Quest for an IQ test

July 28, 1995

James Tooley's proposal that children should be issued with an IQ certificate deserves more serious thought than that given to it by Richard Pring.

The proposal has considerable merit, but is capable of improvement. For one thing, in addition to providing a single global IQ, it would be useful to give a cognitive profile with IQs for reasoning, verbal, numerical, spatial, mechanical and clerical abilities.

Also, the test would be better taken at the age of 15 or 16 when intelligence is more fully matured. The test could usefully be taken at the same time as GCSE and the results added to the certificate.

These would give some credibility to what has unhappily become a rather discredited document.

Professor Pring's general approach of rubbishing the concept of general intelligence is not supported by those who have taken the trouble to read the research evidence. I do not know the field of Professor Pring's expertise. It is certainly not intelligence.


Professor of psychology

University of Ulster

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