She is 11 years old and enjoys swimming and playing the recorder. But while Victoria Cowie insists she is just like any other girl her age, in one respect she is very different.
The schoolgirl has just been admitted to Mensa after scoring 162 in an IQ test – better than the 160 thought to have been achieved by Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates.
The result puts her in the top 1 per cent of the British population in terms of intelligence.
Clever girl: Victoria Cowle has an IQ of 162 – higher than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates
Victoria, who has been offered scholarships to four prestigious fee-paying schools, said: ‘When I got the results, I was really surprised.
‘It’s quite daunting to be compared to great minds, but it feels good also to be thought of as that clever.
I really enjoy puzzles and working things out and I think I’ll go on to study sciences, especially biology, when I’m older.’
Victoria took the adult admission tests for Mensa, the society for people with a high IQ.
Celebration: Victoria has had the pick of four top Midlands secondary schools and won a place in Mensa in January
As well as surpassing brilliant scientists and Microsoft founder Mr Gates, her score gives her a higher IQ than Sigmund Freud, who is thought to have had an IQ of 156, Napoleon Bonaparte, with 145, and Hillary Clinton, with 140.
Only those with an IQ of 148 and above – the top 2 per cent of the population – qualify for Mensa. The average IQ is 100.
Victoria, an only child, said she hadn’t yet told her friends about her astonishing results.
She said: ‘I really enjoy science and doing experiments, but I also love acting and dancing and playing musical instruments.
‘I do theatre workshops and loads of sports like swimming and I really enjoy creative subjects.
‘But my favourite subject is biology and I want to be a vet when I’m older because I love animals and I don’t mind blood and things like that.’ Victoria’s parents, who live in Claverley, near Wolverhampton, and run a health and safety consultancy, said they had always known their daughter was bright, but had not quite realised she was at genius level.
Her mother Alison, 44, said she was proud of her daughter. ‘When she was at nursery she had the reading ability of a child twice her age and she won science awards at school,’ Mrs Cowie added.
‘We always knew she was clever – she was always in the top sets and her teachers always praised her – but we never quite thought she’d be in Mensa.
BIG BRAIN: WHO VICTORIA BEATS FOR IQ
- Napoleon – 145
- Stephen Hawking – 160
- Albert Einstein – 160
- Bill Gates – 160
- Sigmund Freud – 156
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – 135
- Madonna – 140
- Quentin Tarantino – 160
- Hillary Clinton – 140
- Bill Clinton – 135
- Nicole Kidman – 132
- Joey David – 134
‘She’s just a normal child to us. She likes acting, dancing and singing and she’s not the kind to always have her head stuck in a book.’
Victoria, who plays the piano, cello and saxophone as well as the recorder, hopes eventually to do a veterinary science degree.
But her parents aren’t quite sure where she gets her intelligence from.
Her father David, 42, said: ‘We think she was just born this way. Although myself and my wife are both clever, neither of us are in Mensa.
‘So when we got the results through, we were quite surprised but incredibly proud.’
Mrs Cowie added: ‘We’ve never pushed her or put pressure on her – we’re definitely not pushy parents.
‘Victoria does what she wants to do and we just give her the option. I just wish she’d tidy her room more.’