What if we told you that you can turn into a genius like Einstein even if you are classified with an average IQ level, miles away from people who score high on the intelligence ranking scale?
To be more precise, we found out that being a genius is not about reaching a high IQ and having incredible academic results.
Instead, it’s much more about your inner calling and the warrior spirit you follow it with.
Shortly said, graving your name in the history books and contributing with something that will inspire the world for generations to come is all in your hands.
Read on to learn if you’ve got what it takes to be a genius yourself, how an IQ test can help identify your giftedness, ways to develop your intelligence, who are the highest-performing minds of all time (Einstein winks), and more.
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What does being a genius mean?
According to thedictionary, we should use genius to describe:
- A single strongly marked capacity or aptitude;
- Extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity;
- A person endowed with extraordinary mental superiority, especially a person with a very high IQ.
Despite the last of the above definitions, a high IQ (intelligence quotient) is not enough for someone to deserve being called a genius.
The three conditions for being a genius
First of all, a study transformed into apsychology bookclaims thata minimum IQ level of 125 “is strictly necessary for genius”, but this score needs to be combined with two other qualities:
- Opportunity for talent development;
- Drive and persistence.
Everyone can be a genius
Another psychologist, Charles Spearman, claimed that intelligence is made of “general factors” and “special factors”, the latter ones being specific to particular mental tasks.
This means that if you do one activity often enough, you will get better at it.
Test this by picking up an activity you’ve never done before or in the latest period (e.g. start solving Sudoku or do crosswords). Aproperly kept to-do listwill help you practice your chosen activity daily.
Given the above, Spearman got to the following conclusion:
“Every normal man, woman, and child is, then, a genius at something, as well as an idiot at something.”
- Charles Spearman
A very similar conclusionwas reached by Hungarian psychologist Laszlo Polgar.
Polgar “had studied hundreds of people who were considered geniuses in one field or another, and he’d concluded that with the proper rearingany child could be turned into a genius.”
Moreover, there’s a psychologist who argued the so-called myth that says “genius is born not made” anddemonstratedthe contrary with real-life examples, like Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Michael Faraday, and Albert Einstein.
Einstein had one of the highest estimated IQ levels of all time, according to thegenius rankingyou’ll find at the end of this article.
The psychologist’s conclusion was that:
Genius is “the product of a combination of environment, personality, and sheer hard work.”
- Michael J.A. Howe, cognitive psychologist
Takeaway: meaning of genius
All in all, genius doesn’t seem to be just the quality of someone who does well in an IQ test – although this feat is considered necessary by some mind researchers – but rather of a highly driven person that puts focus and hard work into developing a skill.
Pro tip:it’s preferable that your chosen skill is also your passion. And if you don’t know what activity you’re passionate about, ourlife purpose guide will surely help you out.
What does an IQ test show?
Variants of tests meant to measure intelligence started to appear since the late 19thcentury. Yet, the most prolific breakthroughs were made in the 20th century.
Ingenious people like Alfred Binet, Lewis Terman, and David Wechsler, along with other mindshave contributed to what IQ tests represent today.
According toMensa, a high IQ society with over 145.000 members across the world, an IQ test is a method of comparing your mental ability with other people in your age range. Their example goes as follows:
“If an individual of 10 years of age had a mental age of 10, their IQ would be 100. However, if their mental age was greater than their chronological age (e.g., 12 rather than 10), their IQ would be 120.”
IQ tests measure your cognitive abilities by putting your brain in the face of calculation and logical reasoning problems, often while you’re under the pressure of time, and your results are catalogued using a scale.
Thus, it’s important to know that these tests focus more on examining yourfluid intelligence(tied to the reasoning and flexibility of your thought patterns) and less on yourcrystallized intelligence(accumulated knowledge and learned skills).
How do you take an official IQ test
It’s quite simple. There are different official IQ tests you can take, some of the most well-known being the Stanford-Binet and Cattell tests, each using a faintly different scale.
You can take an IQ test by:
- Consulting with a psychologist;
- Scheduling a Mensa admission;
- Asking your school’s functionaries if they can offer the opportunity for you or your child to take such a test.
To give you an idea of how these intelligence examinations look like, here are some Mensa approved test exercises shown by Toby Hendy, a numbers enthusiast with an undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics.
What is the average IQ score
The score of your IQ test is interpreted with the help of a scale or a chart and a bell curve with percentiles that give meaning to your performance. But let’s not get tangled into statistical theory.
What is important to know that each type of test has a slightly different range of IQ scores and classifications.
However, the average IQ score for these human intelligence tests is the same – 100.
IQ range breakdown
Wechsler IQ Range
- 130 and over: Very Superior
- 120-129: Superior
- 110-119: High Average
- 90-109: Average
- 80-89: Low Average
- 69 and under: Extremely Low
Stanford-Binet IQ Range
- 144 and above: Very gifted or highly advanced
- 130-144: Gifted or very advanced
- 120-129: Superior
- 110-119: High average
- 90-109: Average
- 80-89: Low average
- 70-79: Borderline impaired or delayed
- 55-69: Mildly impaired or delayed
- 40-54: Moderately impaired or delayed
Woodock-Johnson IQ Range
- 131 and above: Very superior
- 121-130: Superior
- 111-120: High Average
- 90-110: Average
- 80-89: Low Average
- 70-79: Low
- 69 and below: Very Low
As we can see above, what is over 110 is considered a high IQ score, but not even one scale names the top ranges using the term “genius”. But guess what? One of them did this in the past.
However, Terman, the founding father of the above IQ test, changed the “genius” level after acknowledging that achieving this quality requires something more than just a high IQ score – drive, persistence, and gateways for someone to develop their talent.
In conclusion, an IQ test doesn’t show if you’re a genius, but it can unravel your potential of being one.
And if there’s any range we would classify as “genius IQ”, we can only follow one of the psychological studies already mentioned that says that one must score at least 125 in a test.
So, if you were to score 126, 130, 146 or 198 on your IQ test, then, congratulations, you may just be a 21st century Einstein.
But what if you don’t?
How can you achieve genius IQ level
Science has not yet concluded if someone can increase their IQ, or better said, intelligence, because of thelack of a proper measuring scale.
However, a2008 studyclaims that people can increase their fluid intelligence by training theirworking memory(short-term memory used for everyday tasks, reasoning, and more).
One of the best ways to do this is by playing any of our selection of18 brain training gameson a constant basis.
Besides this, researchers found thatmusic lessons enhance children’s IQ– although in small proportions – and thatteenagers can increase or decrease their intellectual capacity, much of this depending on how much effort they put in learning.
Given the above, there are 3 ways for you to increase your IQ and achieve the minimum score of 125 that’s required for you to be a potential genius:
- Play brain training games;
- Take music lessons when you’re a child;
- Keep learning during your teenage years.
Pro tip:as high IQ personality Albert Einstein once said, “imagination is more important than knowledge”, so a genius has to take care of his creativity too.
You can feed your imagination in many ways, butwatching animated moviesandlooking at art are two great options.
Humans get smarter
The IQ levels of humankind increased from generation to generation during the 20thcentury. A researcher studied this trend and found the reason behind it. He called it: theFlynn effect.
The theory behind this phenomenon puts the constant IQ ascension mainly on the back ofchanges in our way of living, like better education,nutrition, new technology, and less on improvements in areas such as mathematical skills and vocabulary.
Famous geniuses and their IQs
We’ve already learned that IQ alone can’t tell if you’re a genius or not. So, to find the most brilliant minds that ever existed we need to seek persons who took certain skills at skyscraper levels and also proved that their intelligence is out of the ordinary.
Luckily, a ranking of geniuses was published inan online encyclopedia. The hall of fame was established taking into account their lifetime works and estimated IQs.
1. Johann Goethe (IQ: 210)
Lifetime: 1749-1832 (83 years).
Goethe was a German with many occupations and talents. He made important scientific claims, especially in chemistry, with his novelElective Affinities, in which he described the role of chemical reactions in human relationships.
Yet, he was the most appreciated for his literary work, including famous works such asFaust, a drama which is considered his masterpiece, andWilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship.
Moreover, Johann Goethe was named one of thesix great “representative men”of the world for his writing talent, along with names like Plato, William Shakespeare, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
2. Isaac Newton (IQ: 205)
Lifetime: 1643-1727 (84 years).
You all know the apple fallen out of the tree story, don’t you? Many of today’s knowledge is indebted to Isaac Newton’s work.
The English physicist and mathematician is best known for establishing the laws of motion – basics of modern physics – for studying the white light composition, and for his mathematical discoveries, especially in calculus.
3. Albert Einstein (IQ: 205)
Lifetime: 1879-1955 (76 years).
Mr. Einstein’s estimated IQ is very high, but we don’t actually need this to know that he was a bright mind. After all, Einstein became a synonym of “genius” in everyday language.
Albert Einstein is most famous not for his IQ level but for his contributions in the field of physics.
In this domain, he introduced the mass-energy equivalence formula (E=mc2) and discovered the law of photoelectric effect, for which he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
4. James Maxwell (IQ: 205)
Lifetime: 1831-1879 (48 years).
Scottish mathematical physicist James Maxwell is famous for coming up with the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. This led to his prediction of the existence of radio waves.
And if this wasn’t enough, even Einstein, number 3 in this IQ ranking, acknowledged Maxwell’s genius level work.
When Albert was asked whether his successful theories were vastly influenced by Newton’s discoveries, he responded: “No, I stood on the shoulders of Maxwell.”
5. Willard Gibbs (IQ: 205)
Lifetime: 1839-1903 (64 years).
American scientist Willard Gibbs is best known for his theories in thermodynamics. He created the notion of statistical mechanics and used Maxwell’s work to contribute to physical optics. In terms of mathematics, Gibbs invented the modern vector calculus.
The next 5 places in the genius ranking are occupied by:
6.Leonardo da Vinci(IQ: 200)
7.Rudolf Clausius(IQ: 200)
The smartest people on Earth
We saw above ten of the geniuses that remained in history through their works, but wouldn’t you be curious to find out who scored the highest on the IQ tests that we can take nowadays?
To do this, we checkedThe World Genius Directory, which features a ranking of people who scored the highest score on the IQ scale after they got tested.
Keep in mind that these people are not necessarily geniuses, but rather people that achieved the genius IQ level.
Top 10 IQs in the world
- Evangelos Katsioulis: 198
Dr. Katsioulis is a Greek general practitioner, an oncology and psychiatry resident, and a private psychiatrist and psychotherapist. On top of all, he describes himself as a “life enthusiast”.
- Heinrich Siemens: 195
The lifetime work of Heinrich Siemens revolves mainly around his passion for the Plautdietsch language, a spoken language that translates to “flat German”.
- Rick Rosner: 192
Rick is an American television writer, who wrote, among others, forJimmy Kimmel Live. He is also famous forsuing “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, after accusing the show that the answer to a question was mistaken.
- Mislav Predavec: 192
Croatian professor Mislav Predavec is teaching math in Zagreb and is known for founding the high IQ society, GenerIQ.
- Kenneth Ferrell: 190
Kenneth is an American physician and a member of multiple IQ societies. Mr. Ferrell was also one of the founding members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
- Dany Provost: 190
Dany Provost is a financial expert and the author of a book about retirement.
- WenChin Sui: 190
Sui is a student of Business Management at Nanjing University. His hobbies include piano, guitar, basketball, and travel.
- Marios Prodromou: 190
Marios is a postal officer in Cyprus and some of his passions are helping children (as a mental coach), football, and philosophy.
- Cuong Dong: 190
Some of Hanoi-based Cuong Dong’s interests include football, watching movies, music, philosophy, stock markets, strategy games, drawing, and swimming.
- Mahir Wu: 190
Mahir Wu is a computer enthusiast from China who has scored high-scores in multiple intelligence tests.
To wrap up, what we found out by looking at expert studies, brilliant minds like Einstein, and the way intelligence is measured today, is that scoring well on an IQ test – a target everyone can achieve with the right training – is just a tiny part of what a person needs to meet to be considered a true genius, the most important factor being the manifesting of true dedication, hard work, and passion in a certain field.
Have you taken an official IQ test before and how did you score on the scale, was it at least 125, the minimum requirement to level up into a genius? Leave your answer in the comments section below.
- Ericsson, Karl Anders, and Robert Pool. 2016.Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Howe, Michael J. A. 2001.Genius Explained. Reprint. Canto Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
- Kamphaus, Randy W., and Randy W. Kamphaus. 2005.Clinical Assessment of Child and Adolescent Intelligence. 2nd ed. New York: Springer.
- Kaufman, Alan S. 2009.IQ Testing 101. The Psych 101 Series. New York, NY: Springer Pub. Co.
- Prince, Dandre. 2018.Measurement and Evaluation in Psychology and Education. EDTECH.
- Sattler, Jerome M. 2008.Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations. 5th ed. San Diego: J.M. Sattler.
Notably, the average IQ score falls between 85 and 115. A score above 140, meanwhile, is considered to be genius level.How high is Albert Einstein's IQ level? ›
His performance beats those of physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, who were both estimated to have IQs around 160.What qualifies as a genius? ›
The first genius IQ score was around 140. That's about one in every 250 people. But one leading researcher in the 1940s suggested that a genius should have an IQ over 180. That's about one in every 2 million people.Is an IQ of 170 considered genius? ›
130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted. 160 to 179: Exceptionally gifted. 180 and up: Profoundly gifted.What is IQ of Bill Gates? ›
Bill Gates IQ is 151.45, despite the fact that he has never publicly disclosed it. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs in 1973, which converts to a score of 1590 out of 1600. With this IQ, Bill Gates is technically a genius because he is smarter than 99.96% of the population.What is the average American IQ? ›
IQ compared by countries
With an average IQ of 98 points, the USA ranks 29th in this ranking. With 108 points, the inhabitants of Hong Kong reach the highest intelligence quotas worldwide. The last place, with only 56 points, is occupied by Equatorial Guinea.
Elon Musk IQ is close to this starting point, with an estimated score of 155. The typical genius has an IQ of around 140.Does Ashton Kutcher have a high IQ? ›
With an IQ 160, Kutcher is not only in a unique class of brilliant folks, but he is also one of the few actors in Hollywood with such a score, according to Hollywood.Who has 500 IQ? ›
|Marilyn vos Savant|
|Born||Marilyn Mach August 11, 1946 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
|Spouse||Robert Jarvik ( m. 1987)|
Other than the seven levels of intelligence, there are also 3 types of genius that pertain to ULTIMATE GENIUS. They are Super Genius, True Genius and Complete Genius.
- 4.1 Artistic Genius.
- 4.2 Musical Genius.
- 4.3 Literary Genius.
- 4.4 Scientific Geniuses.
Summary. Geniuses are both born and made. While genetics can explain up to 75% of variations in IQ levels, factors like socioeconomic status and home environment decide whether a person achieves their full genetic IQ potential.What is a good IQ score by age? ›
|Age Range||Average IQ Score|
|20 to 24-year-olds||99|
|24 to 34-year-olds||97|
|35 to 44-year-olds||101|
|45 to 54-year-olds||106|
The minimum accepted score on the Stanford–Binet is 132, while for the Cattell it is 148 and 130 in the Wechsler tests (WAIS, WISC).
An individual's IQ does not change with age. In other words: if you did an IQ test now and then another one in 10 years' time, your IQ score will probably be very similar. This is because IQ is always measured relative to other people your age.What is Lady Gaga's IQ? ›
One thing that many may not know is that gaga actually has an impressively high IQ of 166 which means that she falls into the exceptionally gifted category — just like Ashton Kutcher, Quentin Tarantino, and Matt Damon.What's the IQ of Jeff Bezos? ›
Jeff Bezos' IQ has never been confirmed publicly but is considered to likely be over 150.How smart is Snoop Dogg? ›
: FACTS: According to IMDB, Snoop Dogg's IQ score is 147, which is considered to be extremely high and that of a gifted genius.What is the average IQ in Germany? ›
Various sources, however, estimate it at 152 IQ based on biographical data, publications, and achievements. He is regarded as a genius and among the world's most intellectual individuals. A score of 152 is regarded as high, while a score of 100 is considered normal.Who has the largest IQ on Earth? ›
He holds the Guinness World Record for IQ at 210 and he was invited as a guest student in physics at Hanyang University when he was three year old. He was invited to America by NASA at age eight, he worked at the space organization for ten years and then returned to Korea.
The average I.Q. of a doctor is approximately 125. Studies have determined that a doctor's I.Q. will normally fall within the 110-130 range, putting them into the 'high average' and 'superior' Wechsler classifications.What is Brad Pitt's IQ? ›
|Brad Pitt||Hollywood actor||126|
The Hollywood heavyweight, who boasts an IQ of 160, famously completed the project with his longtime friend Ben Affleck.
According to multiple sources, Sylvester Stallone IQ is claimed to be at 160, which places him in the 0.1% of the population who are geniuses or nearly geniuses. This figure demonstrates his superior capacity for logical reasoning, quick thinking, and quick reactions.What does 999 IQ mean? ›
The Triple Nine Society (TNS) is an international high IQ society for adults whose score on a standardized test demonstrates an IQ at or above the 99.9th percentile of the human population.Who had an IQ of 300? ›
There is not a distinct answer to who has the highest IQ, but it is not Albert Einstein. Those with higher IQs in comparison with Einstein include William James Sidis, Leonardo Da Vinci and Marilyn vos Savant. Sidis was a child prodigy whose IQ was estimated to be anywhere between 200 to 300, says parade.com.Who has 300 IQ in the world? ›
William James Sidis has the World's Highest IQ. Anywhere from 250 to 300 is his IQ score, almost twice the score of Albert Einstein. At the age of eleven, William famously entered Harvard University, becoming the youngest person to enter. He also claimed to be conversant in 25 languages.What's higher than a genius? ›
The sixth level of intelligence is the level of being a SUPER GENIUS. It is far higher than the genius level because super genius contains transcendental genius. Many geniuses have a kind of behavior which is perceived by others as eccentric.
A genius is more creative than a person who is merely intelligent. It is creativity that leads to invention of new products and is labeled as a prerequisite in a genius. Intelligence helps in adapting to different circumstances easily though it does not need genius.What are the 7 types of genius? ›
- Word Smart (linguistic intelligence)
- Math Smart (numerical/reasoning/logic intelligence)
- Physically Smart (kinesthetic intelligence)
- Music Smart (musical intelligence)
- People Smart (interpersonal intelligence)
- Self Smart (intrapersonal intelligence)
While intelligence is, of course, a prerequisite of genius status, there are other things at play here – including creativity, self-awareness, and an innate ability to ask questions few others have ever asked.What are 10 signs that you are a genius? ›
- You listen more than you talk.
- You can focus on something for hours.
- You are a night owl.
- You adapt to change easily.
- You know there is a lot you don't know.
- You are curious.
- You are open-minded.
- You like being alone.
Terman defined “potential genius” as having an IQ of 140 and above, which is about 1 in every 250 people, while American psychologist Leta Hollingworth used as an even higher IQ threshold (180), which would translate to approximately 1 in every two million people.What month are geniuses born? ›
Those born in September are, apparently, the smartest out of the entire year. According to Marie Claire, a study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that there's a clear correlation between the month during which you were born and how smart you are.Is genius inherited? ›
Like most aspects of human behavior and cognition, intelligence is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.Do geniuses work hard? ›
Geniuses, on the other hand, tend to be quite industrious and hardworking, and love getting their teeth into really difficult problems.What is a good IQ score for a 70 year old? ›
People between 65 and 69 years of age have an average IQ score of 114, which puts them in the superior intelligence or above-average end of the scale. But people between 70 and 74 years who are tested for IQ get an even higher average score of 119.What is it like to have an IQ of 80? ›
Those with an IQ 80 or higher are completely capable of operating alone, but they struggle with making decisions. Those with an IQ 80, which falls within the 'below average' range, are employable, but only if their job does not require making decisions.
Jeffrey Dahmer - 145
The Milwaukee Cannibal is one of history's most disturbed and infamous serial killers. But he was also, according to his IQ tests, damned clever too.
A score of 130 or higher signals a high IQ. Membership in Mensa, the High IQ society, includes people who score in the top 2 percent, which is usually 132 or higher.What IQ do you need to get into Harvard? ›
What IQ do you need to get into Harvard? “Average” in a selective prep school can be ~120. Average IQ at MIT or Harvard is closer to 130. Average SAT score is 1000 (M+V).What is the most accurate IQ test? ›
Which IQ test is most accurate? The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, or WAIS, is the most accurate IQ test.At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›
They conclude that humans reach their cognitive peak around the age of 35 and begin to decline after the age of 45. And our cognitive abilities today exceed those of our ancestors. “Performance reveals a hump-shaped pattern over the life cycle,” report the authors in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.At what age does IQ start to decline? ›
Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as fluid intelligence, peaks around age 20 and then begins a slow decline.What increases IQ? ›
Training your memory, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence levels. The best way to train these areas of your brain is to engage in thoughtful activities and games, learn new skills, and keep your brain active.What was Stephen Hawking's IQ? ›
IQ 160. If you wonder who has an IQ of 160, the answer is usually Stephen Hawking. Until his death in 2018, Stephen Hawking was one of the most prominent and well-known scientists of the twenty-first century.Is 120 IQ a genius? ›
An IQ score over 140 indicates that you're a genius or nearly a genius, while 120 - 140 is classed as "very superior intelligence". 110 - 119 is "superior intelligence", while 90 - 109 is "normal or average intelligence".How smart is a 128 IQ? ›
|IQ Range ("deviation IQ")||IQ Classification||Percent Included|
|128 and over||Very Superior||2.2|
Various sources, however, estimate it at 152 IQ based on biographical data, publications, and achievements. He is regarded as a genius and among the world's most intellectual individuals. A score of 152 is regarded as high, while a score of 100 is considered normal.What was Leonardo da Vinci's IQ? ›
A painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most diversely talented person to have ever lived. His estimated IQ scores range from 180 to 220 by different measures.Is 115 IQ gifted? ›
Although there are no standard IQ levels of intellectual giftedness, some experts suggest the following IQ ranges: Mildly gifted: 115 to 129. Moderately gifted: 130 to 144. ighly gifted: 145 to 159.How common is an IQ of 122? ›
An IQ 122 score is considered high. Individuals with this score outperform 92.9 percent of their peers in their age group. On a credible IQ test, only around one out of every ten people would score so high.How smart am I if my IQ is 124? ›
According to the WAIS-IV scale, you are a superior intelligent individual with an IQ 124 score. This is substantially above the typical range on all scales. Given that the typical range is 90 to 109, IQ 124 is clearly substantially higher.How is the IQ of Elon Musk? ›
Elon Musk IQ is close to this starting point, with an estimated score of 155. The typical genius has an IQ of around 140. With this in mind, he can be regarded as a genius, even if he lacks the ability to tackle complicated issues.