Can you have a High IQ and be bad at Math? | Brain Hacker Expert (2023)

I am sure you have asked this question at one point or the other. From questions ranging to “What is IQ?” to “Why is IQ such an important concept?” most of us have encountered the IQ discussion in one form or another. Some people believe that only academic geniuses have high IQ while others believe that IQ can be used to measure both academic, creative and social skills.

Those that believe that IQ is only measured as a function of academic prowess say that certain subjects can be used to measure IQ. They speculate that subjects like Mathematics can show levels of IQ.

However, it is possible to have a high IQ and be bad at math. But this does not mean that you cannot get better at math. It might take a while, but it is very possible to be extremely good at math.

What is IQ/Intelligence Quota?

IQ is an acronym that means “Intelligence Quotient” (or Quota) which is used to describe the intellectual capacity of an individual. The Intelligence Quotient is a tally that is gotten through a set of tests conducted according to the age of a particular population. This is a reason why IQ tests remain the same during an individual’s life span. The IQ test was not as popular until the late 1930s. Before then, the tests that were used for measuring cognitive ability was the Simon-Binet Intelligence Scale.

The Simon-Binet Intelligence Scale was developed by a French psychologist Alfred Binet and his associate Theodore Simon for the aim of identifying school children that had learning difficulties. Binet and his partner thus developed a set of tests that involved querying problem-solving, attention and memory skills of individuals within a particular age group. As effective as the Simon-Binet test was, Alfred Binet himself stated his belief that intelligence is not measured or controlled by a single factor that can be measured. The Simon-Binet test was then improved upon by Lewis Terman and thus, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test was born in 1939 and is still used in some assessments today.

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A similar intelligence quotient test was developed first in 1917 by the military. This test was used to assess the cognitive abilities of military recruits in two forms; the written test known as the Army Alpha Test, and the picture identification test known as the Army Beta Test. The Alpha-Beta Test was a popular test in the United States for years until what is now popularly known as Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test was created.

This test was developed in 1955 by David Weschler. He also shared the opinion of Alfred Binet that intelligence is not just a result of a single factor. He thus created a series of tests for both adults (known as the Weschler-Adult Intelligence Test) and children (Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children). These tests are more popularly administered as IQ Tests.

Is Math good for your brain?

Let us get straight to the point. Yes, math is good for the brain. Before I explain further, let me say that many activities that are classified as being mentally arduous have positive effects on the brain. Research has shown that the cognitive part of the brain is stimulated as you try to solve mathematical problems. Another research carried out recently on a group of participants solving math problems showed the exact areas of the brain to be the prefrontal, parietal and temporal lobes of the brain.

Solving math problems does not restrict the benefit to one side of the brain, however. The left hemisphere of the brain is dominantly for problem-solving abilities, while the right hemisphere of the brain is more commonly implicated in creative activities.

Furthermore, it has been observed that solving math problems stimulates both parts of the brain, especially the frontal lobe. Another way in which math is good for the brain is that it encourages the development of new neural connections between and within the brain. This helps the brain develop “new” muscles and transmit information faster. This concept is called neuroplasticity, and is important for prevention and treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia which impair cognitive function and memory.

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Math problems basically involve reasoning, memory and processing functions of the brain. Thus, when you stimulate these functions of the brain, you become better and “sharper” at other daily chores. A third benefit I would like to point out is the overall health benefit that math poses to your body. Solving math problems makes your brain function at an optimal rate. When the brain is functioning optimally, blood flow is increased to and from the brain, ensuring that you remain healthy mentally and by extension, physically.

Are all smart people good at math?

This is a question that might be considered to be quite dicey in response. This is because the definition of a “smart” person needs to be identified. And, you will agree that the term “smart” means different things to different people. To some, being smart includes an ability to solve problems and create solutions as fast as possible. But to some others, smartness is basically academic intelligence (especially when it comes to math solving skills). Based on this premise, I would say that not all smart people are good at math.

Now before you lift those eyebrows, hear me out. When it comes to “being good at math”, a few factors are involved. These factors include the mindset of the individual and the willingness to learn. This has nothing to do with intelligence or being smart. A lot of people who are not good at math will most likely have similar experiences in two popular forms; either they had no interest in learning math at all, or they felt like they could not solve problems as they advanced in math.

Learning math involves a lot of patience and practice that a lot of students do not have. There is a genetic factor in being good at math and there are studies to show that.However, you can train yourself to become good at math and if you think you are good at it already, you can become better.

You would also agree with me that you probably have met people who you would call “smart” because you consider their problem-solving, creative and social skills as exceptional but when it comes to math, they will perform terribly and vice versa. Thus, the answer to this question is a No. Not all smart people are good at math.

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Can you be intelligent and bad at math?

Yes, it is possible to be intelligent and be bad at math. This is possible due to a number of reasons. Some students are bad at math but have exceptional reading abilities and excel in arts, literature and languages. Whereas, some other students might be good at one aspect of mathematics (e.g. simple trigonometric functions) and be bad at other aspects of mathematics (e.g. advanced calculus). Other times, some students do not find “enjoyment” when solving mathematical problems and once they cannot solve one problem, they give up and exaggerate their inadequacy at math.

An extreme reason why one can be intelligent and bad at math can be due to learning disorders. There are two major learning disorders that can be linked to math solving abilities which are Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

Can you naturally be bad at math?

It is not possible to be naturally bad at math. There is a school of thought that says that you are either born with the ability to be good at math or not. This school of thought propounds that there is a genetic advantage conferred on an individual that makes him or her naturally good at math.

Some studies have shown that it is possible to the born with an innate ability to identify and understand numbers faster than others. This makes you better than others in solving math. However, some recent studies have debunked the “innate math ability” concept. These studies propound that math abilities in individuals can increase with consistent practice and patience. A lot of math teachers and professors will definitely agree with this statement.

Why do some people struggle with math?

Reasons why people might be bad at math can include poor attention span, impatience and an unwillingness to learn, a substandard learning environment (which could either be due to the school structure or a teacher that might not be able to relate well with the students), attention disorders and anxiety. A lot of times, one or more of these reasons combined will make a student poor at math.

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Dyslexia is a learning disorder that frequently occurs in children, making it difficult for them to grasp and understand symbols, letters and words. Children with dyslexia are highly intelligent as they understand visuals better, making them excel in art and become creative geniuses.

However, dyslexic children might not do so well in math if the teacher does not identify their unique needs and teach them in a way that they understand. Dyscalculia on the other hand, is a rarer disorder and it affects at least 7% of children in grade school. Children with dyscalculia have a hard time learning and understanding basic mathematical problems and number combinations.


Do not forget that there are a lot of benefits of being good at math. And if they are not enough to convince you; then take it as a new (and welcome) challenge. You will certainly be grateful you did in the future.

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Do you need to be good at maths to be a hacker? ›

Most entry-level and mid-level cybersecurity positions like cybersecurity analyst aren't math intensive. There's a lot of graphs and data analysis, but the required math isn't particularly advanced. If you can handle basic programming and problem solving, you can thrive.

Can intelligent people be bad maths? ›

There are many reasons for a bright student to be bad at math, including poor learning environments, attention disorders and anxiety. But Steph's struggles typify a specific math learning disability known as developmental dyscalculia.

Is being good at math related to IQ? ›

Intelligence was strongly linked to students' math achievement, but only in the initial development of competence in the subject. Motivation and study skills turned out to be more important factors in terms of students' growth (their learning curve or ability to learn) in math.

What are some signs of high IQ? ›

Some signs that often appear in children include:
  • Intense need for mental stimulation and engagement.
  • Ability to learn new topics quickly.
  • Ability to process new and complex information rapidly.
  • Desire to explore specific topics in great depth.
  • Insatiable curiosity, often demonstrated by many questions.
Jun 7, 2022

Is cyber security harder than coding? ›

Knowledge Level: There is less programming involved in cybersecurity; however, it requires a deeper understanding of networks, operating systems, system management, and core security. Consequently, cybersecurity requires a more extensive set of qualifications than coding.

What level of math do you need for cyber security? ›

A lot of the math you'll be required to know in entry level cyber security or support positions will relate to binary math, since binary is how computer operations are computed and in a more practical way, how we determine important things like IP addresses and networks.

Are all smart people good at math? ›

NO. Being good at math might be a sure sign of someone's mathematical intelligence. Intelligence also includes reading, writing, speaking, and many other factors. Intelligence should NOT be thought of as only having to do with IQ.

How much is a high IQ? ›

The number actually represents how your results compare to those of other people your age. A score of 116 or more is considered above average. A score of 130 or higher signals a high IQ. Membership in Mensa, the High IQ society, includes people who score in the top 2 percent, which is usually 132 or higher.

Can you boost your IQ? ›

Training your memory, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence levels. The best way to train these areas of your brain is to engage in thoughtful activities and games, learn new skills, and keep your brain active.

Can I increase my IQ by 20 points? ›

Thatcher is essentially saying that if you can stay within the state of perturbation for even 1 millisecond longer than the average 55 milliseconds, your IQ can jump by as much as 20 points. This might be one of the most profound discoveries with regard to human potential and evolution.

How can I know my IQ number? ›

The IQ score can be calculated with the formula of IQ = (intelligence age/actual age) x100. Here is a short list of the most common IQ tests (intelligence quotient test), other than MentalUP's online IQ test that you or your children may want to take: Stanford-Binet (SB-V) Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV)

What part of the brain is used in math? ›

Evidence from brain-imaging studies indicates that parietal lobe areas are central in calculating and processing of numbers (1,3), while frontal lobe areas are involved in recalling numerical knowledge and working memory (3,4).

Which language is used by hackers? ›

Python ranks as the number one popular programming language in the world, according to 2022 Tiobe Index data. It's also a popular language with hackers because it provides powerful and easy-to-use libraries enabling them to work quickly.

Do hackers use algorithms? ›

The trial and error method is known as a brute force attack, which involves hackers trying to guess every possible combination to gain access. Hackers may also use simple algorithms to generate different combinations for letters, numbers, and symbols to help them identify password combinations.


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