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How do you cope knowing you aren't good enough?

 
 
MasonN
 
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:18 pm
This is the first post I've made on this forum. I'm hoping to get some intelligent answers from intelligent people, so here goes.

Since I was seven I've believed I was far smarter than everyone around me and easily capable of achieving recognition through science. I am now fifteen and still fathom of a career in which I am surrounded by beakers, test tubes, and particle accelerators. However, after taking several IQ tests administered through my school and being deemed an IQ of 132, every dream I've had since age seven was crushed. An IQ which only places me in the top two percentile of all Americans cannot be enough to fulfill the intellectual requirements of a physicist or chemist, is it? Someone give me some hope.
 
Tristen Monroe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:29 pm
@MasonN,
Ok just saying..... you have an outstanding vocabulary.
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:40 pm
@MasonN,
do chemistry and we can meet most saturdays for recreational pharmacology

oh yeah and by 'fathom of' did you mean 'yearn for'
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:43 pm
@MasonN,
Oh, stop that.
Science has an element of exploration and what-if creativity. It's a way of thinking and controlling experiments. Being crushed by some 132 test number is like whining about having freckles.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:48 pm
@MasonN,
Kind of depends on whether you think that particular IQ test is valid. There are lots of them out there and some are better than others. Also, when you start combining language and computational skills to come up with some sort of "average", the gross score can be misleading. You should probably be investigating the particular test you took.

Now, if the results seem relevant, you might look into a different field. Surely, you could make it through a bachelor's program in the physical sciences, but I don't think you would be content with what you could get with that kind of degree.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:55 pm
@MasonN,
just remember, GW Bush went to Yale.

all things are possible.

some just cost more...
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 09:28 pm
@MasonN,
You shouldn't worry about your IQ so much. It's that whiny little bitch attitude that will be the end of your dreams.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 09:32 pm
IQ is not that important to success. Curiosity, hard work and desire are. There are certainly successful physicists and chemists who have IQs of 132.

I am a successful engineer and I don't know or care about my IQ. I just do what I love and work very hard at it. This is the best advice I can think to give.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 09:39 pm
I should say, if you really care about your IQ score, you can improve it with training. Simply practicing the types of tasks you saw when you took the test may help. There are also programs that have success in raising your IQ score.

That being said, I think it is a waste of time. Just work hard at what you enjoy, and stop worrying about insignificant things .

0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 12:02 am
@MasonN,
I'm just curious to know what you think the cut-off is- in other words, what would your IQ have to be for you to believe it would enable you to capably handle the coursework to become and employment requirements to remain a physicist or chemist?

It's about specific type of intelligence as well as quanitity. I couldn't be a physicist or chemist even though I've been awarded a goodly number of IQ points through testing. I don't have that sort of aptitude. Maybe you have fewer points but more aptitude in that direction. That can work too you know.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 12:36 am
Seriously?

This sounds just about as substantial as things like wondering if your ancestry stretches back far enough to the Mayflower. Jesus, dude - your altitude in life will be far more affected by your attitude and hard work than by any vague measurements of "intellect".
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  4  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 12:55 am
@MasonN,
MasonN wrote:

An IQ which only places me in the top two percentile of all Americans cannot be enough to fulfill the intellectual requirements of a physicist or chemist, is it? Someone give me some hope.


Nonsense. In the first place, while IQ is indeed a pretty good measure of intellectual potential, it doesn't measure all of one's capacity for thought, conceptiualization and calculation. In the second, there are lots of very successful chemists, physicists and engineers out there with IQs less than 132. Finally measured IQ does indeed change over time, depending on how one uses his mind. This is particularly true at the extreme ends of the scale in the top and bottom deciles.

Some folks are very quick learners and solvers of problems (and thus have strong measured IQs ) but lack the insightful conceptual ability and the ability to integrate ideas from several complementary areas over the long haul. Others are slower at the start but get better over time with continued study and learning. Very often these folks end the journey with better overall knowledge and understanding - a tortoise & hare thing. Said another way, some consistently do well in pop quizzes but flounder in comprehensive exams & vice versa.

Hope and persistence are things you will have to find within yourself. Get started.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 01:04 am
@MasonN,
Since you place such faith in the validity of the IQ tests you took, I won't question your intelligence. But I will question your judgment. How can you possibly make a life-altering decision based on the result of a test? Do you know whether you are good at chemistry and physics? If this is where your interests lie and where you've shown aptitude, than forget about the IQ test and pursue your dream.

I doubt that employers give a rat's ass about your IQ. I don't know whether colleges care either. On the job, companies are interested in your getting the work done. Not what your IQ is.

jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:45 am
@Roberta,
Bingo; colleges and employers don't give a rat's ass about your IQ or even if you'vre taken an IQ test -- a notoriously poor predictor of many (albeit not all) forms of intellectual, academic and career success.

Believing that you are incapable of success and personal fulfillment based upon such tests has naught to do with test scores and more to do with a glaring issue with lack of self-esteem.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 07:03 am
georgeob and roberta said it perfectly (oh, and jes of course).
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 07:24 am
@MasonN,
You forgot about the second moment of the distribution; you better look it up before you despair about the first. You must know what σ means, so read on:
Quote:
Top 2% (98th percentile; 1/50; IQ 130 sd15 / 132 sd16; +2σ)

Quote:
Top 1% (99th percentile; 1/100; IQ 135 sd15 / 137 sd16)

Quote:
Top 0.5% (99.5th percentile; 1/200; IQ 139 sd15 / 141 sd16)

Quote:
Top 0.00003% (99.99997th percentile; 1/3,500,000; IQ 175 sd15 / 180 sd16; +5σ)

Beyond that the distribution falls off so precipitously that crossover for US / Canada IQ distributions for numbers above 200 narrows it down to fewer than a dozen people or so - and that is too small a sample for drawing any sensible inferences. Again, you should know that - if physics / chemistry is your main interest you must have learned basics of statistical distributions. If you take the same test in a year or 2 you may come up with a higher number - but as matters now stand you may already be in the top 1 out of 200. Is that "good enough"? If not, think it through: if you're despairing at being - very possibly - in the top 2%, 1%, or 0.5%, what do you say the rest of the people should do, roll over and die? Would you really advise them to do that?

Think it through. You'll see what someone already posted: "Hope and persistence are things you will have to find within yourself. Get started."



0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 04:29 pm
I've been pondering this thread and decided to come back with a real life story to relay.

In order to get into special progress classes in junior high school, you had to have a minimum IQ of 130, an above-grade reading level, and a few other things I don't remember. (This was a long time ago.)

I got into these special classes and made friends. Some of us seemed sharper/smarter than others. But remember that the minimum IQ for this group was 130. One kid, a good kid, seemed kind of jerky. He did well enough. Not outstanding, but well enough.

We all went to the same high school. We all did well in with the crowd--special honors classes, etc. The kid did ok--until he took chemistry. He shone; he sparkled; he came alive. Not only did he do better than anyone in the school, but he did better than anyone in the city (NYC, a big population) and better than anyone in the state on a statewide chemistry exam. He did even better in physics. He got 100 percent on the statewide exam. Unprecedented. Unheard of. Amazing. He was still the same jerky kid he was in junior high, but he'd found his calling. His interest was sparked. He excelled in college and in business. He was a full professor at an Ivy League school for a while. Now he's retired.

This kid's IQ was probably around 130. But he found something he loved, something he was good at. He pursued it. I'm sure he never once thought about his IQ. Why would he? Why should you?

Believe in yourself and go with what you love. Stop worrying about a meaningless number.

(BTW, my IQ was higher than his. Chemistry nearly killed me. Not for me. Hated it. Wasn't good at it. A meaningless number.)
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 04:35 pm
I agree Roberta.
That number doesn't guarantee you'll perform at at specific level with anything.

If you love something, you're apt to do better.
Even if you don't you still love it.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 05:16 pm
Yeah, a high IQ isn't everything. Be glad yours isn't any higher lest you wind up like William James Sidis.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 05:29 pm
@Roberta,
Such a great and true post, Roberta.
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