Write an essay on the topic "Assessment of IQ in children and adolescent is a poor predictor of school achievement".
For more than a century, it was believed that intelligence quotient is the measure of how clever people are and the elite society have always used the test to find out the intelligence of subpar applicants. However, scientists have dismissed this scale as a “myth” as they found that our intelligence is a combination of at least three results of our mental alertness. There are different kinds of circuits within the brain, and it is used for different thought processes. As per the researchers verbal skills, reasoning and short-term memory skills are needed to measure the overall intelligence of an individual (Duckworth et al., 2012). This is an argumentative essay and it shall contain reasons and arguments as to why intelligence quotient tests are a poor predictor of assessment of intelligence in school achievement.
Scores on intelligence tests were originally used as a formula that involved calculation. Therefore, the tests were known as intelligence quotient or IQ scores. Though we continue to use the term IQ, intelligence quotient test scores are no longer dependent on the earlier formula. However, students having high IQ typically do well in school; however, one cannot conclude that their high level of success is actually an outcome of their intelligence (Ganz et al., 2013). The first argument that depends on this proposition is that, other than intelligence, many factors such as family resources, parental support, motivation and peer group expectations are the other factors that are involved in support of their success. It has been seen that many students who have IQ perform badly in class and others who have a low IQ do comparatively better in class. IQ tests do not depend on certain specific topics it is as overall determination of our intelligence (Kaufman et al., 2015). For example, IQ contains questions that are based on reasoning, analysis and general knowledge whereas, school tests contains questions that are subject specific and students get enough time for preparation of that subject. Hence, one cannot relate results of intelligence quotient with academic success of the child.
The second argument that can be stated in favour of the proposition is that intelligence quotient tests have a restricted “shelf life”. While it is true that IQ scores do a reasonable job for predicting students school performance but for a short period, may be for a year or two but for a longer run one cannot depend on the results of the IQ tests for determining success especially when the child in is preschool or in the elementary years. Intelligence, changes with change in time, thus how it is measured should also change. The longer the time gap between intelligence, the higher are the chances of fluctuation in intelligence (Grinblatt et al., 2012). The cognitive ability and IQ scores of children increase with time when children are highly motivated and along with proper motivation other stimulating factors and a variety of reading materials is helpful. Hence, it shall be wrong to relate directly the IQ scores with school success and achievement.
However, this is not the case always, many modern intelligence tests and techniques have been developed that predicts precisely how well students are able to perform in classrooms. Studies have repeatedly shown that students are likely to perform better in class who have high intelligence quotient scores and that it is correlated with one another. Based on the findings, it was seen that on an average, children with higher IQ scores do better in class as compared to those who have low level of IQ and they completed more years of education. Hence, with this finding it may be concluded that IQ scores often predict school achievement, though imprecisely. This is the reason why many psychologists depend on modern IQ test scores to determine the relationship between IQ test scores and school achievement (Berliner and Glass, 2014). Additionally, IQ tests comprises of questions related to reasoning ability and working memory tests. If as a student, one has the power to reason and understand things and has the capability of memorising things then as a student one may definitely be good in academics. As school life learning, is also related to understanding of subjects and reasoning them appropriately (Mesquita et al., 2016).
If we rely on the counter arguments that reason the ability of determining school success depending on IQ test results, the logic presented may be refuted depending on the following points. Firstly, as stated in the counter argument, that modern IQ test scores depend on modern skills and techniques and are more reliable as compared to the earlier techniques. However, modern techniques and skills are not always reliable, as IQ scores do not cover all the variations as revealed by the tests. They fail to take into consideration that for determining academic success certain subjects need to be focused. For example, a student of mathematics may be good at solving mathematical calculations however; he may be bad at logical reasoning. This happens, as there are individual differences in the processing of information related to numbers and figures (Ritchie et al., 2013). Secondly, memorising and reasoning ability has nothing to do with academic learning. Academic learning requires understanding of particular subjects in which individual differences occur depending on the interests of that person in that subject. For example, a student may be good in history as he has interest in learning and understanding history, whereas, he may be bad in science, as he does not have any interest in learning and understanding that subject. In such a scenario, IQ scores have no role to play in academic success (Wilsonâ€Ching et al., 2013).
Conclusively, it may be stated that since IQ test scores are not subjective in nature and cover a wide range of objectives in their analysis and reasoning, hence, it is wrong to use the test scores of IQ as a predictor in school achievement. Based on the arguments, facts, reasoning and examples it may be concluded that IQ test scores are a poor predictor of school achievement.
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