQ tests to help us choose our careers – I was told I should be a political analyst because my IQ score was above ‘average’. I HATE POLITICS! I think the main problem with IQ tests is that they are discriminatory. Firstly, most IQ tests are in English. Who is to say that a child would not perform better if the test was in his own language? IQ tests test only the things that a few ‘learned’ old men consider as important: mathematics, language, spatial recognition etc. A farmer may not know calculus but he knows the right time to plant his carrot crop, how to remove aphids without damaging his crops – and the list goes on.

With organisations such as Mensa, the Mega Society and the Omega Society around, claiming to have the most intelligent members in the world, you would expect that most of the developments in the world would come from their members. But all they do is sit around, discussing lofty ideas and telling people – not showing them – how clever they are. All this based on a biased test. Real progress comes from the man on the street, the journalist, the teacher... Real progress knows no IQ. To me, real progress is about heart. IQ TESTS ARE AN INSUFFICIENT MEANS TO QUANTIFY ALL THAT A MAN CAN BE THROUGH ALL THAT HE HAS BEEN.