I just took the CBC's "Test the Nation" IQ test, and scored a very respectable 128. Which a) isn't worth much, since IQ tests are, well, unreliable, but nonetheless b) is 10 points higher than the last time I had my IQ officially measured.
Which was back in college. I had an educational counsellor/psychologist who, on a whim (or rather at my instigation) gave me, and interpreted for me, a dizzying battery of tests. And when she said "you a person of slightly above average intelligence", I was very relieved.
When people think of you as smart, they think you must be smart at everything. And if something isn't coming easily for you, say you have trouble adding seven and five and reliably getting fourteen*, it must be because you're lazy. Because it can't be that you're not smart.
But it turns out I wasn't quite as smart as people thought I was. I was/am a person of slightly above average intelligence. About 115, depending. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower. But on individual skills, I am wildly unpredictable. Turns out there was some particular measure--abstract memory or verbal reasoning, or something like that--that I was freakishly good at. And this made up for the fact that I was distinctly below average at a number of things. Like subtraction.
I could do word problems, because I could always figure out what the problem was about, and I understood the relationship between what the problem was about and how to calculate the answer. I wasn't doing the math (because I was hopeless at the math) but I could reason 'about' or 'around' the math, and (eventually) arrive at a plausible answer. So it looked I could subtract, when it turns out I all could do was fake it really well.
So like I say, I recently took CBC's "Test the Nation" test and did respectably. 12/12 language, 5/6 memory, 10/12 logic, 5/6 visual, 9/12 mathematical, 12/12 perception. Whatever that means. For my age, I came out at 128. Respectable. But lately, I have trouble even counting, let alone subtracting.
*Yes, I know five and seven is thirteen**. I was trying to be funny.