09-22-22: this isn't a must-read for you by any means, it just helps me to understand a few things...

 When i write anything about intelligence i try to preface with these facts... i wasn't formally 'educated' beyond high-school, and i took as little science classes as possible during my academic 'career', i did take two-thirds of one semester in college that included biology, chemistry, and english composition (i think one other class too), those college classes were after a five year break from high school (having graduated with a very low GPA) for an enlistment in the Army, and then working in a retail environment for a bit.

 I don't ever recall being tested for IQ, and don't have any interest in doing so... i'm aware of some of my weaknesses, which are: i don't test very well, i'm not well read, don't care for expanding beyond elementary-school math, have trouble recalling information, and i'm not very speedy with problem-solving (sometimes i understand my incorrect answers well after the fact, and before i've actually been graded)... so i'm technically/probably on the lower end of the measuring scale... BUT, i do have decent association/pattern-recognition ability, and creativity in problem solving (i'm sensitive and observant)... but i've mostly resolved to identifying as a light-hearted dummy of sorts, until the last few years when my life got turned upside-down with covid-related unemployment, and used my new 'free time' consuming lot's of new information, and using journaling/creative-writing as a therapeutic for the anxious and depressive season that i had experienced... this whole website bloggy-thing is my creative therapeutic, and my substack blog is a new extension of it.

This is a question and answer that i read this morning:

And this is the answer, written by Shulamit Widawsky  -- she describes herself as  'Teaching special learners for decades, LD's, gifted, 2E, ADHD, etc.4y':

Originally Answered: Do grades accurately reflect intelligence?

They do not.

Often the smartest person in the classroom, is not the one with the highest grades.

Rarely is the least intelligent person in the class the one with the lowest grades.

Grades reflect several things, and while high intelligence surely helps a person learn more, and low intelligence makes it harder to learn, the grades a student gets has more to do with things besides intelligence, than intelligence.

What do grades reflect? What goes into getting high grades? In no particular order:

  • The ability to understand what the teacher wants
  • The willingness to give the teacher what they want
  • The ability to keep one’s self organized, and keep track of what is needed to accomplish the academic tasks set, and to know when they are due
  • The ability and interest in turning things in on time, fully completed
  • The ability to know when they need help, how to get useful help, and applying that ability consistently, when needed
  • Turning in all assignments
  • Being able to engage the teacher
    • Knowing how to get help from each teacher
    • Knowing how to get feedback from the teacher to know when there is a problem
    • Getting attention from the teacher to help because the teacher feels like the student is engaged, and teachers are willing to spend more time on students who spend more time
  • Knowing how to balance life to have fun, stay healthy, have a social life, and not get stressed out by overloading the schedule or procrastinating
  • Understanding how to allocate enough time and effort to get high grades, without spending too much time working harder than is required and/or making the assignment more complex than the teacher intended

Students with the highest grades understand and apply all of those.

Highly intelligent students who do not get high grades are missing in ability or interest in some of those.

Being good at academics is a skill set, not a reflection of raw intellect. Being highly intelligent is simply not enough to magically result in high grades. And having average intelligence does not relegate a person to never getting high grades.

The surest method of improving one’s grades, is getting every assignment done and turned in on time. If that is hard, get help to improve abilities. If the assignments are hard to understand, make appointments with teachers to have them explain what is wanted.

Do grades accurately reflect intelligence?


They mostly reflect academic skills and interest.


This is another one of her posts on the same platform:
Can highly intelligent people struggle in obtaining a degree?


The reasons they struggle will generally not be lack of understanding, but that is not all a degree requires.

High intelligence doesn’t guarantee fast reading ability, good organization skills, good focus, the skill of persistence in the face of boredom, good writing skills, the ability to give a professor what they want (or even understand what a professor wants), etc.

In other words, the skill-set needed to obtain a degree is composed of skills that are not automatically obtained just by having high intelligence.

And that doesn’t even consider the issue of highly intelligent people who have learning disabilities, mental health challenges, are in abusive relationships, are dealing with poverty, or deal with any other situation or trait that would make it a struggle to successfully complete a college degree.

Easily 10% of my adult clients (I only work with exceptionally gifted people) did not complete any degree, at least 25% of my clients with an undergraduate degree encountered serious challenges along the way, and over 60% did not get an advanced degree. All of my adult clients wanted advanced degrees at some point.


 The smart lady makes some points that describe me during various times in my life, most of them were prior to turning eighteen, and moving out of the home where my single Mom raised me, i enlisted in the Army, and moved out 3 - 4 months after graduating high school... these are her points that really hit home: learning disabilities, mental health challenges, are in abusive relationships, are dealing with poverty ...

learning disabilities, (ADD with a tad of dyslexia, and poor ability to recall previously stored information)
mental health challenges, (depressive thought patterns), comparing myself to the smart kids and deciding that i was plain dumb
abusive relationships, (to know my mom when she was at her worse is to understand, she struggled with mental health challenges most of her adult life, i can only speculate, but it seems like she had a very nasty bout with post-pardum depression, and later in life she struggled with pain from endometriosis, until she got a total hysterectomy when i was in middle-school, which came with it's own physiological/endocrine'psychological challenges... she also could get to a point sometimes where the words 'demon possession' come to mind, no bullshit)
dealing with poverty, (public assistance my entire pre-adult life, mom did the best that she knew how, but we always struggled financially)

 ... the last two points can be associated with the depressive thoughts that i tended to have, i'm not a pro, but it seems that depressive thoughts can stem from a lack of physiological necessities, and an inability to understand the big-picture of certain challenges, and the inability to understand that there are other options besides the narrow/ignorant variables that you consider... Mom and i were always 'poor', so i always thought that if we just 'won a huge lottery' that it would solve the rest of our problems... sure, money gives you access to healthier/better physiological needs, but it can't change unhealthy routines and thought-patterns, and it doesn't 'make a person happy' just because you have it... eventually i got some decent jobs in my adult life, and enjoyed having enough financial resources to be more comfortable, entertain hobbies, slightly spoil our kids, and give generously to others, but now (after several bouts of unemployment, anxiety, depression, insomnia) my family and i are back on the 'receiving end' of society... i'm trying to learn to write better to transition into a new source of income as my body has become a bit gimpy, and my attitude toward society is quite negative...

... and then, from her first post: The ability to understand what the teacher wants (most of the time when i turned in incorrect answers it was because i didn't really understand them, but when i understood what they were REALLY asking i typically answered correctly) and when i finally understood what they were REALLY asking i felt pretty stupid, my own worse critic really

... persistence in the face of boredom, fast reading ability, good organization skills, good focus (these mostly connect back to dyslexic tendencies, and ADD behavior/tendencies that i still deal with to varying degrees, mostly lower degrees as i've gotten older)... i'd get very bored having to sit still in boring learning environments, and i still do not do well in over-stimulating environments (sensory overload)... the 'bi-polar' grades that i received in school were usually A's and B's... or D's and F's, looking back, i think they reflected how bored i was, or how interested i was in the subject-matter of certain classes... if i received a B-grade i thought i was stupid for not getting an A, and when i received an F-grade i thought i was stupid for not passing with a minimum D-grade... i required help throughout most of my public education, but almost never sought it out, much of that was prideful attitude, and also thinking that 'i didn't really need to learn that stuff anyway'

... i seem to do best in self-paced programs where i have access to a teacher that can help me understand things when i get stuck, and i seem to do best when i'm in a pretty quiet environment

... i also read a good Q and A including Chris and Gina Langan, with Arthur Jensen, 'Discussions on Genius and Intelligence: Mega Foundation Interview with Arthur Jensen' on similar topics
... but/really, this whole post today is just some quick thoughts based on the two briefs written by the observant Ms. Widawsky on Quora
... self-discovery/awareness is a bit important for many reasons, one, in eing yourself for who you are, and not what you assume, and to navigate and understand reality.
... God bless.  --  ct