Decoding the test battery

In school, you typically take one test at a time – students take one test in math on a given day, rather than a series of them. However, other exams, such as IQ tests, are different. These assessments measure various facets of mental capabilities because intelligence isn't defined by a single quality. Rather than take an IQ test, you actually complete an IQ test battery. What is that and what does it mean for testing? Here's some insight:

What is a battery?
A testing battery simply means a series of exams. Generally, you'll take them all at once and may not even realize they're different exams. Additionally, testing batteries can break down scores by individual exams and offer a cumulative score. The ACT and SAT exams are good examples of batteries. Students take science, math, English and writing sections all in one day. Their scores include results for each section and a total. However, each section works to show one overall big picture: how prepared students are for college.

The same goes for intelligence batteries. Test takers will complete sections that assess memory, math skills, spatial awareness and language skills. Altogether, these components help define a person's intelligence.

Test delivery
IQ tests are varied and many. Some are given in their battery form with all the aforementioned sections together, while others are administered in bits. When you or your child take an IQ test, you should know what kind you're taking and which sections are included. Understanding the makeup of your IQ test will help you better understand and use the results.

What's more, taking batteries or various IQ exams separately gives you a bigger picture of your intelligence. Did you score high on the language section but low on the math? You're probably better with words than numbers. Seeing your results broken down between sections gives you a detailed understanding of what your mind naturally excels at. This is especially helpful for kids who are still in school and deciding what they want to do when they graduate.

However, most IQ tests and batteries will provide you with one overall score – your IQ score. Your number is compared to the rest of the population your age, and 100 is considered average. 

Other tests
IQ exams are common for helping people understand their strengths, but you can also take emotional intelligence tests. 

By knowing what a testing battery is, you can use your exam and scores to your advantage.

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