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Is 120 IQ good for a 14 year old?

Having an IQ of 120 at age 14 puts a person in the top 10% of their age group. This level of intelligence is considered high and indicates strong cognitive abilities. While IQ tests are imperfect measures of intelligence, a score of 120 or above is generally seen as a positive indicator of a gifted mind.

What is a good IQ score for a 14 year old?

The average IQ score for a 14 year old is 100, with a standard deviation of 15. This means that 68% of 14 year olds have an IQ between 85 and 115. Only around 16% score above 115, and just 2.2% score above 130.

Here is a breakdown of the rarity of different IQ scores at age 14:

IQ Score Rarity
115-129 Top 16%
130-144 Top 2.2%
145-159 Top 0.13%
Over 160 Top 0.003%

As the table shows, an IQ of 120 puts a 14 year old in the top 10% relative to their peers. It is considered well above average intelligence for that age group.

Is a 120 IQ high for a 14 year old?

Yes, a 120 IQ is considered high for a 14 year old. The vast majority of 14 year olds score below 115 on professionally administered IQ tests. Here are some key facts about a 120 IQ at age 14:

  • It is 1 standard deviation above the average IQ of 100
  • It is in the “High Average” range of intelligence classification
  • It indicates the ability to understand complex concepts and learn quickly
  • It suggests strong potential for academic and career success later in life

While a 140+ IQ would be considered highly gifted, and a 160+ IQ would be true genius territory, a 120 IQ still reflects strong cognitive abilities compared to same-aged peers.

What does an IQ of 120 mean for a 14 year old’s future?

A 120 IQ at age 14 suggests a bright future with strong academic potential. Here are a few likely implications of this level of intelligence at such a young age:

  • High likelihood of excelling academically in high school
  • Ability to thrive in intellectually demanding classes and programs
  • Strong SAT/ACT scores and college readiness
  • Ability to achieve high GPAs and academic success in university
  • Enhanced career prospects in fields like medicine, law, engineering, science etc.

However, IQ alone does not guarantee future success. Non-cognitive factors like work ethic, motivation and grit also play key roles. But a 120 IQ provides an intellectual foundation for high achievement if optimally nurtured.

Can a 14 year old with a 120 IQ get into gifted programs?

In most cases, yes. While cut-offs vary, most gifted education programs require an IQ of at least 120-130. Here are some typical IQ requirements for entry into gifted programs:

  • John Hopkins CTY program: 125+ IQ
  • Davidson Institute for Talent Development: 99th percentile (around 130 IQ)
  • Gifted schools like Lavin Way Elementary: 125-145 IQ
  • Mensa High IQ Society: 96th percentile (around 120-124 IQ)

So while a 135+ IQ might guarantee admission into specialized gifted programs, a 120 IQ should be high enough in most cases. Such programs provide an optimal learning environment for academically talented students.

Tips for admission into gifted programs

To maximize chances of admission, a student with a 120 IQ could:

  • Take standardized tests early and submit high SATs/ACTs
  • Highlight accomplishments like science fair awards
  • Submit strong teacher recommendations
  • Express clear motivation for admission
  • Apply to multiple appropriate programs

Is a 120 IQ at 14 an indicator of genius?

No, while a 120 IQ is excellent, it does not necessarily indicate true genius-level abilities. Here are some key points:

  • Genius IQs start at around 140-145
  • A 120 IQ reflects strong intelligence but not extraordinary giftedness
  • Truly genius 14 year olds belong to ultra-high IQ societies like the Mega Society (minimum 1 in 1,000,000 rarity) and the Giga Society (minimum 1 in 100,000,000 rarity).
  • A 120 IQ makes one well above average but not yet a true intellectual freak of nature.

So while a 14 year old with a 120 IQ has immense academic potential, it is not accurate to consider them an intellectual genius based on IQ alone. But their strong cognitive abilities can be a platform for genius-level accomplishment over time.

What are characteristics of a 14 year old with a 120 IQ?

Some common traits and abilities of a highly intelligent 14 year old with a 120 IQ include:

  • Advanced and expansive vocabulary
  • Sharp memory and recall ability
  • Quick learning and comprehension
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Ability to grasp complex concepts
  • Curiosity and eagerness for intellectual stimulation
  • High speed of information processing
  • Enhanced concentration and focus

They are also often verbally fluent, have excellent logical reasoning skills, and pick up new information rapidly. But personality traits can vary widely among intelligent individuals.

How can you nurture a 120 IQ 14 year old?

Here are some tips for parents and teachers to help nurture the growth of a highly intelligent 14 year old student:

  • Provide appropriate academic acceleration to avoid boredom
  • Encourage enrollment in honors/AP classes
  • Foster their intellectual curiosity and passions
  • Limit non-productive screen time
  • Pursue subject matter acceleration in strong domains
  • Encourage participation in academic contests/clubs
  • Expose them to culturally enriching experiences
  • Ensure they have intellectual peer interaction
  • Instill a growth mindset, grit and strong work ethic

With thoughtful nurturing, a 120 IQ 14 year old can fulfill their immense potential and achieve great things as they grow older.


Overall, an IQ of 120 at age 14 is excellent. It indicates highly above average intelligence and puts the person in the top 10% of their age group intellectually. While not yet at true genius-level, a 120 IQ suggests immense academic potential and future career success if optimally nurtured. With the right developmental support, such a bright 14 year old can thrive both intellectually and personally.