Intellectual power is another term for intelligence. An individual’s intelligence plays a significant role in how they navigate the educational system and what types of supports they need from educational professionals. Conventional wisdom would say that, the greater one’s intelligence, the more likely they will succeed at most academic pursuits. Given the personal nature of this characteristic and its effect on academic success, the precise definition of intelligence is controversial. Psychological researchers often define intelligence as “the ability to reason abstractly, the ability to profit from experience, and the ability to adapt to varying environmental contexts”(Body and Bee 2013, Chapter 7.1). Some researchers seek to simplify this definition, stating that intelligence is the speed at which an individual can process information (Body and Bee 2013, Chapter 7.12).
A practical definition of intelligence could be a measure of how well one performs on intelligence tests. A test designed to measure intelligence should be designed to assess “the ability to reason abstractly, the ability to profit from experience, and the ability to adapt to varying environmental contexts” (Boyd & Bee, 2013, p. 167). The first tests, with academic tasks assessed, were created to identify students who would struggle in school (Boyd & Bee, 2013). Over time, this test was updated and now scores intelligence by comparing the student’s performance to that of a large group of tested individuals of similar age (Boyd & Bee, 2013). By using this new method of scoring, researchers can restandardize the test so that the average score remains at 100 to account for the secular trend in scores (Boyd & Bee, 2013). Today, a full intelligence score is determined by using data from four tests which emphasize verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and nonverbal intelligence (Boyd & Bee, 2013).
Another type of intelligence test is an achievement test, typically administered in schools to assess student mastery of concepts taught (Boyd & Bee, 2013). If IQ tests assess how a child thinks and learns and an achievement test assesses how much a child has learned in a particular setting, then college entrance exams, such as the SAT, fall in between (Boyd & Bee, 2013). College entrance exams “measure basic ‘developed abilities’” for a junior in high school (Boyd & Bee, 2013, p. 172). In all of the measures of intelligence, test reliability and validity are far from perfect (Boyd & Bee, 2013). While the available tests may predict school performance, it does not consider other contributing factors such as “creativity, insight, ‘street smarts’ and social cues” (Boyd & Bee, 2013, p. 174).
That being said, a child’s I.Q. score can be an important predictor on how many years a child will attend school and