“At first, I was really nervous but once I started, it was much easier than I expected it to be and then I relaxed. I gave it my best shot really,” said Lydia, the 12- year- old UK based Indian,who scored maximum 162 in the 150-minute test of mental agility, bamboozling Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

When Lydia was just skimming through IQ tests online, she probably had no idea that she would one day appear for the test and ace it, with a score higher than minds behind the general theory of relativity and Hawking radiation.


She is now part of the one percent of all entrants to attain the highest mark in the Cattell III B paper supervised by Mensa, the society for people with high IQ’s. Adding to the commendable score, she also folded her test papers with minutes to spare at the Birbeck College.

Lydia’s father, Arun Sebastian, a radiologist, said his daughter “had looked at the website for the IQ tests herself and had shown an interest in them and talked to my wife about them.”

Lydia 2

Lydia is talented in other areas and has been playing the violin since age four. She is a Potter fan and has read all the 7 Harry Potter books thrice,her parents said.

“Started speaking when she was quite young – about six months. At the time I was a trainee doctor and my wife was studying chemistry and I was away at weekends. She used to say a few words to me on the phone.She also had an early interest in reading. When she was a few years old she was reading books that were for children several years older than her,” said Mr Sebastian.

Both Hawking and Einstein are thought to have an IQ of 160. Mensa is believed to be the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. Membership is open to anyone who can demonstrate an IQ in the top 2 per cent of the population, measured by a recognised or approved IQ testing process.

Cattell III B has 150 questions, often assessing comprehension through passages of texts, while the maximum score that can be achieved is 161 for adults, and 162 for under-18s.