Think You Can Ace This Tricky IQ Test?

Zoe Samuel

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

The average human IQ or intelligence quotient is 100. Anything over 140 makes you a genius and anything under 80 means you probably ought to have an adviser beside you any time you're making a major life decision.

IQ isn't the be-all or end-all of human smarts: It doesn't measure emotional intelligence or whether you're a nice person. It's also often accused of bias, as it favors certain cultural perspectives and types of educations that are more likely to be accessible to people from certain nationalities, family backgrounds, and subcultures. It's also malleable: You can study up on how to do well at IQ tests, and improve. You can also improve your IQ by spending your early childhood in culturally enriched environments with lots of books and adults who have time to talk to you (hardly a choice many get to make), and also by being around smart people, reading a lot, and getting good nutrition and plenty of sleep (not all of which are possible, but one can try).

That said, as long as you treat it as merely one slightly woolly fact about yourself and not the sum total of who you are, it's lots of fun to see if yours is high or low.  If you score 22, you're about average, 25 is good, 30 is very high, and anything over 32 is probably genius. So let's see how you do!

At a conference, 12 members shook hands with each other before & after the meeting. How many total number of hand shakes occurred?

The first person shakes 11 hands, the next 10, and so on. Add all of those up and multiply by 2 for before and after.

It takes 2 hours to drive from Franklin to Richmond, which are 80 miles apart. How fast was the car's average speed?

40 mph for two hours will take you 80 miles.

If Jane sells 15 apples in a working week, what is the average number of apples she sells per day?

There are 5 days in the working week (if you're lucky) and 15/5/=3.

In what language are the words behind the acronym RSVP?

It means "respondez, s'il vous plait", meaning "reply please!"

If Becky is taller than Jodie and Jodie is shorter than Sally, who is taller out of Becky and Sally?

Sally and Becky are both taller than Jodie but we don't know which of them is taller than the other, or whether they are the same height.

Which number does not fit: 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29?

All the others are primes. 25 divides by 5.

Which has more anagrams: ALERT or STALE?

ALERT has 12 anagrams. STALE has only 10.

Which is the odd one out?

All the others are types of blue. Citrine is green.

Which of the below is an anagram of a five-letter word?


Which is the odd one out?

Mustang, Colt, and Bronco are all cars named for horses. Wrangler is named for the person who takes care of the horses.

John wants to climb down a cliff that is 80ft. He has two ropes: one that is 40ft and one that is 30ft. He can drop 10ft without injuring himself. Can he get down the cliff safely?

Sure, he has 70ft of rope, but he's going to lose some to the knots, and that puts him over his 10ft safety.

What is the odd one out?

These are all dogs but the others are purebred. Labradoodles are mixed.

What angle is the correct one to put a ladder against the wall?

It'll just look right (if you have a high IQ, anyway).

Miserly is to cheap as reckless is to...

If you're reckless, then you rush into things without thinking.

What is the odd one out?

They're all kinds of triangles except the rhombus.

Why might a river flow backward some of the time?

Rivers can briefly flow backward during certain types of conditions, namely natural disasters.

What comes next: snow, know, knot, ...?

The pattern is that the first letter vanishes and a new letter on the end makes a new word.

Sedative is to drowsy as...

It's all about cause and effect.

How many four-letter words start with the letters COM?

Coma, come, comp and comb are the four!

Which of these words is the odd one out?

Three can be made into words with the addition of the word "back." Backstop, backstroke and background can all be made into words, but "back up" is two words.

What is the odd one out?

Close-up, high-angle, and establishing are all types of a single shot. "Match" describes a relationship between two shots.

Rearrange the letters FADLOFDI and choose from what category it comes.

A daffodil is a flower!

A bat and a ball together cost $10. The bat costs $4 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

If x+y=10 and x-y=4, then 4+2y=10, so 2y=6, so y=3.

It takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets. How long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

Each machine is making a widget every 5 minutes!

Lilypads in a lake double their size every day. It takes them 100 days to cover the lake. How long does it take them to cover 1/4 of the lake?

At 99 days, they cover half. So at 98 days, they cover a quarter. It's an exponential curve.

What comes next: hexagon, heptagon, octagon, ....?

They are polygons in ascending size order.

What is the odd one out?

Three are metals. Silicon is not a metal.

If it takes 8 minutes for light to arrive from the sun, and the sun simply winked out one day, what is the maximum amount of time for a person at the equator to not know about it?

If the sun just went out, there would be a delay of 8 minutes before anyone on the surface would know about it. Anyone on the dark side of the planet at the equator would just happily go 12 hours and 8 further minutes before they would wonder what happened to the sunrise.

Forest is to tree as tree is to...?

A leaf is part of a tree which is part of a forest.

Why doesn't a spaceship in orbit fall down?

The Earth pulls on the object, but if it's going just the right speed, it won't escape the gravity - but it will start to "fall." If it goes the right speed it will fall at just the right speed to constantly fall in a perfect circle around the planet.

What is the next number: 4, 9, 16, 25, 36?

It's a list of squares, the next being 7 squared which is 49.

Alex has a moving van that is 5m long, 2m wide, and 3m high. He has 10 boxes that are 1m cubed, five boxes that are 2m by 1m by 1m, and two boxes that are 5m by 1m by 1m. Will they fit?

He has 30m cubed. The 10 boxes that are 1m cubed take up one 10m cubed layer. The five boxes that are 2m cubed take the next layer. The two boxes that are 5m cubed each take up the third layer.

Which is the odd one out?

Oxygen is the odd one out as the others are noble gases and it is not.

Which number does not fit: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13?

All the others are the numbers of the Fibonacci sequence.

The day after the day after tomorrow is four days before Monday. What day is it today?

It's counter-intuitive, but yep, it's Monday!

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