In this previous question on scoring IQ tests the OP asked about the effect of speed of test, but it was a bit peripheral to the core question. So I thought I'd ask it as a separate question. To slightly rephrase the question:

"If the speed with which a test is completed sometimes affects the IQ score, surely for identical test scores where one is completed in 10 minutes and another in 30 minutes should affect the IQ score."

So the question:

To what extent is time to complete an intelligence test incorporated into the IQ score?

  • $\begingroup$ I have scored well on the tests without time limits. I am able to consider all possibilities both in and out of the box. My ability to see those pieces of possibility and arrange them in the most logical and best performing sequence to achieve the desired outcome. Well, that takes some time. The IQ test i took that put a time limit on me scored me below average. The IQ test i took was the only one of four test i have taken that had a time limit on every section of the test. Having a time limit caused me to scan the questions instead of reading them thru. I answered more with educated guesses t $\endgroup$ – user8428 May 24 '15 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ I think it a time limit should be applied to certain parts of the test but considering how slow I work I don't want there to be a time limit on normal tests. $\endgroup$ – preston Apr 13 '17 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ I have taken two tests, one with no time limit and one with 30 min. time limit. I did very well on one (170), and much less on the other (129).![enter image description here](i.stack.imgur.com/vRm2g.jpg) $\endgroup$ – ates gulcugil Jul 5 '18 at 9:41

I'm not familiar with all tests out there, but I'll give an example from the fourth revision of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV), one of the more popular tests.

The time to complete the whole test does not matter (as long as you complete it in one go without long breaks). Usually testing takes between one and two hours, but if you test very old and frail persons, you might even administer parts of the test on different days.

I have not heard of any IQ test that has an overall time limit for the whole test (which does not mean that there is none). In my opinion that would not work for a paper and pencil test, because there are breaks between subtests where the test administrator gives the instructions for the next subtest, and short breaks where the administrator reads out the questions for individual items of a subtest. Thus, the overall time would depend not only on the test subject, but on the administrator of the test as well. In a computer administered test, it would be possible to measure the time used to solve the questions accurately, but, as I said, I don't know of such an IQ test.

In the WAIS-IV, many subtests have a time limit. For example there is one subtest where you have to mark certain geometrical forms (e.g. a yellow triangle) on a page filled with many different tiny geometric forms. Obviously, given enough time, everybody would be able to complete that subtest without errors. But you have a limited time in which you have to find as many of the specific forms as you can. There are enough forms that no-one can finish that page in the given time. So the number of forms you find and the number of errors you make are your score for this subtest. Other intelligence tests have similar time limits for certain subtests.


Here is an example from recent IQ test.

    (start a timer set for 13 seconds ,once your ready with a paper and pencil) 
Question 1.                11,14,8,53,7,48 
  Is the total of these numbers even ?

 (Set timer for 40 seconds this time)
Question             22, 4,19,8,67,16 
    Is the total odd?

Then there is no time limit.

Clearly with no time limit almost everyone could find the answer. With the strict time, only a small percentage could solve the problem.

The amount of time shows the method used.
A genius uses an larger mathicalcan truth (ex. An odd number of odds will always have an total which is odd) . The actual numbers don’t matter and never needs to add them, just count the odds. You can add numbers in your head when able to answer under 40 seconds.

  • $\begingroup$ The examples common from section 2 of practice test before the actual test live on internet cite geniustests.com. How can I site information that is common knowledge. I am a member of Mensa. To qualify you need to be in the top 2 percent , it is an intelligence quotient, comparing how many questions you answered right and the time it took to do so. I cite google search ( that is the amount of info I gathered to back up info which can not be taught, I tried by explaining that the test how u solve problems, math , spatial,Or Verbal $\endgroup$ – danny potter Jan 31 '19 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ So, what do you disagree with. The other answers are well maybe! $\endgroup$ – danny potter Feb 27 '19 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ Is the purpose to. Give the best answer or the easiest for the monitor to understand,lol $\endgroup$ – danny potter Feb 27 '19 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ Your a neurologist , I am doing research on long term potential. Does your work area cross with mine on any way I would love to talk to some one that knows what Neuroplasticity is? No hard feeling. $\endgroup$ – danny potter Feb 27 '19 at 21:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.