Can someone explain to me about IQ and change between reception and year 3?

(16 Posts)
FastLoris Sun 24-Mar-13 21:56:12

As adeucalione has mentioned, it's actually quite established within IQ testing that results can vary enormously in the early years of life. They then settle down as childhood progresses but can continue to vary a bit through adolescence. It's only really from adulthood that they remain more or less stable.

I don't think anyone really knows the reason for the high volatility of the early years, but it seems to be accepted even among those who believe absolutely in the value of such tests.

adeucalione Fri 22-Mar-13 08:57:19

I've ordered Mindset, it sounds interesting adoptmama - the point about gifted children underachieving sounds right to me, and also features in Nurture Shock.

You're absolutely right that other factors are at play regarding achievement, of course, but the study to which Bronson and Merryman refer did apply clever mathematics (that I don't understand) to account for things like social skills and attention, and it looked at 34,000 children, combed through the data of six long-term population studies from three different countries, and ultimately reached the conclusion that IQ tests for small children are unreliable as they wrongly identify some children as talented and completely miss the children who blossom a year or two later.

Let's do a book swap and reconvene in a couple of weeks grin

cory Fri 22-Mar-13 08:45:38

IQ tests by their nature depend on the willingness to spot the answer examiner wants and not look for alternative interpretations. These are great qualities in some careers but not terribly helpful in others. I suspect it was the very qualities that led me to do badly in IQ tests that helped me to write a rather good PhD thesis.

adoptmama Thu 21-Mar-13 20:44:36

Ah but I'd argue you really cannot link IQ and achievement as achievement is affected by many, many factors besides IQ itself. Concentration, motivation, confidence (fear of failure) and self esteem are hugely influential on children's achievement.

Carol Dweck's book Mindset provides a huge amount of very convincing research on why gifted children are actually more likely to underachieve and why praise can lead to fear of failure and under achievement. Great book - highly recommend it.

adeucalione Thu 21-Mar-13 10:35:10

I would recommend Nurture Shock (Bronson and Merryman) which very convincingly argues that IQ tests for young children are worthless - not because they aren't administered properly, but because the young mind simply isn't finished yet. Study after study has shown that IQ tests carried out at a young age have no better than a 40% correlation with later expected achievement, and with children identified as gifted this falls to 25%.

Apparently a study of 70,000 UK children proved quite conclusively that a child needs to be at least 11 for an IQ test to be accurate.

Idratherbemuckingout Thu 21-Mar-13 09:39:56

My son had his IQ tested at age 7 years 9months and then again at age 12 and 1 month so 4 years and 4 months between tests, both by recognised Child Psychologists using recognised tests.
His IQ appears to have leapt by a monster 26 points. He is clearly very bright indeed as proven at school so I can only conclude that the first test was badly administered and the results were faulty.
I don't think an IQ can go up THAT much in four years!
The first test was to see if he was a gifted child and the second to identify any problems he had.

warmmagnolia Tue 12-Mar-13 10:32:29

Agree with books and a cuppa. These tests are notoriously unreliable once you get near test ceiling. DS's scores zoomed once he was given a test with a higher ceiling. All these tests have a 'reliability' range too or tolerance level. A quick and cheap way to get a 'feel' for where she is sitting on reasoning might be to try her on the Bond books.

But remember, your wonderful daughter is much more than a number on one test and I suppose that is why schools are so reluctant to share the information with parents in the first place!

Schools normally run attainment test alongside these, as other posters have mentioned and the two types of tests should be normally viewed in parallel to get a better picture.

BooksandaCuppa Mon 11-Mar-13 17:46:32

So, to answer your question more succinctly, I think that whilst IQ is theoretically stable, the range of results within a cohort is more likely to vary more widely at 4 than at 8 (and as they are calculated against the standardised results for their age, it will affect an individual's actual result).

I think an IQ test for a 3/4 year old is bonkers.

BooksandaCuppa Mon 11-Mar-13 17:43:50

I would assume it's something to do with it being easier to be an 'outlier' at 3 or 4 than it is at 5, say, because more children are able to simply understand what they're being asked, or to concentrate, or something.

It's also possible to be something along the lines of the CATS tests (type of IQ tests) results: the explanations say things like - the difference between getting 3 wrong and 4 wrong (say) can make a huge difference to the overall IQ 'result' because the number of children getting close to 100% drops off exponentially (rather than neatly), iyswim. To that extent, they're all pretty unreliable, other than to say a person is roughly top quarter, second, third or fourth (that's just my opinion).

Mmm, that's probably as clear as mud...

musicalfamily Mon 11-Mar-13 15:25:01

Go with your gut feeling. I think it is easy to get bogged down with levels, tests and assessments but ultimately in my opinion a parent deep down knows whether a child is average/above average/gifted in something and if tests don't tally they just have to work out what is going amiss.

It could be as easy as being distracted and not interested in the test itself, it is very difficult to rely on such a test unless administered by an educational psychologist and used as part of a wider assessment.

tumbletumble Mon 11-Mar-13 14:52:06

Theoretically IQ is consistent regardless of your age, but it is notoriously difficult to assess accurately in young children. I'm surprised your school focuses on it rather than progress in maths and reading.

Dromedary Thu 07-Mar-13 22:16:04

I doubt it's one of the internationally recognised IQ tests - it's probably something more informal they use to test reasoning skills. Maybe a non verbal reasoning test or something? It maybe just means that you'd done jigsaw puzzles and games with him when he was small, which put him ahead of others when that type of skill was tested, but maybe they have now caught up by being challenged at school. I wouldn't worry about it - what matters is how he gets on with his general learning at school.
Later on children sometimes need to sit tests in verbal and non verbal reasoning, eg to get into grammar school. Practice makes a lot of difference to how they do, so not a very reliable test of natural intelligence. IQ changes over time anyway (even if tested by a professional).

Howsaboutthat Thu 07-Mar-13 22:09:10

That's a very good point tinierclanger

The school use it along with more standard testing (reading, maths etc) to identify if the child has any difficulties or is at the G&T end, or in the middle and they use it for setting.

CURIOUSMIND Thu 07-Mar-13 21:49:26

I don't have idea about OP's question, but I am wondering is this IQ test your school's normal assessment for every child? What does the result mean to them? Any following steps?

tinierclanger Thu 07-Mar-13 07:55:00

Well, IQ is really just a measure of the ability to do IQ tests. It seems an odd thing to be testing on a small child. If your son seems bright and capable, I'd focus on that rather than any numbers involved. smile

Howsaboutthat Thu 07-Mar-13 07:50:29

When my ds was in reception he was assessed as having a very high IQ.

This month in year 3 he had an IQ assessment at school that put him as slightly above average.

I questioned this with the school not challenging their result but just that I was surprised at the difference as I thought IQ was pretty consistent, and that it was knowledge that altered.

The school's response was that he'd been advanced in his reasoning skills at 5, and now his other skills have caught up he's no longer advanced for his age. I don't understand this. That to mean would mean his reasoning skills have platued.

Can anyone explain to me how this IQ business works as a child gets older?

Based on the above, when he gets assessed at 11 (the school reassess at year 6) could his IQ level be lower than it is today, could it fall below average? Counteracting could it have gone back up? Can you do anything to improve IQ, I had thought until yesterday that your IQ was what you were born with, and your knowledge was what you learnt - this is obviously wrong?

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