The Guardian's Money IQ test
March 13, 2003 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Are you paid what you're worth? This little IQ test, asks your salary (in pounds) and calculates whether you are overpaid or underpaid with respect to your intelligence. It's obviously not scientific (the test is not timed), and you can argue about how the ability to do IQ tests correlates with your ability to do a job. I predict that the vast majority here will have a coefficient well over 0. [From the Guardian]
posted by salmacis (60 comments total)
bet none of you can beat stuffing envelopes for $26.76/hour.
posted by quonsar at 11:53 AM on March 13, 2003

conversion calcutalor
posted by rainbaby at 11:59 AM on March 13, 2003

I made it to the first question, got agitated and quit. Which pretty accurately reflects my performance at my job as well.
posted by BigPicnic at 12:01 PM on March 13, 2003

Also, did anyone else find the list of professions a little limited?
posted by BigPicnic at 12:04 PM on March 13, 2003

Public service: $1 = 0.67 UK pounds.

and if I'm not smart enough to figure out whether my job is best described as Professional, Manager, or Office-Based, I'm probably not going to do well on the successive screens.

Plus, I'm quite happy to concede I'm overpaid. I wouldn't have it any other way.
posted by luser at 12:04 PM on March 13, 2003

I skipped to the end without selecting any answers and got:

"You got 0 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of...


Well, you certainly have the experts confused. You're not the brightest spark, in fact your test results put you in "plank of wood" school of intellect. However, you've managed to persuade someone to pay you massively over the odds, so you can't be all that dumb. Can you?"

which really isn't too far off.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:04 PM on March 13, 2003

I think the test of IQ is to NOT proceed past the first page of this text when sentences like the following are used:

"Please could you indicate the level your job is within the current you work for:"

Hmmmm, let me take an IQ test by people who cannot form a clear sentence.
posted by archimago at 12:05 PM on March 13, 2003

I, archimago, am not seeing what wrong that sentence has?
posted by woj at 12:11 PM on March 13, 2003

bet none of you can beat stuffing envelopes for $26.76/hour.

dude hook me up!
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:13 PM on March 13, 2003

I played straight and came up with a -17.

Guess I'm not half as bright as I thought.
posted by Irontom at 12:16 PM on March 13, 2003

All math and spatial questions! What about verbal ability? Bah.
posted by rainbaby at 12:17 PM on March 13, 2003

Yeah, I'm with rainbaby. I can score 99th percentile on vocabulary tests, but one look at those numbers had me runnin' scared.
posted by kozad at 12:19 PM on March 13, 2003

You got 20 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of...


Mind you, in this cloud-cuckoo land, not only do I have an IQ of 120+, but that my salary entitlement is off the scale! Well, a boy can dream, can't he...
posted by dash_slot- at 12:34 PM on March 13, 2003

Okay, I got a cash/cleverness coefficient of 11 as well.
I got 23 of the 25 right, even though I had some issues with the second part of the test (could this shape be that shape) since the drawings were done so poorly. I pretty much guessed on the ones that were ambiguous.

I know I nailed all the number sequence and pattern recognition ones though. I've always done well on those since I was a kid.

I doubt that if I bring this up with my boss during my salary review in April that it's going to make a positive difference.
posted by grum@work at 12:51 PM on March 13, 2003

Hmm... I got 19 out of the 25 right, and got a salary adjustment of 500. Of course, I'm unemployed, so if it had come out negative I'd really be embarrassed.
posted by krakedhalo at 12:53 PM on March 13, 2003

So those of you who have facility with those number sequence problems: is it just sort of intuitve or do you do some figuring? I've always found all but the simplest of these utterly baffling.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:58 PM on March 13, 2003

You got 20 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of...

It's official. Your IQ is significantly more powerful than the average for your salary bracket. Demand a pay rise while you still have your faculties.

'scuse me, be right back.
posted by daver at 1:00 PM on March 13, 2003

looking for a job, can write lousy articles on students life for L70000
posted by Psychnic at 1:02 PM on March 13, 2003

I am officially retarded. Thank you.

"With your IQ, it is surprising they pay you anything at all. Full marks for holding down a job so incommensurate with your abilities. This in itself is an achievement to be proud of."

Stupid patterns... I don't think I got the hang of any of them... eventually, I just guessed.
posted by ph00dz at 1:04 PM on March 13, 2003

You got 20 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of... 16.
Talk about an ego boost.
posted by rhapsodie at 1:10 PM on March 13, 2003

PinkStainlessTail, at least for me I see an inkling of a pattern when I first glance. I then juggle a bit to fit a pattern to the numbers. For example a couple of those tests were obviously related to powers of two others had some multiple and so on.

It's hard to explain, like when I ask the rest of my family (all artists) to explain how they draw. There's something beyond just simple agility, there's a mental process that I'm just not good at.
posted by substrate at 1:13 PM on March 13, 2003

Wow.. I got 22 out of 25 right and 17 is the low end of the 120+ IQ bracket?

I don't think I'm stupid or anything, but I don't think I'm THAT smart... still a neat test though

My coefficient was 12.. indicating I should go ask for a raise... I'll let you all know if I get fired... "hey boss? this webpage says you owe me more money"....
posted by twiggy at 1:15 PM on March 13, 2003

You got 22 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of...


Wow. Your IQ is as far above the average for your salary level as the scale permits. What are you doing with your life?

Such is the life of a guy with B.S. in Math. No one pays you to perform Grahm-Schmidt Orthogonalization.

An aside: I very nearly aced the verbal section of the GMAT (missed a single question), but I scored in the bottom third of business school applicants on the quant section. I have never wanted more wanted a refund of cash and several years of my twenties. This test makes me feel better.
posted by namespan at 1:18 PM on March 13, 2003

P. S. T. -- You have to figure something out.

Here's an example taken from the test (Spoiler, so skip it if you're gonna take it).
posted by daver at 1:18 PM on March 13, 2003

I have never wanted more wanted

Perhaps my post editing abilities could use a boost, however.
posted by namespan at 1:23 PM on March 13, 2003

Hmm. 22/25, but salary coefficient of only 8? That's just balls, man.

And PinkStainless, I'd agree with you on some of the number sequences. Let's see:

1) 2,5,6,4,18,3, ?

2) 8,12,16,6,32, ? ,64

3) 0, ? , 6,12,20,30,42
42-30=12, 30-20=10, 20-12=8, 12-6=6, 6-x=4 -- the difference is increasing by 2, so the answer is 2

10*12=120, 8*10=80, 6*8=48, 4*6=24, 2*4=8 -- the difference increases by 2 each time, like the last question, so the answer is 8

5) 3,7,15,31, ? , 127
3+1=4, 7+1=8, 15+1=16, 31+1=32, 63+1=64, 127+1=128 -- powers of 2 minus 1; the answer is 63.

6) 1701,567,189,63, ? , 7
1701/3=567, 567/3=189, 189/3=21, 21/3=7 -- divide the subsequent digit to get 3; the answer is 21.

7) 2,3,5,7,11, ? , 17

1+9=10, 8+10=18, 2+18=20, 20+16=36 -- add the bottom number with the top number to get the next top number, repeat; the answer is 20

9) 24,12,36,18, ? ,27,81
24/12 = 2, 12*3=36, 36/2=18, 18*3=54, 54/2=27, 27*3=81 -- it's an alternating pattern of: divide by 2, multiply by 3; the answer is 54

10) 3,15,63, ? ,1023
3+1=4, 15+1=16, 63+1=64, 255+1=256, 1023+1=1024 -- powers of 4. Should be familiar to us comp sci geeks. The answer is 255.

Hope this helps some. The other ones aren't hitting any patterns I can think of off the top of my head.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2003

ooh. 15/25. and i normally perform poorly at math, so that first set with the stupid number patterns was tricky.

anyhow, i hope that coefficient is supposed to *multiply* my salary, because, damn, that'd be sweet.

of course, in my experience, salaries usually go to the most socially skilled and charismatic individuals, and not the "smartest" (meaning pattern-smart, of course -- how is figuring out a pattern gonna help you when you're trying to fast-talk a customer?).

wondering if selecting, say, agriculture would give me a different set of questions. (too lazy, though -- a lack of ambition which probably explains why i'm "underpaid").
posted by fishfucker at 1:36 PM on March 13, 2003

Whoops, for #4 I meant the answer is 48 which is evident from the series I wrote out. And for #9, the first part of the series should be 24/2 = 12, then 12*3, etc. So sorry.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:37 PM on March 13, 2003

dang, I should be making 3 times what I am. I'm printing this up right now and sending it my boss. Maybe I shouldn't tell her I took the test on company time.
posted by maceo at 1:43 PM on March 13, 2003

I wish they'd tell ya which ones were answered incorrectly. :/
posted by deathofme at 1:43 PM on March 13, 2003

This test is *very* poorly written. Page 2 asks if the two items shown are the same or different, and the choices are 'could be' and 'no'. could be WHAT? the same? different?
posted by kfury at 2:08 PM on March 13, 2003

You got 21 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of...

Wow. Your IQ is as far above the average for your salary level as the scale permits. What are you doing with your life?

So apparently I have a 120+ IQ, but I still can't seem to figure out what the cash/cleverness coefficent is supposed to be applied to. And since I work at a supermarket I'm not at all surprised I'm underpaid for my IQ. A brain dead monkey with one arm would be underpaid doing my job.

And those stupid shapes didn't make any sense.
posted by krazykity16 at 2:08 PM on March 13, 2003

They also know dick about perspective drawing. Their own salary index is probablt around -30.
posted by kfury at 2:09 PM on March 13, 2003

The worst feature for me was seeing my Canadian dollar salary translated into pounds - "under 15,000 pounds" sounds like squat.
posted by orange swan at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2003

civil_disobedient: problems 1 and 2 are interlaced patterns and problem 7 is (don't kick yourself too hard) prime numbers.

It's interesting that different rules can be applied to produce the same results. In problem 8, I saw that the first, third, and last columns were just doubling, so I applied that to the second and fourth to come up with the same answer you did. Similarly, in problem 10 I multiplied the difference between consecutive numbers by 4 and added the result to the higher sequence number to get the next number in the pattern (15-3=12, 12x4=48, 48+15=63, 63-15=48, 48x4=192, 192+63=255). I'm embarrassed that I missed the power of 4 thin
posted by joaquim at 2:26 PM on March 13, 2003

THING! THING! (Curse the last-characters-of-my-post-eating-Metafilter!)
posted by joaquim at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2003

I am confused - I filled in all the circles with my pencil, but I didn't get any right. What happened?

PinkStainlessTail, I am with you all the way - those number sequence thingies are awful and even the explanation given above by Civil_Disobedient, while quite logical and easy to understand on the face of it, only made my head hurt. The shape things were mostly pretty easy, though. I didn't even bother trying the number questions, so it is not surprising that I am as bright as a plank of wood and grossly overpaid.
posted by dg at 2:32 PM on March 13, 2003

The ones Civil_Disobedient missed.

1) 2,5,6,4,18,3, ?

It's two sequences interlaced.... 2*3 = 6*3 = 18*3 = 54
the other sequence is 5-1=4-1=3 but that doesn't matter

2) 8,12,16,6,32, ? ,64

Same problem, two interlaced sequences. 8*2=16*2=32*2=64, the sequence, 12/2=6/2=3
... so 3 is your answer ....

7) 2,3,5,7,11, ? , 17
You're gonna shoot yourself over this one.. :-)

It's just the first 7 prime numbers. answer = 13
posted by Bonzai at 2:32 PM on March 13, 2003

The crazy thing is I had different reasoning for some of the sequences than Civil_Disobediant did -

2,5,6,4,18,3,? - There are two sequences here, alternating - 2, 6, 18, ? (multiply by 3) and 5, 4, 3, (count down). Pretty sure it's 54.

8,12,16,6,32,?,64 - Again, two mixed sequences - 8, 16, 32, 64 (multiply by 2) and 12, 6, ? (divide by two). At least that's what I think it is. Answer would be 3.

0,?,6,12,20,30,42 - This sequence is adding a number each time, and increasing the amount added by two.
0+4=6, 6+6=12, 12+8=20, 20+10=30, 30+12=42

2 4 6 8 10
8 24 ? 80 120

The number below each number is equal to the number multiplied by the number to the right of it. Answer is 48.

3,7,15,31,?,127 - Each number is the one before it, times 2, plus 1. It's 63.

1701,567,189,63,?,7 - Each number is 3 times the one to the right. Answer is 21.

2,3,5,7,11,?,17 - List of primes. It's 13.

9 10 18 ? 36
1 8 2 16 4

Each number on the top equals the one to the left added to the one to the bottom left. 9+1=10, 10+8 = 18, 18+2=20, 20+16=36.

24,12,36,18,?,27,81 - This one alternates between dividing by 2 and multiplying by 3. 24/2 = 12, 12*3 = 36, 36/2 = 18, 18*3 = 54, 54/2 = 27, 27*3=81.

3,15,63,?,1023 - Series of the powers of 4, all -1. Answer is 255.

I had a end score of 21, with a salary coefficient of 17. I guess that's what I get for being a college student with a job paying 7$/hour (although I don't work there anymore.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:37 PM on March 13, 2003

22/25, and a cash cleverness or whatever it was of 10 (I'm apparently better paid than Civil_Disobedient).

Don't ask me what that means, I don't put any stock in it.
posted by Cerebus at 2:37 PM on March 13, 2003

22 of 25, coefficient of 8 (and doing pretty good at that by the looks of things). However, I took WAY too long to determine that one of those number sequences was simply the first few primes. When I finally caught on to that I nearly keeled over. I suspect three I missed were due to those lame-ass drawings on the second page.

Clearly, I am OVERpaid since I'm doing important things like taking bogus IQ tests at work....
posted by dragstroke at 2:39 PM on March 13, 2003

On the second page, were we supposed to take into account that the hidden sides in the first view may have similar marks as the viewed sides? 'cuz most of them were possible. Or were we supposed to assume that the side with a particular mark is the same side shown in the second drawing?

unemployed/p.t. math teacher, 22/25. Quonsar, how the eff-ewe-see-kay did you get that job?
posted by notsnot at 3:52 PM on March 13, 2003

Well, in the midst of scoring 22/25 (coeff. = 11), I got a phone call to learn that my only prospect for continuing to be employed for next year has gone down the tubes. So I guess, at least, that my coefficient will go way up!

On preview: perhaps it all has something to do with the fact that I'm on MeFi taking stupid quizzes...?
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:00 PM on March 13, 2003

It's funny - I'm in New Zealand, so I divided my salary by 3 (sigh) to work it out in pounds, and I got a coefficient of 11.

But then I went back to the start, and put in my salary in NZD, and did the test again (screwed it up by getting one more right... oops), and *still* got a coefficient of 10.

So even if I was earning three times what I'm earning (ie, pounds instead of the Pacific Peso (which has actually been climbing lately)), I'd be grossly underpaid? What's up with that?
posted by wilberforce at 5:01 PM on March 13, 2003

I got 22 of 25 when I tried it at work earlier today. I could swear I'd get 25 if I tried it at home. Work kills my brain.
posted by oissubke at 5:03 PM on March 13, 2003

(I redid it because straight-out converting my salary to pounds ignores the fact that the cost of living in NZ is a great deal less than living in the UK - apparently you can view it almost as dollar for pound. I wanted to see what my coefficient would be if I took that into account.

I guess their tables just top out at about 120 IQ, so they think we should all be earning 1 Million Pounds.)
posted by wilberforce at 5:09 PM on March 13, 2003

Isn't a coefficient something you multiply with? So those of you with negative coefficients should be paying to be allowed to work, or are paying to be allowed to work and should be payed instead?
posted by fvw at 6:11 PM on March 13, 2003

Two sequences interlaced? That's some happy horseshit. I mean, extrapolated to enough potential digits, you could make an unlimited amount of sequences with just 6 digits. If it's two sequences interlaced, there should be more digits than six. But the prime number one... christ how obvious. If you heard a resounding smack at around 10:45pm EST, that was me smacking my hand against my forehead.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:46 PM on March 13, 2003

The 3D spatial awareness question should have been worded thusly:

"Could the second object be the first object's identical twin?"

Possible answers: "Could be" or "No". (Obviously, markings count.)

(Got 24 of 25, but I hadn't read the "under 10 minutes" part; I may well have taken longer - don't know how well I would've done had I been sweating with a strict time limit.)

Hint: be unforgiving in your evaluation of the 3D shapes - if the 2nd shape looks bigger, it is bigger - this is the one I missed.
posted by Opus Dark at 7:54 PM on March 13, 2003

I apparently test best on the most highly abstract (I believe) of IQ tests - abstract symbol manipulation. I suppose I should have become a mathematician - My brother-in-law earns about 80k a year as an academic statistician. Not bad. But I was loathe to take this test, for the last one I took informed me that I was flying off one end of a very flat slope of the Bell Curve...So what. This news was, too me, merely more fuel for angst. "Dumber", "smarter"........well, if it makes you feel better about yourslf and your (partially) self-constructed lot in life.........

I used to work with retarded adults. They were nice, and had things to teach me. Those humans who have a tightly held attitude - usually about their social rank - seldom do.

If I were hiring for a large company, I would avoid people at both extremes of the (officially determined) intelligence spectrum - as potential troublemakers.
posted by troutfishing at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2003

Yep, Opus Dark is right on the perspective thing for the shapes. The first time through I didn't take this into account and got 23 of 25 (coefficient of 10)

Went back and did the questionable shapes and got 25 of 25.

Here are the correct answers for all questions if anyone is interested (where the number is the nth position of the answer (1 based)):

posted by freshgroundpepper at 8:55 PM on March 13, 2003

I got 19/25, with a coefficient of 8. I missed four of the number sequences (they seem obvious now), but I'm not sure which others.

It would be nice if they showed you the answers/explanation.
posted by paulschreiber at 10:18 PM on March 13, 2003

as salmacis points out in the FPP, intelligence may not be the best factor in predicting work performance. Depends on the job, I'd say. In hiring, I'd almost always go for a solid work ethic and a personable manner over incredible intelligence.
posted by Vidiot at 12:11 AM on March 14, 2003

In hiring, I'd almost always go for a solid work ethic and a personable manner over incredible intelligence.

"Let's go with this Salieri guy - the other one seems like a wacko."
posted by Opus Dark at 12:44 AM on March 14, 2003

Just for the record, I got 21 out of 25 and a coefficient of 11. I'm sure 3 of the 4 I got wrong were down to the lousy drawings. For some reason, I never saw the prime numbers either.

The best comment in this thread was whoever pointed out that doing this test at work automatically makes you overpaid!
posted by salmacis at 12:47 AM on March 14, 2003

I got 22 out of 25, but two of the ones I got wrong had to do with a question of perspective on the shapes (11 and 13 - both of which, evidently, are meant to be seen as having "pyramid-shaped" tops)... the problem with that section is that, yes, with some you must be unforgiving, but with others you must be very forgiving indeed.

#6 on the math series was funny. The correct answer as shown above was:

6) 1701,567,189,63, ? , 7
1701/3=567, 567/3=189, 189/3=21, 21/3=7 -- divide the subsequent digit to get 3; the answer is 21.

but I saw that the first and third numbers began with 17 and 18, while the second, fourth and sixth numbers began with 5, 6, and 7, respectively, so I put the fifth number as 19, for an "every-other" series of 17, 18, 19 and 5, 6, 7. Having seen this, I stopped working on that one and missed the division-by-3 possibility.

I'm pretty sure the only way I'll make as much as I'm worth is if I win the lottery. I'm also pretty sure that the only way I'll make enough to continue eating is to win the lottery.
posted by taz at 1:01 AM on March 14, 2003

"Let's go with this Salieri guy - the other one seems like a wacko."

snarf! (how do you get root beer off a laptop screen, anyway?)

Depends on the job, I said -- most don't require Mozart-level creativity, intelligence, and risk-taking. (And a good thing, too.)
posted by Vidiot at 1:16 AM on March 14, 2003

The category in which I am (nominally) employed is not listed. I suppose that's good because I too took one look at all of those damned numbers and happily closed the tab.

Thank heaven for people who have facility for things other than sequences, patterns and shapes. It'd be an awfully boring world if the only measure of our worth was our ability to parse esoteric patterns in poorly designed aptitude studies.
posted by Dreama at 1:48 AM on March 14, 2003

Music is sequences, patterns and shapes. Science is sequences, patterns and shapes. Art is sequences, patterns and shapes. Literature is sequences, patterns and shapes. Perception is sequences, patterns and shapes.

It's all sequences, patterns and shapes.

What, exactly, in your opinion, isn't?
posted by Opus Dark at 2:17 AM on March 14, 2003

Opus Dark,

woah . . . dude . . . you're right! :)

(22 of 25 got a 10 factor but that's cause I plugged in my 2002 employed ass as opposed to 2003 unemployed same)
posted by hackly_fracture at 6:58 AM on March 14, 2003

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