An 11-year-old Iranian student in the United Kingdom scored 162 points on her Mensa IQ test, indicating she is way above the so called ‘genius benchmark’ of 140. Tara Sharifi, a student at Aylesbury High School, even beat Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, two of the world’s most renowned scientists, by two points. While Einstein, a theoretical physicist who is considered as one of the two stalwarts of modern physics, never took the test, it is believed he had an IQ of 160. Famous cosmetologist, physicist and author Hawking also had the same IQ.
With her score, the highest possible mark for under-18s in the Cattell III B section of the test, Sharifi can apply for membership with Mensa, which is considered the world’s largest, oldest and most prestigious high IQ society. The young whizz, whose family is originally from Borazjan county in the southern Iranian Bushehr Province, had to answer all the questions that tested her language skills and sense of logic within a certain time frame. The second paper, Cattell Culture Fair III A, is a non-verbal test that is completely cultural and language neutral.
Only one percent of people who take the Mensa test achieve the highest score. And Sharifi, who is thinking of pursuing a career in “something related to mathematics” joins some other young geniuses like Nicole Barr, Aahil Jouher and Lydia Sebastian, who all scored perfectly in 2015.
“I was shocked when I got the result – I never expected to get such a good score,” Sharifi said after taking the test that is only open to people who have scored a 98th percentile or higher on their standardised IQ test. “It was a joint decision between me and my parents to take the test. It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other people within the Mensa system. I have told some of my friends at school and they were really impressed,” she added while talking to Iran Front Page.
Her proud father, Hossein, has also said he was surprised by the result. Bucks Herald UK reported him saying, “I figured she might do well when we watched TV and she would get maths questions before the contestants. I knew she was very clever but I did not think she would have such a high IQ.”