Smarter than your average 13-year-old, then?
Smarter than Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, according to an IQ test she sat recently. Neha Ramu, a teenager from Surbiton, Surrey, scored 162 in Mensa’s notoriously hard exam – the highest possible for her age. It puts her in the top 1 per cent of Britain’s brightest people and ahead of maths wizard Carol Vorderman, who has an IQ of 154. Anyone with more than 140 is said to be exceptionally bright, and the national average is about 100. “When I found out I got such a high score it was so amazing and unexpected,” Neha told the BBC. “Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, they’ve achieved so much. It’s not right to compare me to them just because of my IQ.”
I bet she studies all day long?
Apparently not. Her parents, both of whom are eye doctors who moved to Britain from India when their daughter was seven, said they did not realise she was so gifted until she scored full marks in the entrance exam for Tiffin girls’ grammar school in nearby Kingston. “She does all this without much effort,” said her mother, Jayashree. “She makes sure she has enough time for TV, swimming, fun times with her friends.” Neha says she loves maths and chemistry because they are “logical and practical”, but she finds art and music more difficult. Her goal is to study neurology at Harvard.
Does IQ mean all that much?
There have been a lot of exceptional people with high IQs, but it is not the be-all and end-all. Dr Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at Western University in Canada, said recently that the tests were “pretty meaningless”, adding: “If you are not good at them, all it proves is that you are not good at IQ tests. It does not say anything about your general intelligence.”