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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obama's IQ is still ~116

It will be interesting to see the disbelievers in pattern recognition attempt to explain this one away. You may recall that back in 2008, I noted that Obama's IQ had an absolute sub-Mensa ceiling of 129 and that there was good reason to believe it is around 116. So, it was informative to read this article discussing the relatively low quality of the 1981 class of students transferring to Columbia, which included one Barack Obama:
Breitbart News has learned that the transfer class that entered Columbia College in the fall of 1981 with Obama was one of the worst in recent memory, according to Columbia officials at the time. A Nov. 18, 1981 article in the Columbia Spectator, “Tight Housing Discourages Transfer Applications to CC,” written by student Jeremy Feldman and quoting admissions officials, reported: “On paper at least, the quality of the students accepted [as transfers] has declined along with the number of applicants, the officials say.”

Among accepted transfer students, the average combined math and verbal score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test is a 1,100 and their grade-point average at their former schools is about 3.0, Boatti said.
There were 67 transfer students with an average SAT score of 1,100. Guess what that equals on the SAT to IQ conversion chart? It's between 115.51 and 116.55, depending upon whether one uses an SD of 15 or 16. Now, this isn't absolute and conclusive proof that Obama's IQ is 116, as it could well be a little bit higher or a little bit lower. But not much higher, because if he scored even 100 points more on the SAT, he wouldn't have had to go to Occidental in the first place. In fact, based on this new evidence of his transfer class scores, it's probable that my previous estimate of 116 is slightly overestimating Obama's IQ.

This is because the range from which that average SAT score was calculated was the 67 selected from the 450 who applied. That average was also 100 SAT points lower than the average Columbia freshman score of 1200. So, I would assume that the absolute low end SAT that Columbia accepted for transfers was probably half that gap, or 1050, which equates to a 111 IQ. So, we can reasonably conclude that Obama's IQ is probably somewhere between 110 and 118, which is not very far from my original estimate of 116.

Nor am I the only one to have concluded that Obama possesses moderate intelligence rather than the exceptional intelligence in which the more credulous still believe despite the accumulating evidence of his presidential term. At the end of his 2011 post on the subject of Obama's intelligence, which focuses on the Harvard Law Review and Harvard's graduating honors, Ace of Spades said this:
Hah! This guy guesstimates that based on tangible proxy evidence, which is right in the middle of where I figured it would be. Now, this guy is not just completely making things up. He knows, because there are records of it, that Obama was not a National Merit Scholar, or National Merit Finalist, or the lowest subcategory, "Outstanding Participant." (This seems to be an honor conferred by the College Board (the SAT people) primarily if not exclusively based on SAT scores.)

Since Obama did not make the list for any of those automatically-conferred SAT-based recognitions, we know his SATs must be below those thresholds, setting a hard upper cap on his possible SAT scores. We can then figure his highest, likeliest IQ score, because the SAT is just a modified version of the old Army IQ test. Current IQ tests and the SATs are both derived straight from the old Army IQ test, testing pretty much the same things and in pretty much the same ways. Different scoring system, but same ultimate term of comparison -- how you rank compared to the general population, expressed as percentile.

Not dumb, but I never thought he was dumb -- just not a genius. 116's a perfectly respectable score, but no one goes bragging on it and claims to be a genius at 116. No on ever says, "I'm a mere 30 points away from qualifying for Mensa," for example.

Good catch on that National Merit thing.
Well, its absence on Obama's record appears fairly glaring when you're a National Merit whatever yourself. Hilary Clinton, for example, was National Merit. I don't remember if I was a finalist or a semi-finalist, though. I know they gave a girl named Beth and me some sort of certificates at a school assembly, but I can't recall which one it was. I would assume semi-finalist, though, since in addition to having the SAT scores confirm the PSAT, being a finalist requires "having an outstanding academic record, and being endorsed and recommended by a high school official" My academic record would be better described as "unique" than "outstanding", since I was the first National Merit student to graduate without honors in the school's history. I am, of course, perversely proud of that.

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82 Comments:

Anonymous redeye May 23, 2012 4:14 AM  

Very interesting, Vox.

And when the heck do you sleep?

Blogger Huggums May 23, 2012 4:19 AM  

When is the cutoff date for SAT/IQ correlation? I believe it's not accurate after some point, but I don't know when.

Anonymous Roundtine May 23, 2012 4:25 AM  

That would probably make President Obama the dumbest guy in the room except at full cabinet meetings.

Blogger Vox May 23, 2012 4:50 AM  

When is the cutoff date for SAT/IQ correlation? I believe it's not accurate after some point, but I don't know when.

31 Jan 1994. It became an achievement test rather than an aptitude test. Mensa also won't accept PSAT after 1993 or ACT after Sep 1989.

Superintelligences don't need sleep.

Anonymous JACIII May 23, 2012 5:00 AM  

Ahem!

Don't be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by ilk who where National Merit semi or finalists who graduated with no honours.

Self selecting population and all that....

Anonymous 691 May 23, 2012 5:14 AM  

I was a finalist (post 1993) because at some point I got my act together and started getting As. My hollow reward was getting to attend an Ivy League school.

Also, the cutoff varies by state. The cutoff in my state is usually one of the three highest.

Anonymous rycamor May 23, 2012 5:18 AM  

I live in a time zone for which this posting is even odder than Vox's but singing brains lead to erratic sleep schedules.

I was a National Merit semifinalist whose grades reflected a complete inability to care. As one adult remarked after looking through my grades "I never saw such a hodgepodge between Ds, As, Bs and the occasional F." The guidance counselor at my school was practically beside himself when he sat me down to discuss my SAT scores. "Don't you understand what this could mean?"

I really didn't. All I wanted was for my brain to stop throwing a chaotic mental barrage at me all day long, making it impossible to live in the moment, or even have a conversation without thoughts distracting me into a blank-faced stare mid-sentence. It wasn't until my early 20s that I got some semblance of control over that.

Anonymous rycamor May 23, 2012 5:32 AM  

Yeah, JACIII...

Misfits of the world, unite!

Anonymous Rantor May 23, 2012 5:56 AM  

I remember being called in to the Principals office with two of my friends, we were the top scorers on the PSAT NMSQT that year (class of 800) but had just missed qualifying for National Merit Finalist level. (I don't know what level we were, I really didn't care) The principal actually began berating our lack of success trying to shame us for the school's first year without a Finalist. I let him know that his failure to allow me to participate in test prep activities because of my comparatively low GPA contributed more to my "low" score than anything else, and left. The other two stayed in there and took it.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat May 23, 2012 6:54 AM  

I was going to comment that it was possible that Mr. Obama didn't take the PSAT because it wasn't offered or emphasized in Indonesia, but Wikipedia says he was at the Hawaiian prep school for high school. National Merit is also only open to US citizens and people on the path to citizenship. Perhaps he/his mother was still claiming Indonesian citizenship and he couldn't sign up. (I doubt this one.)

The only other way he didn't take the PSAT there is if they knew he shouldn't even bother. Prep school like that sell the number of National Merit Scholars they've produced. (Heck, his school sells the number of Presidential Scholars they've produced.) They'd promote the heck out of their bright minority wonder if they could.

National Merit Semifinalist and below are automatic. You could screw up Finalist by not participating, although I didn't realize that it's nearly automatic too. The pool of Scholarships is around 4500, so you can miss the scholarship pretty easily; I had a couple of friends who missed it because they had free rides from other money pools so their school wouldn't give them their National Merit Scholarship.

I got the Scholarship, but that's primarily because I knew I needed out of my small town, and As were easy to come by. Couldn't keep the scholarship; not attending one class and having poor study skills does that to you. I am telling the Precious Darlings: get the money, and then KEEP the money. It makes college so much easier...

Anonymous FrankNorman May 23, 2012 7:14 AM  

Just a nitpick - but this doesn't prove his IQ is below-Mensa, only that he's never demonstrated it to be higher.
It could be that he never qualified for those levels because he couldn't, but it could also be that he was simply not motivated.

Anonymous The Great Martini May 23, 2012 7:16 AM  

He did win the Presidency of the United States, which is, you know, something.

Blogger Spacebunny May 23, 2012 7:25 AM  

It could be that he never qualified for those levels because he couldn't, but it could also be that he was simply not motivated.

Extraordinarily unlikely. He took the SAT's which means he was motivated to go to college, went on to an Ivy League law school. The fact that he took the SAT's means he was motivated - and when he took them correlates to an IQ test score.

Anonymous aero May 23, 2012 7:38 AM  

All these test have a 25% error. The error benefits those at the lower end of intelligence. This is called the lucky guess factor. Knock 25% off that 116 IQ

Blogger Vox May 23, 2012 7:40 AM  

I was going to comment that it was possible that Mr. Obama didn't take the PSAT because it wasn't offered or emphasized in Indonesia, but Wikipedia says he was at the Hawaiian prep school for high school. National Merit is also only open to US citizens and people on the path to citizenship. Perhaps he/his mother was still claiming Indonesian citizenship and he couldn't sign up.

My mother graduated from that very school. There is almost zero chance he did not take the PSAT and SAT there.

Anonymous aero May 23, 2012 7:55 AM  

The reason obama uses the teleprompter is he has very poor memory recall. When he is without this aid he confuses his talking points.

Anonymous Mike M. May 23, 2012 8:04 AM  

None of it matters. Performance is the ultimate test - and Obama has failed it miserably.

And yes, I was a National Merit Finalist. Senior year SAT score was 1420...at the age of 16.

Blogger Professor Hale May 23, 2012 8:11 AM  

But if he did that well on that racist SAT test, just imagine how well he would have done on an unbiased test. True genius.

Anonymous Salt May 23, 2012 8:14 AM  

He did win the Presidency of the United States, which is, you know, something.

Voted in by idiots. That truly says a lot.

Anonymous mmaier2112@work May 23, 2012 8:19 AM  

An arrogant bastard (probably literally if not legally) that told folks he was going to be President as a kid (because he knew the CIA fix was already in) didn't care enough to try on the SATs so folks could underestimate his intelligence later in life?

The downright pathetic excuses astound.

Anonymous paradox May 23, 2012 8:20 AM  

Obama may throw all kinds of parties but I really wonder if he would hit the autism spectrum on a social intelligence test.

Anonymous RedJack May 23, 2012 8:22 AM  

I was one of the National Merit Scholars from Nebraska when I graduated. Don't remember my SAT scores. Do remember that I took the PSAT while playing cards.

It was an excuse to get out of class.

Interesting chart on the IQ correlation from SAT scores.

Anonymous Faust May 23, 2012 8:33 AM  

"Ahem!

Don't be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by ilk who where National Merit semi or finalists who graduated with no honours.

Self selecting population and all that...."

Ayup. I was a national merit semifinalist who graduated with no honors. I doubt I'm alone in the crowd here.

Anonymous rycamor May 23, 2012 8:35 AM  

I believe we have established a pattern.

Anonymous JC May 23, 2012 8:52 AM  

I wouldn't know how the tests work compared to Australia. My GPA during my six month exchange in the US was above 3.0 but I don't think that was very good. I'd be surprised if my IQ was any more than 110.

I did quickly check out a few President's estimates. If Vox's is number is accurate then Bush has a higher IQ. This makes it even funnier considering what a genius we're told Obama is.

Anonymous TLM May 23, 2012 9:02 AM  

Great Martini

A pile of duck s#it could have won the 2008 election if it was on the ballot. Beating mccain, the biggest asshole in the Senate, is like bragging to someone you got to 3rd base with the class slut. No challenge there.

Anonymous Stilicho May 23, 2012 9:04 AM  

My academic record would be better described as "unique" than "outstanding", since I was the first National Merit student to graduate without honors in the school's history. I am, of course, perversely proud of that.

Welcome to the club. Of course, correcting teachers' mistakes and refusing to do useless make-work assignments is its own reward in some ways.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus May 23, 2012 9:09 AM  

National Merit Scholar, or National Merit Finalist, or the lowest subcategory, "Outstanding Participant."

The National Merit scholarship corporation selects and sorts finalists based on their test scores. Not sure about now, but IIRC when I was a Finalist (1987), there wasn't any higher score cut-off between Finalists and Scholars, but there was a competition for a limited pool of special interest/demographic driven scholarships.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 23, 2012 9:10 AM  

I'm one of the oldest Mensans around, but I wonder how I would do if I was tested now.

Probably I would not do as well on questions requiring math. But I'd do better if experience was a factor. For instance, ay the time I was tested I was a liberal.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey May 23, 2012 9:14 AM  

Had the highest SAT and ACT score in my class, but didn’t even graduate in the top 10%. After graduation, my uncle asked why I didn’t have a gold National Honor Society collar even though I made the honor roll every semester, my dad shook his head and told him, “he never did his math homework but got A’s on all the tests, and he started three fires in the chemistry lab.” I was too busy chasing girls to bother with homework.

Anonymous Josh May 23, 2012 9:29 AM  

I was a national semifinalist who graduated salutatorian. Amongst this crowd, looks like I'm the weird one.

In my defense, I went to a christian classical school...

Anonymous RINO May 23, 2012 9:39 AM  

So we can assume he did very mediocre on his SAT's, has a very mediocre IQ, yet he led the Harvard Law Review and was elected president.

But straight white men have it easiest, or something.

Anonymous No_Limit_ Bubba May 23, 2012 9:49 AM  

1983 Semifinalist. 1340 SAT. "Unique" grades, also. My class valedictorian only had one 'B'. Same as me. : )

Anonymous Koanic May 23, 2012 9:58 AM  

Oh sweet, I qualify for the Triple 9 Society based on my GMAT.

So THAT'S why I'm such a contemptuous asshole.

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 10:05 AM  

1976 Semifinalist. I never too the SAT, so I never qualified as a finalist (WVU required the ACT, so I took that instead). I did graduate valedictorian of my rather small rural high school though.

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 10:06 AM  

> Oh sweet, I qualify for the Triple 9 Society based on my GMAT.

My wife probably qualifies for the Triple Nine Society. I'm probably a bit low for them. :)

Blogger Astrosmith May 23, 2012 10:10 AM  

You know what's interesting about that IQ to SAT and GRE correlation website? By my SAT score and GRE score, my IQ is 145, and every time I take any sort of IQ test, I consistently score a 145. So, I suppose that's my actual IQ. Well, whoopee doo, I sure wish that translated to more money in my bank account.

And for the record, I was a National Merit Scholar, and because I am a white male, that award got me the lowest stipend of all of them. The girls and hispanics and blacks that were NMS finalists were all awarded more money. And I know that the hispanic and black guys from my high school (one of each) both blew it in college and dropped out. Maybe the lower criteria they had to meet to be an NMS finalist had something to do with that.

Anonymous Koanic May 23, 2012 10:16 AM  

"My wife probably qualifies for the Triple Nine Society. "

Your wife is a freak; have lots of babies. If she were male it'd be higher.

Geez, 1 in 1k, that is some lonely territory.

Anonymous Koanic May 23, 2012 10:25 AM  

"But straight white men have it easiest, or something."

Devs need to nerf our racial passives.

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 11:34 AM  

> Your wife is a freak; have lots of babies.

We've tried. It hasn't worked. :( And since she's 49 now, it's unlikely that it will.

The worst thing is, when I look at the way our country is going, there are times I'm glad that's the case.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 11:51 AM  

Add another misfit to the list. Nation Merit Semi-finalist, good grades, graduated without honors (and almost didn't graduate at all -- dropping out for two months of your senior year is generally not appreciated by the administration).

Anonymous aero May 23, 2012 12:08 PM  

Observation comparison of obama IQ and his performance

all these IQ test are multi choice question that have too be completed in a period of time. The more you can answer correctly in that time the higher your score

So why did it take this genius so long to deal with getting more troops to Afghanistan?
Why did it take him so long to deal with the gulf oil?
Why did the economy become a bigger problem then he thought?
Why does he repeat the same economic mistakes?

For all those that brag about your high score and awards. In the real world they are but rags on a wall

To me obama is a good looking and nice sounding big ear monkey face that his handlers have to train. For a monkey he does have an average IQ

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 12:37 PM  

> For all those that brag about your high score and awards.

Who's bragging?

> In the real world they are but rags on a wall

In the real world we're but animated dust with but a few years of time. Your point is?

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 12:48 PM  

aero: "For all those that brag about your high score and awards. In the real world they are but rags on a wall."

Well, the scholarship money did make it easier to pay for college, too. So there is that.

Blogger JohnG May 23, 2012 12:51 PM  

I don't believe he's got a 116, and Affirmative Action doesn't require it.

Off teleprompter he's a bumbler and mumbler (Mark Levin periodically does a bumble clip on him). He adhere's to DNC and general commie talking points as bad as Debbie Wasserman Shultz. He can't write, the few samples that we know he's written were awful. It's not particularly difficult to spout mindless platitudes and make promises to the free sh*t army.

The sharp guy(s) is whoever is doing the scripts for the teleprompter. And his handlers have to be given quite a bit of credit too.

Anonymous Anonymous May 23, 2012 12:55 PM  

That IQ estimator seems off to me. I got a 1310 in 1999 and I very much doubt I've got an IQ as high as a 135 and rank in the 99th percentile.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 1:04 PM  

Anonymous: "and I very much doubt I've got an IQ as high as a 135 "

Perhaps not now...but what about in 1999?

Anonymous Stilicho May 23, 2012 1:04 PM  

That IQ estimator seems off to me. I got a 1310 in 1999 and I very much doubt I've got an IQ as high as a 135 and rank in the 99th percentile.

You are probably correct:

When is the cutoff date for SAT/IQ correlation? I believe it's not accurate after some point, but I don't know when.

31 Jan 1994. It became an achievement test rather than an aptitude test. Mensa also won't accept PSAT after 1993 or ACT after Sep 1989.

Anonymous canty May 23, 2012 1:16 PM  

In the MPAI file, Mensa will accept members with LSAT scores at or above the 95th percentile in lieu of an IQ test. Most people with LSATs in that range (about 167+, based on administration) go on to law school, which is clearly a foolish decision. Therefore, we know that even many Mensa-qualified people are making foolish decisions.

Of course, if we assume for the sake of argument that the President's IQ is 116, that suggests that he may not have reached the Mensa threshold for the LSAT, which, today, is about 7 (out of 61) points below the median score for admitted students.

~canty

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 23, 2012 2:04 PM  

Superintelligences don't need sleep.

That's another trait I'm curious about. Would you mind taking an informal poll of Vox Popoli's commentariat so we can compare intellectual aptitude, achievement, and sleep habits?

For example, I need at least 8 hours of sleep per night (preferably 9), I scored a 28 on the ACT (possibly a lowball: my psychiatrist estimated my IQ to be in the 99th percentile), and I have no intellectual achievements that I can remember, nor any postsecondary degrees.

Ron Guhname has a related post on energy level per ethnicity.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 23, 2012 2:05 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 23, 2012 2:08 PM  

Oops, I forgot that I have a two-year degree in technical writing. Shows how much good it's done me.

Anonymous JCclimber May 23, 2012 2:18 PM  

Seems like a trend here. Qualified high on the PSAT (got some kind of certificate or something in front of the school), top 0.5% blah blah blah. Our school didn't do the SAT, only took the ACT. The funny thing is, and this was probably the case for almost everyone here, we did absolutely zero test prep. Zilch.

No one at our school did anything to prepare for any of these exams, I didn't even know that you COULD until I went to state university and found out how much other schools were trying to push their high achievers into boosting the school scores. In fact, no one in our school administration told us that this test was even important. Since this was a boarding school, if they didn't tell us, it is unlikely no one told us, as communication with home was usually by handwritten letter.

While I graduated with high honors, I still didn't make the cutoff for top 10 in my class, because there wasn't a single quarter my entire high school career where I managed straight A's. Similar to other commenters, blowing off homework and skipping classes where attendance has a part in your grade, will mean that getting 100% on your tests still won't get you an A.

Blogger WarKicker May 23, 2012 2:34 PM  

"And for the record, I was a National Merit Scholar, and because I am a white male, that award got me the lowest stipend of all of them."

Astrosmith, don't feel bad, I aced the PSAT and almost the SAT and didn't get squat but some certificate at an awards ceremony.

"Would you mind taking an informal poll of Vox Popoli's commentariat so we can compare intellectual aptitude, achievement, and sleep habits?"

Aeoli, the vast majority of the population require at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Interestingly, there's a correlation between sleeping over 8.5 hours and not living as long. A rather rare subset of people need less than 5-6 hours, thanks to an unusual gene. I like 4-4.5 hours, any more I actually feel worse. This helped a lot in college, medical school but especially residency. I don't know if the requirements for less sleep has any correlation with increased intelligence

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 3:21 PM  

@ Anonymous: As Stilicho noted, that original correlation chart wasn't valid after 1994. But there's another chart on the same site that attempts to adjust the correlation chart to account for this. Can't vouch for the accuracy or methodology employed, but here's what your score would translate to:

SAT I IQ IQ
V+M 15 SD 16 SD %ile
------------------------
1310 131.18 133.26 98.118

...and the disclaimer below it:

Note: Mensa considers that scores from after January 31, 1994, "No longer correlate with an IQ test."

I did these calculations using a method similar to that for my GRE to IQ Estimator. The lowest point of reference was the theoretical average IQ of high school students being 110 and the current average SAT I V+M (verbal + math) score being 1019. Everything below that is extrapolation. Also note that the decimal places give the impression that the numbers are more precise than they really are.

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 4:29 PM  

> For example, I need at least 8 hours of sleep per night (preferably 9),

In my younger days, the optimal for me was 9.5 hours. It seems to be down to about 8.5 now.

> I scored a 28 on the ACT (possibly a lowball: my psychiatrist estimated my IQ to be in the 99th percentile),

I think I scored a 32, but I can't say for certain at this point.
My PSAT was, again from memory, in the high 1300's.

Blogger JohnG May 23, 2012 4:31 PM  

@JCClimber - yah, my schools didn't do any prep on that either (early 80s). I never had any experience with IQ tests till I took a couple. I figure scores would improve quite a bit if there were prep. It's sorta like the Defense Language Aptitude Battery that wannabe linguists have to take. It's Esperanto and lightning quick memorization of grammar rules, here a sentence in gibberish and what does it mean? rince and repeat for a couple hours, and it builds in complexity. Everybody that takes it the first time is shocked and awed. Taking it again (minimum of 6 months later) improves the score pretty significantly.

Anonymous T14 May 23, 2012 4:37 PM  

If I recall the LSAT bar for Mensa is fairly low. Not to mention the social stigma of Mensa.

What I want is a president who was in his high schools 1000 club (squat+bench+clean = 1k or better). Maybe Ford?

Anonymous canty May 23, 2012 6:46 PM  

T14,

Guys in my high school made the 1000 club all the time. It was no big deal.

~canty

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 23, 2012 7:44 PM  

A rather rare subset of people need less than 5-6 hours, thanks to an unusual gene.

I'm wondering if that demographic overlaps with the rare subset of Vox Popoli commenters and the rare subset of Mensans. I suspect that IQ correlates negatively with sleep when the larger population is left out.

Maybe I should just browse the popsci section at B&N, since IQ fascinates most people above one sigma.

Anonymous Tim May 23, 2012 7:54 PM  

During the first half of my last year of high school, 2004, I failed a class. Before and after that I averaged about a B. So after I failed a class the first semester I went back to the usual B average. This meant that I raised my gpa from first to second semester and I revived an award. Had I not failed that class my gpa would've been unchanged an I would not have gotten the award.

An award for failing a class; I still think that's funny.

Anonymous nydwracu May 23, 2012 11:48 PM  

From what I've heard, it's very rare for people who make National Merit semifinalist not to get finalist, if they apply; Wikipedia says 94% of semifinalists get it, and I suspect that a large part of the remaining 6% just didn't apply. I dropped out of high school after two years with a B average and still made finalist. (I'm still not sure how that worked.)

Anonymous campbreeze May 24, 2012 1:08 AM  

32 ACT. Don't remember PSAT or SAT scores but I was a Nat'l Merit Semifinalist. There were 7 at my school and I was the only one who didn't make Finalist. Nowhere near graduating with honors.

My father was a very patient man and I paid him back by putting much more effort into my college studies.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 24, 2012 12:53 PM  

Hmm. From the look of it, more of the Ilk failed HS classes than not. I failed two, myself.

Fascinating, eh? I wonder what the base rate is for the population.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 24, 2012 4:53 PM  

I wouldn't put too much stock into it, AP. It's probably as much a case of sheer boredom and/or lack of instructor ability as it is any kind of lack of effort or ability on the part of the student.

I remember HS chemistry class, where the instructor was so boring, and would go off onto tangents of his personal life so often, that a fellow student and I would insert drawings of eyes-wide-open into safety goggles, then place them over our own eyes and fall asleep.

I drew a 'D' in that class....

Anonymous Anonymous May 25, 2012 10:53 AM  

To go off on a tangent:

I notice the mention of 2 conservative US blogs/fora here, Breitbart and Ace of Spades. Both have been targeted by lefties in the Occupy movement, because of Brett Kimberlin, the Speedway Bomber.

Vox, anyone, have you heard of the political terrorism of Brett Kimberlin? Some of his activities have become pretty serious. See agentintellect.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/terrorism-by-court.html for an overview. The link to www.patterico.com/ is significant.

Anonymous Sheila May 25, 2012 6:41 PM  

Now I know why I feel so comfortable lurking at threads here; I, too, was a National Merit Semifinalist (I don't remember if I even applied for finalist, but I never got any $) back in 1973 or 1974 (can't recall if I took it my sophomore or junior year) and my grades were nowhere near National Honor Society level.

Vox, is there a site that correlates current military ASVAB scores to IQ? My son took the SAT at age 10 in 7th grade, but that was after the '94 cut-off date. His IQ was privately tested (at age 6 and again at 12) so it's somewhere between 145-157, which corresponds to his ASVAB GT score.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 26, 2012 12:21 AM  

When you get old you get up early and then in the afternoon you make up for it by taking a nap. Naturally you can't take that nap if you're in the working world. Maybe when you work and are involved with children, you're more deprived of sleep than you know.

The middle of the night is especially adventurous to us seniors because we get up several times and maybe change locations.

I cured a back that used to act up. Forget a chiropractor or surgeon. I found the best place is to sleep is on the floor, with no more than 3 inches of padding underneath. A thick mattress doesn't allow you to immobilize parts that really need immobilizing.

Anonymous Anonymous May 29, 2012 5:48 PM  

As perhaps the only person frequenting this site with an IQ in the 80’s I have to say that I would be mortified to learn Obama was part of my ilk. I do not attribute any special intellect to the POTUS but having spent a large portion of my life with people of like intelligence there are signs I have come to expect which Obama does not display. Having read several of his works an IQ of 116 does not seem unreasonable and I hope more evidence comes to light which will support this estimate.

Blogger Miss Carnivorous May 31, 2012 12:37 AM  

I don't think Obama could have passed the bar exam with an IQ of only 116. I put him, from observation, at 120-125.

Blogger lolololol June 24, 2012 2:21 AM  

How can you base your estimation of his IQ solely on the average of the group? unless you have specifics about him, you can't know with certainty. 1100 average does not mean everyone got 1100, the distribution follows a bell curve. If you don't know what this means, go back to school before trying something as complex as an IQ estimation of somehow you don't know sh*t about

Anonymous Anonymous July 21, 2012 12:32 AM  

Immediately stopped reading when he correlated SAT score to IQ. This from an article attacking intelligence, just lol.

Anonymous Anonymous September 04, 2012 1:11 PM  

Why are their so may people posting here, including the author of this inadequately researched and poorly written article, who have received high IQ scores, astounding grades, and rewards for their academic aptitude and intellectual superiority but who also lack the intelligence and long term memory to remember their own test scores and grades?

Blogger Sean Wolf September 06, 2012 5:23 PM  

My demonstrated quotient was clocked in at only 139 on a good day and a meager 121 on a bad day. Mensa is a petty attempt to get you to pay for something rather meaningless. I didn't take the SAT's and skipped two years of college anyway without needing boastful recognition or grade school scores. Nearly all of my mates who graduated with honors ended up not doing much with their life with the exception of the top of the class who had the good fortune of pumping my gas a few years later. It's not how high your quotient can be demonstrated to be,... it's what you do with it in the real world.

Blogger Justthisguy September 10, 2012 8:03 PM  

Just found my old score report. 1489 in 1967. 1300 will get me into Mensa it seems. Looks like I could spot folks 20 points due to the beer, and still be Smarter Than The Average Jew.

I was a Finalist, one of two Gentiles among the dozen or so from my HIgh School. Had I opted for the Minimum Stipend, I coulda been a Scholah.

I got the usual Aspie grades. That is, As and Fs.

Blogger anomy September 21, 2012 2:15 PM  

I don't think that a highly intelligent person would ever become president. Intelligent people who cannot be manipulated easily are rarely elected as leaders. Most people do not want a leader that they cannot easily persuade.

Anonymous mark September 22, 2012 8:44 AM  

Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard. The average university student has an IQ of 115 - 125. Its safe to say that to get in to Harvard and graduate with highest honors he'd have to be smarter than the average college student - He'd be at least in the top 10%. His IQ is most likely somewhere between 125 - 165.

Nixon = 143 (Genius)
Ford = Unknown
Reagan = Unknown
Carter = 151 (Genius)
Bush Sr= unknown
Clinton = 135
Bush Jr = 126
Obama = unknown

Anyway IQ isnt everything as Nixon was a Genius and screwed up. JFK only had an IQ of 117 and he's considered one of the greatest presidents.

Blogger Gadfly1234567 October 01, 2012 2:56 AM  

You know nothing. Please at least take a graduate level class on cognitive assessment, psychological measurement, or theories of intelligence before you espouse bold and likely erroneous conclusions on a complicated subject.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
--Bertrand Russell

Blogger Miville October 23, 2012 2:02 PM  

High intelligence is a handicap for a centre-left POTUS, since such a job rather requires the ability of relinquishing one's own intellectual powers to higher powers of darkness, as happens in most performing arts and also in magic, voodoo and also yoga : turning off the mind is the most difficult mystical task in all religions, bad and good. Whatever Obama's intelligence scores, which I think were quite high as he was a Harvard Law student, he had to lower them deliberately by various training methods to become the kind of president he is. This IQ discussion is irrelevant. One may surmise if at an earlier stage of his life, when he had to appear intelligent and perform high IQ tasks, he used his own inborn capacities or already resorted to channelling high IQ entities. Blacks are known to be better at channelling and voodoo possession, and whenever they seriously and obey a genial and moral entity for several years, they end up acquiring its very kind of intelligence, however mediocre were their own mental capacities, and the reverse is also true for people who sell their soul for mere riches and power : maybe Obama actually became more intelligent to succeed in school and then deliberately dumbed himself down to to let his mind-programmers do their Manchurian candidate job. Blacks are also known to score lesser IQ in general, but what as a group they lose in one-track-mind abilities they gain in multi-tasking abilities, and a multi-tasking mind capable of handling many stressful thinking processes in the same time is the one most useful to a president rather than the former. The incapacity and unwillingness to write just a good paragraph is typical of entity-possessed persons who otherwise do have a very high IQ hardwire so to speak. You may object Obama is also a white man by his mother and thus possess all the white man's capabilities as well of the black's (I am caricaturing and dealing with Jungian archetypes, not actual racial capabilities) but his mother was Irish, another human group more gifted with inborn magic and channelling propensities than with native personal intellect (and also for that very reason subject to Anglo-Saxon and Jewish racism exactly in the same way as the Blacks, and having been the same kind of slave race in America).

Anonymous Anonymous December 16, 2012 2:13 AM  

Yes, President Obama, who graduated Harvard law, Magna Cum Laude, and Editor of the Harvard Law Review, is a real dumbass!

Anonymous Andre September 13, 2013 4:38 PM  

So what you're saying is when the President goes to congress to speak, he's the smartest man in the room?

I had to do that one.

Thanks for this, I really wish he would release his records so we wouldn't have to speculate.

Blogger Charles Flaum November 23, 2013 7:41 AM  

This is called the lucky guess factor. Lighting For Artwork

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