Closings and delays

12-year-old earns top score on IQ exam; tests higher than Einstein, Hawking

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ESSEX, England — A 12-year-old British girl may be one of the smartest people in the world.

Lydia Sebastian achieved the top score of 162 on Mensa’s Cattell III B paper, suggesting she has a higher IQ than well-known geniuses Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

The comparison doesn’t sit well with the British student, who’s currently in Year 8 at Colchester County high school, a selective girl’s grammar school in Essex, England.

“I don’t think I can be compared to such great intellectuals such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. They’ve achieved so much. I don’t think it’s right,” Lydia told CNN.

Lydia took the test during her summer break after pestering her parents for about a year.

“I was really nervous before the test and I thought it was going to be really hard. But as I started the test, I thought it was a bit easier than I thought it was going to be,” she said.

Lydia’s not quite sure what she wants to do when she leaves school, but she’s leaning toward something involving math because it’s one of her favorite subjects.

“All I’m going to do is work as hard as I can, and see where that gets me,” she said.

To put Lydia’s score in perspective, the top adult score on the Cattell III B test, which primarily tests verbal reasoning, is 161. A top 2 percent score — which allows entry to Mensa, the club for those with high IQs — would be 148 or over. Lydia scored 162, placing her in the top 1 percent of the population.