What does an IQ of 132 mean?

Frequent questions about giftedness

1. How can you recognize giftedness?
The usual way is through a standardized IQ test or a gifted diagnosis.
The psychologist and author Dr. Jürgen vom Scheidt is one of the pioneers who also discovered certain traits, personality traits and basic patterns that can be found remarkably often in highly gifted people. Although these do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the exact IQ value of a person, they can provide valuable information about giftedness. A list of typical characteristics can be found under recognize giftedness and under Brainspotting.

The characteristics can already appear from an IQ of 120, which belongs to the area of ​​above-average intelligence.

2. Can everyone become gifted through practice and training?
Some IQ points can be gained through practice, but an average intelligent person does not become highly gifted even through support and intensive practice.

Giftedness manifests itself through various characteristics that are genetically determined and cannot be influenced by practice. For example, you cannot change your height, shoe size or skin color through training.

3. Can you get a better IQ test result through training?
The tests examine various abilities, e.g. comprehension of numbers and languages, spatial imagination, logical thinking, short-term memory, speed of information processing, ability to concentrate. The various subject areas can be trained. The more familiar you are with performing IQ tests, the nature of the specific tasks, and the more frequently a test is performed, the better the result will be. A few points can be gained through training, but the genetic make-up is the upper limit.

4. Are you only highly gifted if you have achieved at least 130 points in an IQ test?

There is no natural Criterion for the IQ from which one is gifted, i.e. one is extraordinarily intelligent. From what shoe or body size does one speak of "exceptionally tall"? There is no criterion for this either.

The threshold of 130 for an intellectual giftedness is a statistical and no content criterion. Instead, you could have used a different value, e.g. 128 or 129, but you are happy to choose smooth values ​​as limit values. 130 is twice the difference between the upper limit of the average range (this is at the IQ value 115) and the mean value, which is 100, see Graphic.

Therefore, if someone got a score of 128 or 129 on an IQ test, he / she may also be gifted, but with a score as high as 130 it can be safely assumed. Limit values ​​are particularly relevant in research on giftedness, where clear criteria are required in order to be able to carry out certain analyzes.

5. In the media and some advisors, it appears as if a new world begins with an IQ of 130 and a different category of person is involved. Is it really like that?

Scientists who research the topic of giftedness expressly point out that it makes little sense in school or in everyday life to strictly adhere to an IQ of 130 and higher when it comes to deciding whether a person is highly intellectual. It's about gradual differences. A child with an IQ of 128 or 129 is clearly above average intelligent and will hardly show any other performance potential than a child with an IQ of 130. The focus should therefore be less on the question of whether the child belongs to the group of gifted or gifted people not, but rather what strengths and talents it has and how you can support and promote them.

In addition, intelligence is made up of various sub-skills. So far, no intelligence test has been able to cover all areas. Since there are different IQ tests on the market that even differ in their test focus, a different IQ value may result depending on the test (source: BMBF).

6. Can a test also give a wrong IQ value?


There are various factors that can falsify a test result and result in a value that is too low, e.g. poor daily form, lack of sleep, malaise, exhaustion, thirst, hunger and hypoglycaemia, illness, depressive moods or test anxiety. Before starting the test, especially with children, you should make sure that they feel comfortable, trust the tester and are motivated to take a test. If a negative test result is obtained when there is a suspicion of giftedness, a second test should be carried out.

IQ values ​​that are too high can almost be ruled out, unless, for example, an outdated test was used. Standardized tests are revised approximately every ten years.

7. With which clinical pictures can giftedness be confused?

The distinctive features of giftedness resemble some symptoms of clinical pictures. Psychologists and therapists who are not very familiar with the topic of giftedness can therefore easily come to an incorrect diagnosis. Giftedness can be confused with e.g. ADHD, ADS, autism disorders, Asperger's syndrome, eating disorders.
The non-profit, American organization SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), which informs and advises those affected and experts on the subject of giftedness, has created a flyer on this topic and has put together a table of possible clinical misdiagnoses. A German-language flyer is available for download on the following page:

SENG misdiagnosis in gifted children

More information is also available at:

Misdiagnosis in gifted people