What do Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Judit Polgár have in common? They are a handful of humans with high IQs.
But the curious always ask, “what is the highest possible IQ you can achieve?“
In this article, we’ll be answering questions about IQ, who has the highest IQ recorded, and how you can enhance your intelligence level.
What Is IQ?
IQ stands for ‘intelligence quotient,’ a concept created in 1916 by the American psychologist, Lewis Terman. During World War I, Lewis conducted the first intelligence test on American soldiers.
In addition to measuring how much information you know and the highest IQ score you can get, these tests also analyze your brain’s capacity to learn.
Intelligence tests examine your overall cognitive functions, including:
- analytical thinking
- short-term memory
- logical reasoning
- spatial recognition
While the scores do show what the highest IQ score you can get is, these tests essentially measure your ability to reason and solve problems compared to other people of your age group.
What Are the Ranges of IQ Scores?
Since IQ tests are divided into sections to test different cognitive functions, you may find that you excel in certain sections and score lower in others. This is entirely normal and nothing to worry about. We each have our strengths and abilities regardless of the highest possible IQ we can get.
The most commonly used scoring method for these tests is the ‘deviation IQ.’ If the test taker receives a score of 100, they fall in the median range. A score of 115 falls in the range above that. A score of 85 falls in the range below.
There are a number of tests to classify the highest IQ a person can get, the most widely used being the Wechsler Intelligence Scales and Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale.
|IQ Range||IQ Classification|
|130 and above||Very Superior|
|69 and below||Extremely Low|
Average IQ score
Although there are variations in intelligence tests, the average score on most IQ tests is 100.
For the majority of test-takers, their highest IQ score will lie within the middle range between 85 and 115.
High IQ score
An above-average IQ score is 116 or more. And only a small fraction of test-takers has a high average score.
However, this isn’t the highest IQ you can have.
What Is the Highest IQ Possible?
In a manner of speaking, there’s no maximum number to an IQ score.
There are many tests that measure intelligence, like the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Because these tests have evolved over the years, it’s difficult to compare results from different eras.
So, it is commonly accepted that if you score 130 or higher, it signals that you have a superior IQ and you’re amongst the 2% in the world that has the highest IQ possible.
What Is the Highest IQ Score Ever Recorded?
Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Judit Polgár had intelligence scores between 160-170, which put them in a very elite group of people with the highest IQ scores ever recorded.
There have been several ‘geniuses’ in our history. But with no absolute score limit, it makes one wonder what’s the highest IQ ever recorded and who holds the title?
That title goes to writer Marilyn vos Savant. She was 10 years old when her test revealed a score of 228, the highest ever recorded by the World Book of Guinness Records. (Unfortunately, the company removed the category in 1990 because the numbers are considered inaccurate.)
Although Marilyn holds the highest possible IQ recorded, there are a number of other notable geniuses. Here are a few of them and their quotient:
- Adhara Pérez, student: 162
- Nikola Tesla, inventor: 160 – 300
- Marie Curie, scientist: 180 – 200
- Sir Isaac Newton, physicist: 190 – 200
- Sho Yano, physician: 200
- William Sidis, mathematician: 200 – 300
- Terrence Tao, mathematician: 211 – 230
Who is the smartest person in the world in more recent times?
The bar for highest IQ someone can have get keeps getting higher and higher.
More recently, the title goes to the Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman. His score is 238.
His greatest academic contribution to date is Thurston’s Geometrization Conjecture: the solution to the famously challenging mathematical hypothesis, the Poincaré Conjecture.
How Can You Increase Your Intelligence Score?
Some believe intelligence is set in stone. What you’re born with is what you’ve got. Right?
Wrong. It is possible to attain your highest possible IQ. As Jim Kwik, says,
Your brain is muscle. It’s not about mental intelligence, it’s about mental fitness.
Here are some ways to improve your cognitive abilities:
- If you’re interested in finding out more about your intelligence level and the highest IQ score you can get, you can take a test. There are plenty of tests available online.
- You can learn to speed read if your job requires reading a lot of documents and non-fiction books.
- For game and trivia lovers, you can set aside five to ten minutes a day and play brain teasers and puzzles like Sudoku. These brain teasers really give your intelligence quotient a quick boost!