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How to Improve Your IQ

Four Methods:Enjoy Society and CultureMaking Brainpower FunDon't Stop LearningExercise The Body, Exercise The Brain

Your IQ, which stands for Intelligence Quotient, is a scientific assessment of your intelligence derived from standardized tests that measure problem solving abilities, spatial imagery, memory, general knowledge, and other factors. While there are limits based on native intelligence levels, recent studies have shown that it's possible to increase your intelligence. We'll show you some ways to make this happen.

Method 1
Enjoy Society and Culture

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    Expose yourself. Be active in your community, with social media, and with the world around you. The more you are involved with other people, with other opinions, and other ideas, the more you will learn. You may not always agree with what you learn or find out, but by challenging your preconceived notions, you will either strengthen your own beliefs, or adapt, grow, and adopt new beliefs based on new information.
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    Be observant. Part of "being smart" is being aware of things at a higher level, and understanding (or developing an understanding of) the correlations among what might otherwise seem to be disparate or random events.
    • For example, you see that two cars, heading in the opposite direction, collided head-on. Thinking simply, one could say "oops, accidents happen," and leave it at that. If you expand your observation, you may discover meta-factors that created the conditions that led to the crash: ice on the road may have caused one car to lose traction; perhaps the two cars were heading the opposite direction on a one-way street. Or perhaps there was a dog in one car who, excited by the sight of a dog on the side of the road, jumped onto the driver's lap; the driver lost control, and hit the other car.
    • Expansive observations can lead you to more productive areas as well—architecture, art, and astronomy, for example, and that's just starting with the As!
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    Listen to music. Not just classical music but any music that you like. It has been shown that by listening to music that you enjoy improves your I.Q. by a few points. You can also listen to music while working, provided it does not affect your concentration on the task.
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    Read voraciously. Reading enhances the mind's ability to comprehend, as well as encouraging you to think critically. Reading a book that you have never read before broadens your horizons, thus increasing your IQ.
    • Reading different genres is even more productive, as well as reading newspapers, current events magazines, multi-content periodicals (such as the New Yorker), even technical manuals.
    • Make sure the book is in your reading level. Reading something that is too easy for you doesn't do anything but entertain, and while you may increase your IQ by reading a novel beyond your reading level, constantly referring to a dictionary will sap the joy out of reading.

Method 2
Making Brainpower Fun

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    Take risks with your brain. Have you become a Scrabble master, able toss out 40-point words even when your rack looks like EEIOAUC? Fine, congratulations. Now go become a Sudoku master. When you reach that goal, move on. Become a Go master, or chess expert.
    • Once you become good at a particular skill, your brain stops working as hard. It doesn't expend the resources, or trigger that dopamine rush that helps make you smarter. Feel free to continue to wallop the competition in Scrabble, but keep finding new "brain games" to explore.
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    Play logic/strategy games. In 2008, scientists Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl devised a method that would increase "fluid intelligence"—the ability to draw connections between things, solve problems, and adapt to new situations. By having test subjects pay attention to two different streams of information, they found they exhibited a significant gain in reasoning abilities.[1]
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    Play video games. Games can be a great way to stimulate the brain. Try to play a game that is out of your usual range of choices. It will help you think differently. Especially look for games that provide you with problems to solve or force you to think quickly.
    • Scientific studies have shown that playing the popular game Tetris leads to more efficient brain activity; as players become more proficient at the game, their brains show a reduced consumption of glucose (the body's main fuel). The conclusions of this study point out that glucose consumption is reduced when learning has taken place. This would be expected as when a person becomes more proficient in any activity, the effort required decreases.
    • When playing first person shooter games, try to get into the atmosphere, look at details, think every move as if it were real. This way you don't mindlessly finish the game, and you stimulate the brain to think more than just using reflexive actions.
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    Work on challenging your brain in new ways. Try cryptology, for example. This is when a message is written in codes and you try to figure it out. It's challenging for some, but after a while may even become enjoyable. All logic puzzles are great.
    • Do logic and lateral thinking puzzles. These help you explore new areas, and solve problems in different ways.
    • Practice crosswords and sudoku. These activities stimulate your mind and thought processes. People may not normally consider word searches thought-provoking, but if practiced in addition to other mind games, they could prove to be easy and stimulating.

Method 3
Don't Stop Learning

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    Keep track of your progress. Take a weekly IQ test and record your results. If you would like to view your improvements, consider placing the results on a line graph using Excel or another graph-compatible spreadsheet program. (See external links for a free, tested online IQ test).
    • Bear in mind that many online IQ tests are not legitimate, and many ask for a mobile number at the end for the results. These are spam. The IQ quiz that could be considered the true IQ quiz is the Stanford-Binet and is the only true IQ test accepted by universities.

Method 4
Exercise The Body, Exercise The Brain

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    Get physical, and exercise your body. Keep your body fit and since it has been scientifically proven, exercising your body and brain will improve the way you think.
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    Expand your boundaries. Just like sitting at your desk all day is bad for your physical self, sitting in the same mental seat all the time is bad for your brain. To break out of that, make it a lifelong goal to continually learn new things.
    • Study art and architecture, to see a visual representation of the mind in action.
    • Try a new way to drive to work, or a novelty such as bungee jumping, or devoting some part of your life to becoming an excellent painter. The "what" is not as important as the actual doing.
    • New experiences trigger a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which increases neurons and create a sense of pleasure.[2]
    • The more you learn, the more you'll know, and your intelligence will grow as a result.
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    Think of new ways to do old things. If you drive to work every day, and every day you take the same road, it becomes routine—even if it's an hour-long commute. You get to know every turn, every pothole, every bottleneck, every red light, and every speed trap. It becomes so commonplace that you stop paying attention to it. You stop thinking. Anything you do by rote will curtail your thinking process. Break that habit.
    • For example, find a different way to work each day. Some ways may take a few minutes longer, some may be shorter. Do it on the way home, and you don't have to worry about being late!
    • If you like to write, try creating a longhand draft first then entering it into the computer when done. Try entering each day's work as you go. You may discover something about your writing, or about a character, that you didn't realize as you wrote it out.
    • Anything that shakes up your mechanical approach to something is a potential rut to break away from.
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    Perseverance furthers. Ignore limiting stereotypes such as "An old dog cannot learn new tricks." Imagine the success you will feel when you bump your IQ score up ten points! Like anything else, your brain functions better when used. Actively exercising your brain has even been linked to staving off problems such as Alzheimer's Disease.[3]
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    Write whenever possible. Send a note instead of an email, or write a draft of a paper (or an outline) in longhand versus on your computer. It will increase visual and kinesthetic stimulation.
    • Try writing with your non-dominant hand. Writing with your opposite hand can, in fact, lead to stimulation of the side of the brain that is opposite to that hand. So perhaps a southpaw could go righty and think more logically, or a righty could try going left-handed to be more creative. Keep in mind this is only a hypothesis, but worth exploring.
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    Excel in school and have a better career. There is a huge amount of evidence substantiating the correlation between excellent grades and better intelligence. Good grades are the path to better careers and better ways of life.
    • Scientific encephalopathy case studies show that the brains of sophisticated professionals are anatomically larger, healthier and having more prominent convolutions, whereas the labour workers have much thinner neocortex, implicating lower than average intelligence. This is because the labourers do not use their brains often.
    • Intense learning which is required by many challenging, professional careers can certainly trigger neurogenesis and improve brain's cognitive capacity.


  • Play games like chess and crossword puzzles. They help you to think and it can be fun at the same time.
  • Always use How...Why....What...To know more about Anything!!
  • Read many books and surf the internet for good material.
  • Substitute sugary drinks for water and eat fruits and vegetables regularly.
  • Take nice, slow deep breaths when you are in thought.
  • Eat healthy food that is rich with vitamins and antioxidants that stimulates your brain. Try to avoid eating too much "junk food."
  • You may also consider learning how to program a computer. Programming is a very logical activity since you tend to use your brain more often while you program. This will improve your logic and analysis.
  • Learn a new language. Once you've mastered that, learn another. Learn about the other cultures as well, it will expose your mind to different forms of logic and different ways of seeing things.
  • Sleep. In order to store information into the long-term memory, you need to get enough sleep to transfer the short-term into the long-term. Studies show that on average, a teenager gets a bump up a grade on a test (A- -A, C+-C, etc) if he or she studies over a few weeks, and for every fifteen minutes in excess of 8 hours of sleep they get, their grade gets the bump up. Remember, this in on average. The bump up will increase or remain the same depending on the student. Just remember, it is a proven fact that sleeping longer stores more information into the long-term memory.
  • Turn off the TV and put your mind to work! This also means mindless reading as stimulation is the key. Take a topic and learn it thoroughly in order to understand it.
  • Use a Rubik's Cube, 15-puzzle, or other toy to pass the time instead of watching TV.
  • Do cardiovascular exercise and cut down on fatty foods to circulate the blood flow to your brain.
  • Play a video game such as Call of Duty for an hour; it challenges you.
  • Eat brain food. Fish is one such brain food. However, avoid fish such as Tuna, as it often contains a high amount of mercury. Also try an Omega 3 or fish oil supplement. These also have great effects on your health.
  • Exercise. This increases blood flow to the brain-resulting also in increased thought/memory.


  • Don't ever think that there isn't a way to remember something. We have a lot to work with. Not only that, but there are several types of memory aid techniques and strategies, such as mnemonics.

Article Info

Categories: Thinking Skills