T Nation

My Response: SAT Score

Congrats to kombat on his SAT score and all, but his thread spurred me to write my own.

My sophomore year in highschool we took MENSA tests in my psych class. I scored above the requirements for MENSA membership.

great! right?

not so much. I have a difficult time with math at or above 11th grade algebra. I also have hit a point in my econ studies where I’m having a hard time grasping the concept of nominal vs. real value (I maybe just haven’t found a good enough explanation. Or this is me rationlizing my idiocy).

I feel like I’m missing pieces of the puzzle on various subjects because of my own incompetance to grasp concepts like that as easily as other concepts. I would appreciate some responses from older members of the comunity about if their ability to understand concepts grew as they aged.

I wonder now, if I’m doomed to be a MENSA qualified dipshit for the rest of my live.

Nephorm, if you’re out there; you’re one of the people I would really appreciate imput from.

I appreciate it.

the more you do something, the easier it is to get.

just keep working at it dude.

the last math class i completed outside of college was in 5th grade, i got an F in everything else after that.

i started college taking basic math, i didnt even know how to do fractions, i failed it my first time actually, took it again, took algebra, withdrew took it again and now im studying to retake the final but i get the concepts A LOT better now.

i obviously still need to practice but ive noticed that ive made a ton of progress and i get a lot more of the concepts today than i did 2 semesters ago and even when i took my final the first time.

everyone has the things theyre really good at and the thigns they need to work at. i never had to try in any subject except for math/science but i didnt even want to try because i did poorly in those things and usually when youre bad at something you dont want to do it when it really just means you have to try harder.

dont even sweat it dude, just keep practicing, get a tutor or stay afterschool. at my college we have free on-campus tutoring and im there almost every day and i swear to god it makes a HUGE difference,

Its also a lot better having someone your age explain it to you because professors go through a minumum of 10 years of college in addition to seminars and workshops etc, so they tend to explain things really complex because their knowledge of the subject is so vast, or they teach you a way thats very complex because it helps when you do physics but you dont give a shit about physics because youre doing algebra…its the difference between being taught bodybuilding by a scientist versus a bodybuilder, one just knows a little too much for your own good.

…kinda like how everyone on this site goes through that phase of reading way too many articles and not making gains until they really dumb it down so to speak.

Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book Outliers, a psychologist who follows the best and brightest American kids from grade school too adulthood. All of the children he chooses (at a young age) are brilliant and have sky-high IQs (IQ tests are used for Mensa correct?).

The Psychologist expected these would be the kids that would transform america - go on to become judges, industrialists, politicians etc. Instead, what he got were a bunch of average to above-average achievers.

The point of the above is to say that IQ scores and various intelligence tests of similar nature don’t really measure much of anything. They don’t test your ability to create and think, only pick the best of available options. They don’t test your ability to analyze and conceive, only find patterns.

To answer your question more pointedly - no, I don’t think you’re doomed to be a Mensa qualified dipshit. But the fact that you have a high IQ won’t by definition mean that you can understand complex concepts in a snap.

Here’s my try at real vs. nominal values.

The best way to look at it is in terms of wages.

Lets say milk costs $1 and eggs cost $2
The wage rate both nominal and real is $5
In these circumstances you can buy 2 cartons of eggs and 1 of milk

Suppose inflation happens, suddenly, eggs cost $3 and milk $2, however you still earn $5. In this scenario, your NOMINAL wage is identical, you still earn $5, but because these $5 are now worth RELATIVELY less, your REAL wage rate has fallen - you can buy less per hour than you used to be able to.

[quote]shookers wrote:
Here’s my try at real vs. nominal values.

The best way to look at it is in terms of wages.

Lets say milk costs $1 and eggs cost $2
The wage rate both nominal and real is $5
In these circumstances you can buy 2 cartons of eggs and 1 of milk

Suppose inflation happens, suddenly, eggs cost $3 and milk $2, however you still earn $5. In this scenario, your NOMINAL wage is identical, you still earn $5, but because these $5 are now worth RELATIVELY less, your REAL wage rate has fallen - you can buy less per hour than you used to be able to.

[/quote]

well no shit. It seems people like to write about stuff like this far more complex then it needs to be.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
the more you do something, the easier it is to get.

just keep working at it dude.

the last math class i completed outside of college was in 5th grade, i got an F in everything else after that.

i started college taking basic math, i didnt even know how to do fractions, i failed it my first time actually, took it again, took algebra, withdrew took it again and now im studying to retake the final but i get the concepts A LOT better now.

i obviously still need to practice but ive noticed that ive made a ton of progress and i get a lot more of the concepts today than i did 2 semesters ago and even when i took my final the first time.

everyone has the things theyre really good at and the thigns they need to work at. i never had to try in any subject except for math/science but i didnt even want to try because i did poorly in those things and usually when youre bad at something you dont want to do it when it really just means you have to try harder.

dont even sweat it dude, just keep practicing, get a tutor or stay afterschool. at my college we have free on-campus tutoring and im there almost every day and i swear to god it makes a HUGE difference,

Its also a lot better having someone your age explain it to you because professors go through a minumum of 10 years of college in addition to seminars and workshops etc, so they tend to explain things really complex because their knowledge of the subject is so vast, or they teach you a way thats very complex because it helps when you do physics but you dont give a shit about physics because youre doing algebra…its the difference between being taught bodybuilding by a scientist versus a bodybuilder, one just knows a little too much for your own good.

…kinda like how everyone on this site goes through that phase of reading way too many articles and not making gains until they really dumb it down so to speak. [/quote]

thanks for the reply.

IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.[/quote]

Good day to you sir.

I met MENSA standards as well. It’s not that bad. My advice to you - have at least one close friend that you talk to on a weekly basis that is of similar intellectual capacity. Makes things a whole lot easier.

Also, play to your strengths. So what if math is not your thing. Certainly, with MENSA level intellect, there are things that ARE your thing, if you get my meaning.

Also, Shookers nailed it for you already it seems, but an easy way to think of real value is purchasing power for nominal values in a given period.

So, as he showed you, the purchasing power of your nominal value ($5) varied in different periods.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.[/quote]

lol. what are you going to ask them? “what is your highest level of education, what do you do in your spare time, how many hours of studying do you do each week, what is your GPA?”

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Nephorm, if you’re out there; you’re one of the people I would really appreciate imput from.
[/quote]

First: everyone has areas they need or want improvement in.

There are many reasons you might have difficulty with certain subjects, particularly mathematics. One reason is that you might lack rigorous training in the concepts that precede what you are attempting to study.

Intelligent people often (sometimes implicitly or unconsciously) believe that they do not have to do the “grunt work” of learning; years of doing well without effort have a way of making one lazy when confronted with challenges. It is also easy to underestimate the impact of missing bits and pieces, here and there. For example, maintaining a B- average in math for 12 years (an 80% average, let’s say) means that you are missing “20%” of the material. Obviously there are all sorts of reasons for that B average, but you get my point… missing out on basic concepts can cumulatively harm you, especially as you attempt to learn more difficult concepts that draw on larger portions of what you are supposed to know.

Another reason might be that you aren’t being given what you need in terms of explanations.

Many textbooks are not designed to stand alone; if your teacher’s explanations and elaborations are not helpful, or if you are used to tuning out teachers as a matter of habit (see my “grunt work” comment above), it might be difficult to pick up the slack of the text.

You have options. You can play to your strengths and slack through your weaknesses, or you can bust your ass and do what it takes to increase your competence. No matter what, there probably will not be a quick fix that solves everything.

Wikipedia and other online references are your friends. So are office hours for TAs and professors. The trick is to have real questions to ask before going in. Don’t ask questions you can answer with a quick search on google.

Ask questions based on how the concepts interrelate. Many campuses have tutoring services… there’s no shame in utilizing them, as long as you don’t treat them as a crutch.

Learn to ask the questions “why?” and “what does that mean?”

I do not know whether you will be one of those infamous high-IQ types who “don’t do much” with their lives. Only you can answer that question, and only then by honestly assessing (if you can) what it means to “do much” with your life.

Many smart people will opt for a reasonably enjoyable job that provides enough money to afford to do the things they enjoy and support a family. Different goals require differing levels of dedication to different areas of one’s life and education. You have to decide how hard you are willing to work.

I’m confident you can do, and learn, what you set your mind to doing and learning.

Good luck.

Standardized tests mainly just tell you how good your test taking skills are.

As for you not getting a few concepts, just keep working at it like Live said. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember what is most important. Lifting heavy weights!!! I guess school would come pretty close though :wink:

I’m qualified for MENSA and suck at complex math also, so don’t feel alone. IQ tests are really more about potential capacity than current knowledge.

Personally, I need some rationalization of why I’m doing math to grasp it: ie I suck ass at calculus, but I’m pretty good at physics problems because they seem more real to me…If that makes any sense.

Besides…if you really suck/hate math, just choose a college major not requiring much.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.[/quote]

It would take more than 5 minutes, come on now

Not to hijack, but WHERE THE HELL IS NEPHORM? I havent seen him in a long ass time.

Those tests are simply that, tests. They can’t accurately predict everything you will be good or bad at.

I got a 780 out of 800 on my math SAT without ever really putting any effort into any math class up until that point. 5 years later, I’m struggling to pass some of my engineering math classes. If the SAT were that accurate of a predictor, I should have no problem with any kind of undergraduate math.

Just work hard at the things you suck at, and make sure you understand the things you don’t.

[quote]elano wrote:
Standardized tests mainly just tell you how good your test taking skills are.
[/quote]

Not to offend, but most people I hear making that argument are studious dullards.

Conversely, people like me who say that grades don’t measure how smart you really are, are usually smart but profoundly lazy.

-Conor

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
Vicomte wrote:
IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.

lol. what are you going to ask them? “what is your highest level of education, what do you do in your spare time, how many hours of studying do you do each week, what is your GPA?”

[/quote]

Nothing of the sort. I might not ask them anything at all. We could be talking about training or Froot Loops. The subject is immaterial.

For instance, I could tell you that you’re a moron. I don’t even need five minutes for that. Intelligence has a way of presenting itself. It’s not diction, or education or anything as prosaic as that. Like most indefinable qualities, you know it when you see it.

[quote]Pluto wrote:
Vicomte wrote:
IQ means nothing. Give me five minutes of conversation with anyone and I’ll tell you how smart they are.

It would take more than 5 minutes, come on now[/quote]

It would take less, actually. Five is just an official-sounding number. I bet I could do it in three and a half.