The subject of IQ tests came up the other day while chatting with a friend – and promptly I found some people linking to The Original IQ Test. It had been many years since my last such test, so I tried it. Some questions were extremely simple, and others were culturally biased – you need to complete some popular sayings, a couple of which were unfamiliar to me.

Soon I was rewarded with the message:

Congratulations, Rainer!

Your IQ score is 133

This number is the result of a formula based on how many questions you answered correctly on Emode’s Ultimate IQ test. Your IQ score is scientifically accurate…

…We also compared your answers with others who have taken the test, and according to the sorts of questions you got correct, we can tell your Intellectual Type is a Facts Curator.

This means you are highly intelligent and have picked up an impressive and unique collection of facts and figures over the years. You’ve got a remarkable vocabulary and exceptional math skills – which puts you in the same class as brainiacs like Bill Gates. And that’s just some of what we know about you from your test results..

They asked for my e-mail address and several demographic data, and offered to e-mail me a 15-page report detailing my results. For $14.95; while I’d like to know which answers I’ve gotten wrong, this is way too much. I also declined an offer to get a newsletter containing horoscopes (!) and information about further tests such as Do You Have a Sixth Sense, What’s Your Superpower and Find Your Ideal Sexual Partner.

While the “133” figure matches about what I expected (an IQ test I took as a child came up 140, and I seem to recall that others I took later also fell into the 130-150 range), the overall tone is extremely phony – the insistence on “scientific”, the gratuitous invention of this “Fact Curator” name, the reference to “brainiac” Bill Gates (with an image, yet!), and the ubiquitous merchandising of other products make this a site not to be taken too seriously.