Intelligence and Its Relationship to Achievement

Fatih Kaya, Joyce Juntune, Laura Stough


Intelligence and achievement are two different, but interrelated, constructs and have been studied for over a century in an attempt to explain differences in educational and life outcomes. An enhanced understanding of the relationship between intelligence, both verbal and nonverbal, and achievement may contribute to improving the identification of gifted and talented children, particularly those from low SES populations. This comprehensive literature review examines the link between intelligence and achievement. It also provides a brief summary of selected psychometric theories of intelligence, including the Cattell-Horn Fluid and Crystallized theory of intelligence and Carroll’s three-stratum model of human intelligence. In attempt to gather all relevant scholarly literature, several procedures were used. A search of the key terms in the ERIC, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar databases was performed. In addition, the reference lists from these articles were examined to find additional articles and literature. To conclude, assessment of intelligence is one of the essential criteria for the identification of gifted and talented students. Verbal and nonverbal abilities can be assessed by many contemporary intelligence tests. The literature evidences that verbal abilities have stronger correlation with academic achievement than nonverbal abilities. Furthermore, verbal abilities are related to readiness to learn while nonverbal abilities are related to potential to learn. If intelligence scores are used to predict any kind of future academic performance, both verbal (readiness) and nonverbal (potential) abilities should be evaluated. Besides, in order to identify gifted and talented students, assessment of verbal abilities should accompany with the assessment of nonverbal abilities so that they will be able to survive in advanced academic programs.


Intelligence, achievement, intelligence achievement relationship, theories of intelligence, gifted identification, literature review, testing

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 ISSN: 1305-3515