What Is the IQ of the Average College Student

As you know, people’s IQ is different from each other, and different factors determine the IQ score of people. When academic pursuits are as diverse as college students, discovering their intellectual capabilities and IQ levels opens a tapestry of insights that would greatly help them.

Basically, people believe IQ is just a number and does not impact people’s social and academic lives much. But is it really so? Does IQ affect people’s education? If you want to know more about IQ and its impact on our life, this article is for you. In this article, we are talking about the IQ level of average college students.

In addition, we fully explain the concept of IQ, examine its different levels, and examine the factors that affect IQ. So, keep reading if you are interested! 

What Is IQ Definition?

What Is IQ Definition?

IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is an individual’s intellectual and cognitive abilities and represents a dynamic interaction of cognitive functions, including problem-solving, memory, logical reasoning, and adaptability. 

IQ is more than just a number and embodies a multifaceted aspect of human intelligence. It’s a measure that attempts to capture the small details of how humans process information, approach challenges, and learn from experiences.

Additionally, IQ is typically determined through standardized tests designed to evaluate various cognitive skills. Besides, these tests encompass multiple tasks, from solving puzzles to answering abstract questions. 

The scores generated by these assessments are then normalized to a standard distribution, with an average score set at 100. Note that while it offers valuable insights into cognitive abilities, it doesn’t assess the entirety of human intelligence. 

Finally, it is good to know that factors such as emotional intelligence, creativity, and practical problem-solving often exist outside the traditional era of IQ assessments. 

What Are Different Levels of IQ?

What Are Different Levels of IQ?

As mentioned, the IQ level is measured by standard tests, the average of which is 100, but we will examine other levels with different scores in this section.

Deep Intellectual Disability 

This category represents the lowest level of cognitive functioning, and individuals with profound intellectual disability typically have IQ scores below 20-25. 

Severe Intellectual Disability 

Individuals in this category have IQ scores ranging from approximately 20-25 to 35-40. They usually require substantial support and may have challenges with communication, social interaction, and independent living skills.

Moderate Intellectual Disability

IQ scores in the 35-40 to 50-55 range fall within this category, and these people often require support in various aspects of life, including education and daily living. 

Mild Intellectual Disability 

Individuals with mild intellectual disability have IQ scores ranging from 50-55 to 70, and achieve a higher level of independence.

Borderline Intellectual Functioning

This category includes IQ scores ranging from approximately 70 to 85. While individuals in this range might have some challenges with academic and cognitive tasks, they usually function independently in daily life and can benefit from additional support.

Average Intelligence

An IQ score of around 85 to 115 falls within the average range, and individuals with average intelligence have cognitive abilities that allow them to engage effectively in most academic and professional aspects.

Above Average Intelligence

IQ scores between 115 and 130 indicate above-average cognitive abilities, and people in this range often excel academically and may possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills. These are the people we know as smart ones in life.

Highly Intelligent (Gifted)

Individuals with IQ scores ranging from 130 to 145 or higher are often considered gifted, and demonstrate exceptional cognitive abilities, and may excel in creative, academic, or artistic pursuits.

Top 5 Factors Influence IQ Scores in College Students 

Top 5 Factors Influence IQ Scores in College Students 

Many factors influence IQ scores in college students, each contributing to the cognitive skills that shape their intellectual capabilities and extend beyond the classroom, including genetics, environment, personal experiences, and individual motivation. 

In the following section, we will examine the top 5 factors that impact the IQ scores of college students.

1- Genetics and Heredity 

Genetic predisposition significantly determines an individual’s cognitive abilities. Note that genetics alone do not dictate IQ, but they provide a foundation for cognitive potential.

Genetic markers are associated with cognitive development, memory, and problem-solving skills; therefore, they are considered an important determining factor in people’s intelligence level.

2- Educational Opportunities


Educational Opportunities

College students with access to high-quality education have better opportunities to enhance their cognitive skills. 

Because when people are surrounded by better and more educational facilities, they have a greater desire to learn and use their skills, which makes them better understand and strengthen their abilities.

Moreover, effective teaching methods, challenging coursework, and exposure to diverse subjects can increase IQ scores.

3- Stress and Environmental Factors 

As you know, chronic stress, exposure to toxins, and other environmental factors can affect cognitive development. 

Stress can also affect many mental and physical functions of people; for this reason, being in stressful environments can affect the IQ level and reduce the creativity and abilities of people. So, a safe and nurturing environment can provide healthy brain development and influence IQ. 

4- Motivation and Effort

Motivation and Effort

Individual motivation, effort, and attitude toward learning can significantly influence IQ scores. Students who are engaged, curious, and willing to challenge themselves tend to perform better on cognitive assessments. 

5- Cultural and Linguistic Background 

Cultural and linguistic factors can impact cognitive assessment. Language barriers or cultural differences in test-taking can affect IQ scores. Cultures with different value systems may emphasize certain cognitive skills over others. 

The IQ of The Average College Student

The IQ of The Average College Student

Average college students’ Intelligence Quotient (IQ) varies based on various factors. While college students often possess intellectual aptitude, their IQ scores can fall across a range reflecting cognitive abilities’ diversity.

On average, college students tend to have IQ scores within the normal range, which is from 85 to 115, and this range is characterized as “average intelligence” and includes many cognitive capabilities. 

Besides, it’s important to note that IQ scores do not only determine the potential for success in higher education, and college students bring a variety of strengths and abilities to their academic activities, and IQ is just one aspect of their cognitive tool.

Motivation, study habits, personal experiences, and access to educational resources contribute significantly to academic performance and determine the IQ level of average college students.

Moreover, the distribution of IQ scores among college students can vary based on factors like their chosen field, the institution they attend, etc. As a result, it’s common to find college students who fall above the above-average or brilliant range, as academic environments often attract individuals with diverse talents and capabilities. 

Lastly, note that the IQ of average college students reflects the complex and multifaceted nature of human intelligence. 

The Relation Between IQ Scores And Academic Performance

The Relation Between IQ Scores And Academic Performance

The connection between the IQ scores of average college students and their academic performance shows a complex impact on cognitive abilities and educational outcomes. 

Generally, it can be concluded that higher IQ scores correlate with better academic performance, reflecting stronger problem-solving skills, comprehension, and adaptability.

However, it is notable that academic success is also influenced by different factors like motivation, study habits, and the compatibility of a student’s cognitive strengths with their chosen field of study. 

Lastly, IQ scores offer valuable insights but are just one aspect of a multifaceted equation that shapes a college student’s journey through higher education.


While discussing the IQ of average college students in this guide, we’ve uncovered a fascinating link between cognitive abilities and academic performance among college students and noticed that higher IQ scores often lead to better grades and understanding of complex subjects. 

However, remember that success in college also depends on motivation, study habits, and chosen fields of study, and IQ scores do not guarantee an individual’s success.

We hope this article’s content was useful for you and gave you a deeper understanding of IQ and its impact on your personal, academic, and social life.

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