6 Ways To Boost Your IQ
Try one of these scientifically-proven techniques to stimulate your grey matter

April 13, 2015

James R. Flynn, the famed IQ researcher and author of Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century, made some unnerving observations not long ago. “In the last 100 years,” he said, “the IQ scores of both men and women have risen, but women’s have risen faster.” You can grumble about how he’s wrong and bicker with his reasoning, or you can do something about it.

We’ve consulted with leading psychologists to find 7 simple steps to improve your IQ by a not-to-be-sniffed-at 17 points in just one week.

Play Games

Fluid intelligence—the ability to solve novel problems—is a major part of every IQ test, and relates to your working memory. Susanne Jäggi, Ph.D. a professor at the University of California Irvine, used “dual n-back” games, in which the player is asked to remember a sequence of geometric shapes and sounds, to boost this factor. Her research discovered that playing 25 minutes every day will raise your IQ by an impressive 4 points.

It takes: 25 minutes
You gain: +4 IQ points

Take Supplements

Ingesting 5g of creatine a day can get your IQ stacked by no less than 15 points over a six-week period. Researchers gave volunteers this dose, testing their ability to spot missing items in grid patterns. “Creatine gave a significant boost to brain power,” says study leader Caroline Rae. It raises the energy levels available for computation in your brain.

It takes: 1 minute
You gain: +2 IQ points

Be a Social Gamer

When it comes to improving your brain power, Scrabble is your friend. “Activities which involve a diverse range of skills, plus social interaction, are excellent options if you’re aiming to enhance your IQ,” says MENSA’s consultant psychologist Maria Leitner. You can get all the interaction by downloading a Scrabble app and playing head-to-head with a friend.

It takes: 50 minutes
You gain: +1 IQ points

Blast Some Bad Guys

Not only do Video Games Relieve Work Stress, a recent study at the University of Rochester confirmed a link between first-person video games and enhanced visual awareness in the “real” world—a crucial building block for IQ. When having your IQ tested, the ability to take in visual cues accurately at speed is invaluable, explains clinical psychologist Dr. Anita Abrams. Yes, playing Call of Duty 4 is good for you.

It takes: 60 minutes
You gain: +2 IQ points

Pull on Your Trainers

You already know about the Brain Benefits of Exercise but you may not realize just how much it’s boosting your IQ. A Swedish study proved cardiovascular fitness can raise your verbal intelligence by 50%. “Increased cardiovascular fitness was associated with better cognitive scores,” says Maria Aberg, who led the study. “In contrast, muscular strength was only weakly associated with intelligence.”

It takes: 20 minutes
You gain: +5 IQ points

Do Practice Tests

Retaking IQ tests can actually raise your score by as many as two points. The “practice effect” is a proven technique that arms you with the skills to comprehend the next test. “If the interval is very short—for example, a few hours—then examinees are likely to recall the strategies that proved most successful,” says educational psychologist Professor Alan S. Kaufman.

It takes: 30 minutes
You gain: +2 IQ points