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MAT score converted to IQ

We have, on a few occasions, talked about the MAT in relation to IQ (intelligence quotient). Pearson refers to the MAT as a high level mental ability exam. The MAT is accepted by high IQ societies. I have also said that it is an IQ test for all intents and purposes. Those taking the MAT may be doing so specifically because they want to know their IQ score. It’s true that how well you do on the MAT does depend in part on IQ; it is fair to call it an IQ test in that sense. But an MAT score converted to IQ scores is not always possible.

IQ Tests vs MAT

IQ testing looks at your cognitive ability in verbal, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, and fluid reasoning. These categories represent the main ways that symbolic information (words, numbers, shapes, etc.) can be presented to us. Our ability to comprehend these forms of information characterize our intellectual life.

Immediately, you might notice that the MAT does not test you in all of these domains. Instead, it tests you in verbal reasoning (there are some numerical analogies).

Thus, it cannot be said that the MAT fully represents your IQ. It is not broad enough to do that. But intellectual abilities tend to correlate. Contrary to the popular belief that a person who is good at math is bound to be bad at verbal, research shows that people who do exceptionally well in one intellectual domain tend to do well in others. If a person scores quite high on the MAT, they probably have a reasonably high ability in other intellectual areas. This is why some high IQ societies accept high MAT scores as evidence of high intelligence. But this sort of estimation is limited to the high end of the spectrum.

IQ Accuracy

The MAT does not provide you with an IQ score. Even though the MAT is not a full-fledged IQ test, scores in the 95th percentile can be an indicator of an IQ in the top two percent of the population. Essentially, a person who scores that high on an exam measuring verbal reasoning would do well on an exam that measured the full IQ spectrum. This is what research suggests.

All of this is to say that high MAT scores can be used to estimate high IQ scores–

  • A score in the 95th percentile (430-440) is equivalent to an IQ of 132 or higher
  • A score in the 99th percentile (450-499) is equivalent to an IQ of 137 or higher
  • A score in the 99.9th percentile (500+) is equivalent to an IQ of 147 or higher

But someone scoring beneath the 95th percentile will not be able to use the MAT to assess their IQ with much accuracy.

About Bertrand

Bertrand is a remote tutor and a MAT blogger for Magoosh. He received a B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and studied education theory at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He has been studying and working in education since 2010. Born and raised in New Jersey, he now resides in Philadelphia. When he isn’t helping students study or writing blogs for Magoosh, he spends his time practicing mixed martial arts and reading as much as his schedule permits.

6 Responses to “MAT score converted to IQ”

  1. Nancy Gibson says:

    I took the MAT in1980.  Sores then were reported as raw
    scores, 0 to100.  I scored 92.  What does that score
    represent in the current scoring system?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      Hi Nancy,

      It’s a little hard to make estimates so many years later because percentile cohorts change after every year or two, but we can say a 92 would be roughly a 508 on the current scale (perhaps adjusted slightly in either direction if you knew more about your percentile ranking and compared that to current percentiles). 🙂

  2. Michael Phillips says:

    I also got a score of 92. If that is roughly equivalent to a
    current score 508, what percentile would that be and what
    would be the equivalent IQ score?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      As you can see in the figures given under the “IQ Accuracy” header of this post, your equivalent IQ would be roughly 147 or higher. But as Bertrand mentioned, the conversions are not exact. If you want a really good idea of your IQ, it’s best to take an actual IQ test.

  3. Eric Schantz says:

    Hi; Thank you so much for this article! I took the MAT in early 2004, Under the old scoring system, I received a score of 82. I remember looking up a conversion chart supplied by MENSA at the time, curious as to what my score would be for IQ. It was a graph, and so I never got anything more than a “ballpark idea.” Could you please tell me with a bit more accuracy, what my IQ score would be? Again, many thanks.

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