How Intelligent Are You, Really?

By: Mark Lichtenstein

How Intelligent Are You, Really?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The measure of intelligence can be taken through a number of methods. There is pure IQ, there is learned knowledge (book smarts), and there is practical knowledge (street smarts). If we combine all your attributes and measure them, where do you think you'll come out?
Do people think you sound educated?
Yes
Not really
Above all else
Not particularly

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How many books do you own?
None. I use the library.
A few dozen
Thousands
A dozen or so

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Do you empathize well with other people?
No. Other people are dumb.
Mostly a specific class of flawed person.
I just don't get people at all.
I'm really good with people.

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How difficult did you find academic tests?
Too easy
They were fine.
They weren't hard.
They were really difficult.

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Does your intelligence give you access to rarefied communities?
Does Mensa count?
Yeah, I know some interesting folks...
No, I'm alone in a room most of the time.
It gives me access to everyone.

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What do you do to sharpen your mental saw?
Logic problems
I listen to stories.
I read academic books.
I put myself in uncomfortable social situations.

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In what way is your intelligence useful at work?
It slows things down because I get bored too easily.
I can find a lot of material for my work.
I always know how to do my job.
Networking

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Does your intelligence make it easier for other people to "get you"?
No, it hurts my brain to think down to the level of ordinary people.
Only certain people
No, it makes me a bit of a shut-in.
Yes, absolutely

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Do you have a lot of vices?
Just one
I have a ton of vices.
No, I have no vices.
I suffer from FOMO a bit.

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Do you spend a lot of time perusing the stacks at the bookshop?
No, I only go to the library.
No, I prefer people to books.
That's my happy place.
No, I'd rather hit a cocktail party.

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What is the first part of the newspaper you read in the morning?
The science section
The police blotter
The literary review
The politics pages

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How are you at solving Zen koans?
I'm okay.
I'm very good at them.
If I've read them, I can solve them.
Terrible

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How quickly do you pick up a new lexicon?
It takes one look to memorize it.
I learn those things fast.
I'll get it down in a few weeks.
It takes me a while, but I can fake my way through it most of the time.

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Do you do better when you have instruction at hand?
No, my memory is perfect.
Only in the beginning
Yes, I'll take a book over memory any day.
I'd rather have a human teacher at hand.

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How much studying did you have to do for standardized tests when you were growing up?
None
Very little
Loads
Some, but I didn't test well.

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How large is your circle of friends?
Tiny
Big
Very small
Massive

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How much time do you spend exploring subcultures?
None
Loads
A little
Some

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How quickly do you recognize patterns in data?
Immediately
It can take some time.
It takes some deliberate work.
It's hard, unless it's people.

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How close are you willing to get to dangerous people?
I'd rather avoid them.
I'll hold hands with them.
I'll just read about them, thanks.
I wouldn't mind meeting them, once.

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What essential electronic item do you carry every day?
Nothing is essential.
A little camera
My Kindle
My iPhone

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How good a listener are you?
I hear well, but listening? Not so much.
I'm a very good listener.
I'm a good reader, not a great listener.
Listening is what I do best.

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Do you know what active listening means?
No, nor do I care.
Yeah, but most of the time I'm not that active.
No, but based on the name, I'm not sure it's a real thing.
Yes, and it's my greatest strength.

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How are you at doing emotional labor?
Terrible
I'm okay.
Poor
Very good

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How old were you when you realized you were intelligent?
5
22
14
30

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How useful is your brand of intelligence on the seedy side of town?
Only a little useful
Very useful
Pretty useless
Somewhat useful

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What sort of decision making is the easiest for you?
Rapid response to changes in patterns
Narrative decisions
What books to buy
How to have a conversation

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Who was first to recognize your intelligence?
My parents
A stranger
A teacher
I was.

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How are you with word games?
Strangely, I am terrible at word games.
I'm okay with word games.
I dominate word games.
I'm pretty good with them.

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How good a negotiator are you?
Not great
I'm better than average.
I'm okay.
I'm very good.

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How helpless are you without access to Wikipedia?
It makes no difference to me.
I can get by without it.
Totally helpless is more or less the measure of it.
I don't use it much, so it makes little difference.

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You Got:

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