IQ fails to address all abilities 3

September 9, 2005

Should it be surprising that students who do well answering unseen IQ questions, under time pressure in a single session, prefer to answer exam papers on the same model?

Equally, it seems sensible for students who do less well to prefer to take time to answer questions and to opt for, say, 5,000-15,000 words. And, if we teachers do not offer adequate supervision for such major enterprises in our courses, is this not our fault, not the method's?

More generally, employers - and apparently some dons - should be warned that an ability to answer abstract questions, avoiding in principle any reference to scientific, historical or other cultural issues, does not guarantee similar success with tricky issues in academic studies - not to mention everyday life.

John Dixon
Ilkley

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