Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

hax123
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby hax123 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:35 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Out of all standardized entrance exams I've seen, the GRE is the one where the connection between material tested and skills needed in grad school seem to have a huge disconnect. The obscure vocab is not needed in most(any?) fields and the math tested is irrelevant to those in the humanities and social sciences. The GRE looks to me like someone was like oh gee, grad school needs an entrance exam, let's just take the SAT and bastardize it.


Vocabulary is more strongly correlated with g (the general factor of intelligence) than is any IQ test or other standardized test. That's why the SAT and GRE put a significant weight on vocabulary.

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:37 am

hax123 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Out of all standardized entrance exams I've seen, the GRE is the one where the connection between material tested and skills needed in grad school seem to have a huge disconnect. The obscure vocab is not needed in most(any?) fields and the math tested is irrelevant to those in the humanities and social sciences. The GRE looks to me like someone was like oh gee, grad school needs an entrance exam, let's just take the SAT and bastardize it.


Vocabulary is more strongly correlated with g (the general factor of intelligence) than is any IQ test or other standardized test. That's why the SAT and GRE put a significant weight on vocabulary.


Do you have any links to research showing that?

hax123
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby hax123 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:41 am

acrossthelake wrote:
hax123 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Out of all standardized entrance exams I've seen, the GRE is the one where the connection between material tested and skills needed in grad school seem to have a huge disconnect. The obscure vocab is not needed in most(any?) fields and the math tested is irrelevant to those in the humanities and social sciences. The GRE looks to me like someone was like oh gee, grad school needs an entrance exam, let's just take the SAT and bastardize it.


Vocabulary is more strongly correlated with g (the general factor of intelligence) than is any IQ test or other standardized test. That's why the SAT and GRE put a significant weight on vocabulary.


Do you have any links to research showing that?


Here's one:http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/The_Role_of_Vocabulary_in_IQ_Testing.html

The Mega Foundation administers ultra-difficult IQ tests that are designed to measure IQs up to 6 standard deviations above the mean.

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:49 am

hax123 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
hax123 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Out of all standardized entrance exams I've seen, the GRE is the one where the connection between material tested and skills needed in grad school seem to have a huge disconnect. The obscure vocab is not needed in most(any?) fields and the math tested is irrelevant to those in the humanities and social sciences. The GRE looks to me like someone was like oh gee, grad school needs an entrance exam, let's just take the SAT and bastardize it.


Vocabulary is more strongly correlated with g (the general factor of intelligence) than is any IQ test or other standardized test. That's why the SAT and GRE put a significant weight on vocabulary.


Do you have any links to research showing that?


Here's one:http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/The_Role_of_Vocabulary_in_IQ_Testing.html

The Mega Foundation administers ultra-difficult IQ tests that are designed to measure IQs up to 6 standard deviations above the mean.


Interesting. The "g" factor is a debated concept in general. Modern-day(as in 90s and 00s) psychologists won't touch it. Any idea how they check the validity of this? I mean, the vocab correlates with IQ, but what does the IQ they measure then transfer to?

Tautology
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Tautology » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:52 am

Well I just found out that Wikipedia completely ripped this couple of sentences from its source.

On Wikipedia:
A high heritability does not mean that the environment has no effect on the development of a trait, or that learning is not involved. Vocabulary size, for example, is very substantially heritable (and highly correlated with general intelligence) although every word in an individual's vocabulary is learned. In a society in which plenty of words are available in everyone's environment, especially for individuals who are motivated to seek them out, the number of words that individuals actually learn depends to a considerable extent on their genetic predispositions.


And if you go to the cited source you get:
A high heritability does not mean that the environment has no impact on the development of a trait, or that learning is not involved. Vocabulary size, for example, is very substantially heritable (and highly correlated with general intelligence) although every word in an individual's vocabulary is learned. In a society in which plenty of words are available in everyone's environment, especially for individuals who are motivated to seek them out, the number of words that individuals actually learn depends to a considerable extent on their genetic predispositions.


I wonder if I should bother pointing that out on the talk page, I don't think they like straight copying from sources.

hax123
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby hax123 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:56 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Interesting. The "g" factor is a debated concept in general. Modern-day(as in 90s and 00s) psychologists won't touch it. Any idea how they check the validity of this? I mean, the vocab correlates with IQ, but what does the IQ they measure then transfer to?


No one really knows, but the fact that different types of IQ tests (e.g. vocabulary tests, working memory tests, logical reasoning tests, reading comprehension tests) all correlate strongly with each other suggests that they are testing something more fundamental than the narrow skills they explicitly test. Some would say that this latent variable is the g factor, or general intelligence.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Hey-O » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:26 pm

This is an interesting article that comes at the issue from a different angle:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/ ... arning.php

Maybe the kind of intelligence we should be measuring is cognitive response time.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:05 pm

Hey-O wrote:This is an interesting article that comes at the issue from a different angle:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/ ... arning.php

Maybe the kind of intelligence we should be measuring is cognitive response time.
Hey-O wrote:This is an interesting article that comes at the issue from a different angle:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/ ... arning.php

Maybe the kind of intelligence we should be measuring is cognitive response time.


Implicit learning, yes. This area of research is currently burgeoning and I find it very exciting! This was a well-written blog entry and covers a lot of what I've learned about. Good find.

jason8821
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby jason8821 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:48 pm

Some interesting articles/blogs above. Something I had no clue about (because I never watch television), but i found it when I looked at some articles on neuroscience, and it sort of relates to the discussion, how/why people become good at standardized tests. According to this guy, there is a ton of intuition involved in answering questions you have never seen before.
http://seedmagazine.com/content/article ... llionaire/

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:15 pm

jason8821 wrote:Some interesting articles/blogs above. Something I had no clue about (because I never watch television), but i found it when I looked at some articles on neuroscience, and it sort of relates to the discussion, how/why people become good at standardized tests. According to this guy, there is a ton of intuition involved in answering questions you have never seen before.
http://seedmagazine.com/content/article ... llionaire/


This might work for knowledge-based questions---I nodded knowingly along with what he was saying with memory of about any multiple choice exam I've taken in a class, AP exams, and SAT subject tests, but this didn't really come into play for the LSAT or SAT for me. Hooray Cog Neuro.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby jason8821 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:54 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
jason8821 wrote:Some interesting articles/blogs above. Something I had no clue about (because I never watch television), but i found it when I looked at some articles on neuroscience, and it sort of relates to the discussion, how/why people become good at standardized tests. According to this guy, there is a ton of intuition involved in answering questions you have never seen before.
http://seedmagazine.com/content/article ... llionaire/


This might work for knowledge-based questions---I nodded knowingly along with what he was saying with memory of about any multiple choice exam I've taken in a class, AP exams, and SAT subject tests, but this didn't really come into play for the LSAT or SAT for me. Hooray Cog Neuro.


It's possible that there are different levels of intuition involved in test taking. For instance to be so in touch with ones subconscious as to be able to answers questions such as the ones on "who wants to be a millionaire?" with little to no recognizable knowledge would indicate a great deal of intuition where as the LSAT or a similar test may take a little less since you have the text in front of you. Perhaps you are one of the more gifted people who also has that extra sense when test taking. I don't think most great test takers in RC have a memory that is so photographic that they don't have to refer back to the text at all, but with so many inference questions, there is some "trusting your gut" involved, hence the reason people often have no clue how they scored on the LSAT until they have taken several practice tests. This isn't normally the case on the SAT or GRE where less intuition is involved.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:10 pm

jason8821 wrote:
It's possible that there are different levels of intuition involved in test taking. For instance to be so in touch with ones subconscious as to be able to answers questions such as the ones on "who wants to be a millionaire?" with little to no recognizable knowledge would indicate a great deal of intuition where as the LSAT or a similar test may take a little less since you have the text in front of you. Perhaps you are one of the more gifted people who also has that extra sense when test taking. I don't think most great test takers in RC have a memory that is so photographic that they don't have to refer back to the text at all, but with so many inference questions, there is some "trusting your gut" involved, hence the reason people often have no clue how they scored on the LSAT until they have taken several practice tests. This isn't normally the case on the SAT or GRE where less intuition is involved.


I just don't see what I do for most of the LSAT to involve intuition, though maybe it does for others(for the record, I often knew exactly how I did. There were 3 questions in particular that I wasn't completely 100% sure about when I was taking it, which also happened to be the 3 questions I missed). What he's talking about is relying on that "sense of knowing" recognition that often gives you a gut response when you read an answer choice and also trying to actively prime the retrieval of information. He's not using intuition to come up with answers that he never stored in the first place, though he uses some guesswork as to how a question maker would create fake answers. There's no need for strong memory in RC--you can just look back at the text. If they gave you the passage, then took it away from you, and then asked questions, then intuition would come more strongly into play as you're forced into guesswork, but you still get to look at the passage the entire time you're answer the question. I didn't find that it came into play for LR or LG, esp. LG. LG was just logical linear thinking--there was 0 guesswork. For most of the LR questions, the wrong answers were just illogical and the right answer logical.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:50 pm

Just for those comparing the LSATs to IQ tests, they aren't considered to be in the same class of test by those who make it. They also consider any measurement beyond 130 (ie three standard deviations, 99th percentile) in ANY test to be inherently unreliable, at least when it comes to aptitude. And the first Binet tests were primarily tests of reflexes, not cognitive abilities.

As for being "good" at standardized testing, I was always ranked really high (except for spatial reasoning, where I floated around the median)...I read fast, I've done well on the SATs from 7th grade on, was tested into the young gifted program, did well in the GRE's on one test (that being said, i didn't take it all that seriously, because it was used as more of a cutoff test)

I'd say the most useful talent was not giving a shit and so I was therefore able to calmly play the percentages, skip hard questions and come back, and wouldn't tighten up even, even with ten seconds left.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:55 pm

jason8821 wrote:All I can really state are my own observations, and I am just one person. I find it interesting that you had a cut off at 144. 144 is an extremely high IQ, and even on the more liberal Stanford-Binet, I believe that would be noticeably lower than 1% of people. That said if by "top notch" education you are saying that you went to a private school, than I do agree that the combination of an atmosphere where knowledge is viewed as a virtue, (and being able to chug Milwaukees best is not as big of a concern), and an extremely high IQ would almost guarantee a 1300, the same way that a 130 IQ essentially precludes one from scoring say an 800 no matter. Of course if you are "extremely intelligent" you will master tests such as the SAT with or without a good education, and once you get to a certain level, you may be there, but for those people in the 120's and 130's who still score really high on the lsat, and I believe they are out there, I think there are other defining factors. An example of this is "how much did you read in high school? are you a really detailed note taker? are your parents extremely organized?" again, I'm not a psych guy, just think other things play a role. In your case a diagnostic of 170 almost certainly proves that you have a great deal of aptitude for the test no matter where you went to school, but what would be incredible is to see someone who maybe did not grow up in an area where education was cherished, and maybe didn't read a lot, than the LSAT would be more "Innate" IMO.


here is how the Stanford Binet is rated. Ten point from 100 is one standard deviation, which means in the sample, 90-110 is 66% of people, 80-120 is 95%, and 70-130 is 99%...most studies I have seen usually take cutoff of 120 or 125.

LSATs are not considered to be pure intelligence or aptitude tests, nor pure acievment tests. The ideal for intelligence or aptitude tests is testing is measuring a constant construct that doesn't change, ie is innate. However, the reality is that IQ tests have to be regularly re-standardized UP every 10 years or so...some say it is because of increased nutrition, some say education...*shrug*

Funny when people complain how much stupider people are becoming though

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:56 pm

Some people are just born smarter, better, stronger. lol. No, really, institutionalization.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby stratocophic » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:00 pm

ajmanyjah wrote:
jason8821 wrote:All I can really state are my own observations, and I am just one person. I find it interesting that you had a cut off at 144. 144 is an extremely high IQ, and even on the more liberal Stanford-Binet, I believe that would be noticeably lower than 1% of people. That said if by "top notch" education you are saying that you went to a private school, than I do agree that the combination of an atmosphere where knowledge is viewed as a virtue, (and being able to chug Milwaukees best is not as big of a concern), and an extremely high IQ would almost guarantee a 1300, the same way that a 130 IQ essentially precludes one from scoring say an 800 no matter. Of course if you are "extremely intelligent" you will master tests such as the SAT with or without a good education, and once you get to a certain level, you may be there, but for those people in the 120's and 130's who still score really high on the lsat, and I believe they are out there, I think there are other defining factors. An example of this is "how much did you read in high school? are you a really detailed note taker? are your parents extremely organized?" again, I'm not a psych guy, just think other things play a role. In your case a diagnostic of 170 almost certainly proves that you have a great deal of aptitude for the test no matter where you went to school, but what would be incredible is to see someone who maybe did not grow up in an area where education was cherished, and maybe didn't read a lot, than the LSAT would be more "Innate" IMO.


here is how the Stanford Binet is rated. Ten point from 100 is one standard deviation, which means in the sample, 90-110 is 66% of people, 80-120 is 95%, and 70-130 is 99%...most studies I have seen usually take cutoff of 120 or 125.

LSATs are not considered to be pure intelligence or aptitude tests, nor pure acievment tests. The ideal for intelligence or aptitude tests is testing is measuring a constant construct that doesn't change, ie is innate. However, the reality is that IQ tests have to be regularly re-standardized UP every 10 years or so...some say it is because of increased nutrition, some say education...*shrug*

Funny when people complain how much stupider people are becoming though
Maybe the divide between top and bottom is just greater/increasing and thus more noticeable? Seems more likely that the ceiling would be climbing and the floor staying steady or climbing much less slowly than the alternate scenario, i.e. ceiling staying steady or climbing slowly while the floor drops off into oblivion.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:17 pm

Tautology wrote:
Blah, I guess I have to retract my previous statement, looks like there is pretty good evidence that intelligence is genetic.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1520-iq-is-inherited-suggests-twin-study.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twins/twins2.htm



Major problems arise with twin studies. Those only say that twins are more likely to score alike. But think of this...twins are also more likely to be treated alike. For example, fraternal twins (less genetically identical) can be a male and a female...identical twins tend to have similar looks also, and so perhaps their overall experience is then more similar. Twins will also have the same racial makeup, and therefore, in a world that cannot ignore race, might make it more likely they are treated similarly. Not to mention, this only looks at adoption, which tends to be highly restricted, because of child services criterion. It is unlikely an adoptive twin will end up in Jakarta while the other grows up in Manhattan, Kansas...so while genetics might play a factor, the similarities statistically shown above are "best" (or "worst") case scenarios, as they assume ALL of the correlation are from genetics (well, at least in popular media)

There's a reason social sciences (even harder more quantitative ones) tend to use words like "indicate", though mainstream media makes more sensational stories (it also doesn't help that most journalists last science course was the one they bombed in 11th grade or whatever)

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:20 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
The gap between individuals can already be predicted between 2 and 8 months of age. Some of this might still be environmental, but I think it runs counter to the idea that it's just the environment.

Edit:Research on newborns isn't as common in the field(or available for met-analysis) because it's kind of difficult logistically to do studies on newborns(Hi, I hear you *just* gave birth, can we do a test on your newborn?)


Ugh I hate to post over and over again, but tests (even on newborns) still don't discount the ability of newborns to take in the environment. Fetal conditioning exists---for example, a baby who hears Japanese prosody in the womb is more likely to be able to perceive it even when just born.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:26 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Tautology wrote:Did you ever take the GRE acrossthelake? It is probably the worst test I've ever taken, although the format is interesting and different.


No, although I skimmed through it once out of curiosity. It looks weird and seems to emphasize vocab to a degree I don't understand the purpose of. Why'd you take it? Yeah that is one test where I think you actually need to prep even if you're fairly bright. I have friends with large vocabularies that think the GRE is trippy.


So true...

I got a perfect, not even one question wrong or skipped on the SAT verbal (old one)

I got a 660 on the GRE Verbal--some words I SWEAR were actually those words taken into English from the 70's straight from Ancient Greek (though I assume living in French in my social life might have screwed me up too?)

The GRE also is a computer adaptive test, so it goes up in difficulty until you start getting questions wrong.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby ajmanyjah » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:32 pm

stratocophic wrote:
ajmanyjah wrote:
jason8821 wrote:All I can really state are my own observations, and I am just one person. I find it interesting that you had a cut off at 144. 144 is an extremely high IQ, and even on the more liberal Stanford-Binet, I believe that would be noticeably lower than 1% of people. That said if by "top notch" education you are saying that you went to a private school, than I do agree that the combination of an atmosphere where knowledge is viewed as a virtue, (and being able to chug Milwaukees best is not as big of a concern), and an extremely high IQ would almost guarantee a 1300, the same way that a 130 IQ essentially precludes one from scoring say an 800 no matter. Of course if you are "extremely intelligent" you will master tests such as the SAT with or without a good education, and once you get to a certain level, you may be there, but for those people in the 120's and 130's who still score really high on the lsat, and I believe they are out there, I think there are other defining factors. An example of this is "how much did you read in high school? are you a really detailed note taker? are your parents extremely organized?" again, I'm not a psych guy, just think other things play a role. In your case a diagnostic of 170 almost certainly proves that you have a great deal of aptitude for the test no matter where you went to school, but what would be incredible is to see someone who maybe did not grow up in an area where education was cherished, and maybe didn't read a lot, than the LSAT would be more "Innate" IMO.


here is how the Stanford Binet is rated. Ten point from 100 is one standard deviation, which means in the sample, 90-110 is 66% of people, 80-120 is 95%, and 70-130 is 99%...most studies I have seen usually take cutoff of 120 or 125.

LSATs are not considered to be pure intelligence or aptitude tests, nor pure acievment tests. The ideal for intelligence or aptitude tests is testing is measuring a constant construct that doesn't change, ie is innate. However, the reality is that IQ tests have to be regularly re-standardized UP every 10 years or so...some say it is because of increased nutrition, some say education...*shrug*

Funny when people complain how much stupider people are becoming though
Maybe the divide between top and bottom is just greater/increasing and thus more noticeable? Seems more likely that the ceiling would be climbing and the floor staying steady or climbing much less slowly than the alternate scenario, i.e. ceiling staying steady or climbing slowly while the floor drops off into oblivion.



Could be, you'd have to do the statistical analysis on the pure numbers (problem is, though, test-retest reliability is an innate problem...ie people will range taking the same test...multiple ways to test for this, split halves, random assignment etc, but none are perfect cuz you can't go back in time)

I would tend towards early childhood experience (most people go to kindergarten now) and nutrition (we all get enough hormones through cholesterol) as being important factors

Not sure though, good point

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:33 pm

ajmanyjah wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
The gap between individuals can already be predicted between 2 and 8 months of age. Some of this might still be environmental, but I think it runs counter to the idea that it's just the environment.

Edit:Research on newborns isn't as common in the field(or available for met-analysis) because it's kind of difficult logistically to do studies on newborns(Hi, I hear you *just* gave birth, can we do a test on your newborn?)


Ugh I hate to post over and over again, but tests (even on newborns) still don't discount the ability of newborns to take in the environment. Fetal conditioning exists---for example, a baby who hears Japanese prosody in the womb is more likely to be able to perceive it even when just born.


Yeah, but what environmental factors would you suggest would produce those results? Don't misunderstand me--I absolutely believe that the environment plays a role, without a doubt, and a lot of evidence supports this. I also believe, with a fair amount of data supporting it as well, that genetics plays a role as well.
Also, yes, science journalism is like this:
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1174

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Tautology » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:41 pm

ajmanyjah wrote:here is how the Stanford Binet is rated. Ten point from 100 is one standard deviation, which means in the sample, 90-110 is 66% of people, 80-120 is 95%, and 70-130 is 99%...most studies I have seen usually take cutoff of 120 or 125.

LSATs are not considered to be pure intelligence or aptitude tests, nor pure acievment tests. The ideal for intelligence or aptitude tests is testing is measuring a constant construct that doesn't change, ie is innate. However, the reality is that IQ tests have to be regularly re-standardized UP every 10 years or so...some say it is because of increased nutrition, some say education...*shrug*

Funny when people complain how much stupider people are becoming though


Not to pick nits, but I'm pretty sure the standard deviation on the Stanford Binet is 15, not 10. Also, and certainly less importantly, approximately 68% of the population lies within one standard deviation of the mean, not 66%.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby stratocophic » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:44 pm

ajmanyjah wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
ajmanyjah wrote:
jason8821 wrote:All I can really state are my own observations, and I am just one person. I find it interesting that you had a cut off at 144. 144 is an extremely high IQ, and even on the more liberal Stanford-Binet, I believe that would be noticeably lower than 1% of people. That said if by "top notch" education you are saying that you went to a private school, than I do agree that the combination of an atmosphere where knowledge is viewed as a virtue, (and being able to chug Milwaukees best is not as big of a concern), and an extremely high IQ would almost guarantee a 1300, the same way that a 130 IQ essentially precludes one from scoring say an 800 no matter. Of course if you are "extremely intelligent" you will master tests such as the SAT with or without a good education, and once you get to a certain level, you may be there, but for those people in the 120's and 130's who still score really high on the lsat, and I believe they are out there, I think there are other defining factors. An example of this is "how much did you read in high school? are you a really detailed note taker? are your parents extremely organized?" again, I'm not a psych guy, just think other things play a role. In your case a diagnostic of 170 almost certainly proves that you have a great deal of aptitude for the test no matter where you went to school, but what would be incredible is to see someone who maybe did not grow up in an area where education was cherished, and maybe didn't read a lot, than the LSAT would be more "Innate" IMO.


here is how the Stanford Binet is rated. Ten point from 100 is one standard deviation, which means in the sample, 90-110 is 66% of people, 80-120 is 95%, and 70-130 is 99%...most studies I have seen usually take cutoff of 120 or 125.

LSATs are not considered to be pure intelligence or aptitude tests, nor pure acievment tests. The ideal for intelligence or aptitude tests is testing is measuring a constant construct that doesn't change, ie is innate. However, the reality is that IQ tests have to be regularly re-standardized UP every 10 years or so...some say it is because of increased nutrition, some say education...*shrug*

Funny when people complain how much stupider people are becoming though
Maybe the divide between top and bottom is just greater/increasing and thus more noticeable? Seems more likely that the ceiling would be climbing and the floor staying steady or climbing much less slowly than the alternate scenario, i.e. ceiling staying steady or climbing slowly while the floor drops off into oblivion.



Could be, you'd have to do the statistical analysis on the pure numbers (problem is, though, test-retest reliability is an innate problem...ie people will range taking the same test...multiple ways to test for this, split halves, random assignment etc, but none are perfect cuz you can't go back in time)

I would tend towards early childhood experience (most people go to kindergarten now) and nutrition (we all get enough hormones through cholesterol) as being important factors

Not sure though, good point
Sounds plausible, sort of underlying factors to my reasoning. i.e., things like nutrition, quality of education, and general household culture regarding education are often going to be "worse" (in whatever way you want to define that, so call it "sub-optimal") for the floor than the ceiling, and would have shown less "improvement" over the last x number of years for the lower group than the higher. Sort of a rich-getting-richer poor-getting-poorer scenario? Outliers exist for both groups yada-yada-yada

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:39 pm

[quote="ajmanyjah"]Just for those comparing the LSATs to IQ tests, they aren't considered to be in the same class of test by those who make it. They also consider any measurement beyond 130 (ie three standard deviations, 99th percentile) in ANY test to be inherently unreliable, at least when it comes to aptitude. And the first Binet tests were primarily tests of reflexes, not cognitive abilities.
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FTR, 130 is standard deviation 2 (not 3) for most IQ tests, and actually Stanford-Binet is a 16-point standard deviation increment test, meaning that 132 is the SD2 level. Each SD increase from the 100-level IQ baseline represents the addition of a "9" to the percentile rank in descending place-value order corresponding to increase by standard deviation (the increase is actually in terms of 'rarity' of the score). Therefore, using a 15-point increment curve: SD1 (115 IQ)=90th percentile/out of 10 people you are smartest; SD2 (130 IQ)=99th percentile/out of 100 people you are smartest; SD3 (145 IQ)= 99.9 percentile/out of 1,000 people you are smartest, SD4 (160 IQ)= 99.99 percentile/ out of 10,000 people you are smartest; SD5 (175 IQ)= 99.999 percentile/out of 100,000 people you are smartest etc. Using a 16-point increment scale (such as Stanford-Binet), the scores corresponding to these increments are 116,132,148,164,180. The scale (bell curve) also moves in reverse below one hundred, though I lack much understanding in how intellectual deficits/MR is measured, especially into the very profound and unusual range. From what I have read there is considerable variability across different types of IQ tests; in fact, a person who arguably has the world's highest IQ has one calculation that is around 180, and another around 230, which are considered essentially the same score due to the different types of scales used/tests administered. I question whether individuals who score extremely high like this on IQ tests are perhaps extremely good at performing the tasks required by these tests rather than necessarily having a profound intelligence in the functional (useful) sense. I think that real genius centers upon the question of utility and accomplishment more than that of ability. Profound cognitive ability is required for certain types of intellectual accomplishment, but apart from helpful application I believe that high-IQ is in fact a totally neutral quality (just as likely bad as good- reference UNABomber who has a 167 IQ, or Bobby Fischer with a 180s IQ, who though not comparable to UNAbomber in terms of negative impact, made some pretty outrageous and bizarre racist statements according to what I have read).

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:44 pm

One other factor I didn't see mentioned in the discussion about IQ testing is that a general IQ number (or perhaps LSAT number for that matter) may not accurately reflect unusually strong cognitive skills in a very specific area of ability that an individual may have (such as sub-scale scores that could be off the charts for an individual, but that person has deficits in other regards, bringing their overall IQ test score- the 'g' or general IQ- to a level that does not reflect the peaks of their ability but is an accurate composite score).




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