I'll give context for my question from personal experience, but then I'll generalize my question so that it's broadly useful.

When I was a child, my mother home schooled me. When I entered the 9th(?) grade, I dropped out. And for a few years prior to that, I cheated through most of my schoolwork. Someone suggested that even if I was cheating, I was still learning; this wasn't the case, because my cheating involved memorizing "A A B D B B A."

My understanding of the WAIS is that it merely serves as a way to approximate general intelligence, but it can't directly measure it (except perhaps working memory). And at least in cases like these, it won't work very well because it relies heavily on crystallized knowledge. When I took it, there were questions which I might have learned from school, but obviously I didn't have that experience; I believe this harmed my verbal IQ. You'll understand how verbal similarity and perhaps other sub scores could be likewise impacted. I also imagine that my math score suffered. My thinking is that there are numbers I would have been familiar with, thus reducing my response time. And I am more prone to error in my responses, due to lack of practice. I also would have had better schemes to quickly translate the data into an answer.

  1. Total years of schooling the child missed
  2. Age of child when those years are missed (college vs highschool)
  3. Child's general intelligence (not as measured by the WAIS)


How would increasing total years missed accumulatively affect IQ (e.g. 6 years = 9 points)? There's an article below about college increasing students' IQs, but what about K-12--would missing earlier years affect IQ more severely? And would missing school have more or less severe impact on IQ scoring among more intelligent children?

If the child (perhaps now an adult) studies, would the child's IQ increase relatively drastically? When I say relative, I mean relative to someone else who also studies and has the same real general intelligence, but did attend K-12. And to keep it simple, let's stick to math IQ score for this question.

Lastly, is there a better test for measuring such a person's intelligence?

I asked many questions, probably more than exists within current research. If you work in psychometrics or have approximately relevant knowledge, I'd be happy to hear your assumptions.

And if I need to reduce my questions, then consider the full-scale scores below. If those are the scores of someone who missed school as I described, then what score would you expect them to earn had they not missed school? ... And, is there a better test for them?

  • 80
  • 100
  • 120

Related data:

Per the link below, adding a year of school increases IQ. Although not stated, they give the impression that this is referring to college. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brainstorm/201806/how-much-does-education-really-boost-intelligence


1 Answer 1


Almost a week with no answer. I found an article covering part of the topic, though.




Economic Inquiry. Vol. 49, No. 3, July 2011, 838–856


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