3.7 based on 6 ratings

Updated on Feb 08, 2012

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Sociology


An examination of adult IQ test scores. The goals of this project are:

  1. To determine whether or not adults can significantly improve their scores on standardized adult IQ tests.
  2. To determine the efficacy of these tests.
  3. To explore human learning potential.

Research Questions:

  • What is an IQ?
  • What do IQ tests actually measure?
  • Are the test results useful for predicting success?
  • Can a person's IQ change significantly?

Back in the day, IQ test scores were taken very seriously. Experts viewed the IQ measurements of children as accurate predictors of future success. It was further assumed that the adult IQ could not be accurately measured, and that a person's IQ did not change over time. Nowadays, organizations like MENSA offer adult IQ tests. This experiment is designed to help determine scientifically whether or not adults can improve their IQ test scores.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
  • 20-30 adult volunteers (age 21 or older)
  • Copies of four different Mensa (or similar) adult IQ tests

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  2. Address all of the above terms and research questions.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Have each volunteer take the same IQ test. Carefully record the scores.
  6. Split volunteers RANDOMLY into two equal groups.
  7. Using questions from two other tests, have Group I practice the kinds of problems that typically appear on an adult IQ test. Each volunteer in Group I should answer five-to-ten questions each day, five days a week, for two weeks.
  8. Instruct Group II volunteers to continue their lives exactly as before.
  9. In two weeks time, retest all volunteers, using a another standard adult IQ test.
  10. Compare results between both groups.
  11. Carefully record all observations.
  12. Analyze your data.
  13. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  14. Include interesting photos, diagrams and models in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: IQ; MENSA; Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale


Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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