What Was Einstein’s IQ and Has Anyone Ever Beaten It?

5 min read -
Effie Bersoux
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AI-generated image of a man walking past a poster of Albert Einstein in a bookstore
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Highlights: Are IQ tests a legit way to measure intelligence? Discover the mystery behind Einstein's IQ and learn how to supersize yours to unleash your superbrain.
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There are ridiculously smart people out there. Many intelligence tests rank people with scores of 145 and above in the 99th percentile of the population. 

Sharon Stone, Aisha Tyler, Will Smith, Conan O’Brian, and Ashton Kutcher are just a handful of the people in the limelight with high IQs. There’s no shortage of comparisons between those in the 99th percentile and one of the most famous scientists of all time.

So, as curious minds want to know, what was Albert Einstein’s IQ?

Who Was Albert Einstein?

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist of the last century. He is best known for the theory of relativity, which gave birth to the famous mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2. He also made important contributions to quantum mechanics and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

Einstein’s intellectual achievements and eccentric character have made him synonymous with genius, and this is why phrases like “as smart as Einstein” exist to this day.

Albert Einstein’s biography

Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879, to secular Jewish parents. In his school years, he received advanced primary and secondary education. From an early age, he was very good at physics and mathematics and showed signs of a very bright mind.

Here are a few highlights from his life:

  • 1900: He graduated from the Federal Polytechnic School in 1900. However, despite his academic qualifications, he couldn’t find a teaching position and eventually found work at the Patent Office a little later. At the same time, he was working on his scientific papers and managed to publish some. This includes his doctoral dissertation on molecular physics and his special theory of relativity, reintroducing the relationship between space and time. 
  • 1908: His academic career began with teaching positions and professorships at various institutions, such as the University of Bern, the University of Zurich, and the German Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague. 
  • 1915: He published the general theory of relativity, which shook the foundations of theoretical physics, astronomy, and science as a whole.
  • 1921: He received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to theoretical physics. And that includes his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

But Einstein was even more than a brilliant scientist. He was a thoughtful commentator on subjects including Zionism, war, and philosophy. His most notable published non-scientific works are “My Philosophy” and “Out of My Later Years.”

In 1955, Einstein passed away. Many decades later, his legacy continues to inspire scientists, thinkers, and dreamers to this day.

AI-generated image of a woman, whose IQ is that of Einstein's IQ, reading a book

What Is the IQ of a Genius?

Many people equate IQ points with intelligence and higher brain functions. But they’re simply not the same thing. 

So, what is intelligence? Well, we could define intelligence as the brain’s ability to gather and apply different forms of knowledge.

Intelligence tests, such as the Cattell III B and Stanford-Binet, can measure intelligence, but it’s important to note that they are only capable of measuring a few forms of intelligence. In fact, some scholars suggest that we actually possess nine different types of intelligence.

These tests dictate that the maximum attainable IQ is about 170. But there are also individuals with IQ levels of 200 and above.

Today, having an IQ between 90-110 is regarded as average intelligence, and the majority of the world falls into this category. But anything above 145 IQ points is considered genius-level intellect.

And if we push even higher? Well, this is the realm of the IQ levels of geniuses like Garry Kasparov, Stephen Hawking, and Einstein himself.

What Is the Highest Possible IQ?

What was the IQ of Albert Einstein? Sources usually put his IQ at 160. The highest possible attainable IQ also hovers between the 160-170 range. But there have been people with a supposed IQ above 200.

Who could possibly have an IQ above 200? If we trace back through the history books, the names of a number of individuals come to mind.

Marilyn vos Savant, an American author and lecturer, is said to hold a record-breaking IQ of 228 points, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The question is: Is there anyone alive today who can break that record?

What Was Einstein’s IQ?

His theories rocked the scientific world, and his name is now synonymous with “genius.” But how did he get that way? 

According to research, Einstein’s brain had more glial cells compared to neurons, especially in the left inferior parietal area of his brain. This region is responsible for synthesizing information from different areas of the brain. The glial cells’ job is to speed communication between neurons, so the more you have, the higher your overall cognitive capacity is.

The thing is, Einstein never took an IQ test in his lifetime. Without any definitive answer, his probable score can still be estimated. He was brilliant, no doubt about it, so where does that put his IQ?

Most theorists peg Einstein’s IQ score between 160-190.

Because he never took any kind of test to measure his intelligence, the definite score is still a mystery. But without a doubt, he was a brilliant man with an incredible brain.

Who Has the Highest IQ in the World Today?

The highest IQ recorded today belongs to Terrence Tao with an IQ of 230.

Terrence lives up to his staggering IQ results. He acquired his Ph.D. at the age of 20 and went on to become the youngest professor at UCLA by the time he turned 24.

But IQ isn’t the be-all-end-all when it comes to measuring intelligence. And IQ is definitely not the only indication of future success.

All our lives, we’ve been sold the lie that our intelligence, our potential, learning, and memory is somehow fixed, like a shoe size. — @JimKwik Share on X

But this simply isn’t true.

The true path to success lies in challenging your mind. The more experiences you have, the more you learn. And according to Jim Kwik, a brain performance coach and trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest, learning is your true superpower.

IQ tests are an interesting way to measure certain types of intelligence. However, there are many different forms of intelligence we’re only just beginning to learn about.

AI-generated image of a man with Einstein's IQ on an tablet

Unlocking Einstein’s IQ Enigma

Having said all this about Einstein and human intelligence, it should be stated that IQ is only one of the brain’s properties. It’s a good indication of your smarts, but not good enough. Your capabilities and potential extend far beyond what a single test can reveal. 

In other words, your mental capabilities are not “fixed.” Anyone has the power to unlock their brain and enhance their cognitive abilities—and so can you.

Intrigued? By unlocking your access to the FREE Superbrain Masterclass, you too can experience what it means to fully unlock your brain’s superpowers.

This exclusive 82-minute masterclass is jam-packed with powerful hacks and techniques to learn faster, comprehend more, and forget less. With Jim Kwik guiding you through, you’ll learn how to:

  • Clear up “mental fog,”
  • Activate untapped areas of your brain,
  • Optimize your brain’s ability with the perfect morning routine, and
  • So much more.

As Jim says, “It’s not about mental intelligence, it’s about mental fitness.” And you can retrain your brain to transform your life too, starting today.

Welcome in.


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Effie Bersoux

Effie Bersoux

Effie Bersoux is a visionary founder with a passion for personal growth and professional excellence. She got drawn to introspection and self-awareness which eventually led her to discover how harnessing the brain’s fullest potential has a broader positive impact on personal and professional life.
Written by

Effie Bersoux

Effie Bersoux is a visionary founder with a passion for personal growth and professional excellence. She got drawn to introspection and self-awareness which eventually led her to discover how harnessing the brain’s fullest potential has a broader positive impact on personal and professional life.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

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To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.