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Brainy, but not in a smart way

Janet Urquhart

It’s probably not readily apparent to most people, but I’m intellectually gifted.In fact, that conclusion came as a surprise to me, probably because it wasn’t written in code. My forte, after all, is “spotting patterns, both in pictures and in numbers.”As you can imagine, this skill comes in handy in real life if you’re, say, a character in “The Da Vinci Code” or if the secret to immortality is spelled out in your china pattern. Otherwise, the ability to distinguish a pattern in a series of geometric shapes or numbers strikes me as pretty useless, sort of like the results of an IQ test.I suppose I should be troubled by the fact that I show no remarkable aptitude for words, assuming I take to heart the results of an Internet IQ test I only took because it kept popping up on my computer screen until I succumbed. (That probably says something about my smarts right there.)Actually, I found various aspects of the TickleYour Brain Free Classic IQ Test troubling, and not just because I suspect that someone, somewhere, got the answer to Question No. 2 wrong, but is nonetheless permitted to drive a car.(Question No. 2: Which of these is least like the other four? Answers: horse, kangaroo, cow, deer or donkey). Hmmm.On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I blew the answer to Question No. 11: If some wicks are slicks, and some slicks are snicks, then some wicks are definitely snicks. This statement is: True, false or neither.OK, the answer can’t be neither. It’s either true or false. I answered “true,” but upon further reflection, I’m pretty sure my IQ slipped a notch with that one. Some wicks might be snicks, but they’re not definitely so. Right?By the way, if you have any brains, you’ll know better than to think aloud while you’re wasting valuable time at work on this test. Start muttering stuff like “Well, some wicks might be slicks, but those might not be the slicks that are snicks,” and people will know you’re goofing off (except for the people who can’t answer Question No. 2).The test was full of trick questions. Having a high IQ is apparently all about not falling for the seemingly obvious choice, as opposed to knowing something useful.Take Question No. 21: Ten people can paint 60 houses in 120 days, so five people can paint 30 houses in: 15 days, 30 days, 60 days or 120 days.I’m guessing people impulsively answer 60 days, but noooo. If 10 people can paint 60 houses in 120 days, then 10 people can paint 30 houses in half the time – 60 days. It would take five people 120 days. At least, that’s how I figured it.Forty questions later, I was told I’m gifted, have an IQ of 136 and that I’m the “visual mathematician” type.”These talents combined with your overall high intelligence make you good at understanding the big picture, which is why people trust your instincts and turn to you for direction, especially in the workplace,” according to the Tickle Your Brain folks. Uh huh.Of course, all I really wanted were the answers to the test, but my IQ Report would cost me $12.95.How stupid do they think I am?Oddly, Janet Urquhart is bad at math. Her e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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