It all began with a debate that Saanya Verma was having with her father. They were wondering whether IQ had any correlation to age. While looking for more information, they found a Mensa book. “So we thought it would be a great way to see what was correct,” says 11-year-old Saanya.
Saanya has scored the maximum possible scores in the Mensa Test (Cattell IIIB scale– 162 and Culture Fair scale – 142), which has put her squarely in the top one percentile across the globe.
Mensa is the High IQ society. It was formed in Oxford in 1946 by Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, and Dr Lance Ware, scientist and lawyer. Mensa scores are an attempt to measure intelligence, which per Mensa refers to quickness of mental apprehension (or mental agility). “I can confirm that Saanya is one of the youngest to achieve 162 in the supervised test as it can only be taken by people over the age of 10 and a half,” a Mensa spokesperson confirmed.
Winning the highest Mensa score
Saanya is presently studying in one of the leading independent schools in London. She was born in Bengaluru. Her father Sunil Verma from Punjab is a banker by profession and mother Sunita Pati Verma from Odisha is a HR and Recruitment professional.
Speaking of D-day, Saanya says they heard a sound at the door. Her mother had gone to collect the mail but this time it was different. The results of the Mensa test were out. It was her mother who opened the envelope. “Looking at me with a strange expression on her countenance, she handed it to me. I screamed. My eyes were filling up with tears of joy. I was in the high IQ society. It was a brilliant experience and I wouldn’t mind doing it again! It has given me many opportunities and has boosted my self-confidence greatly,” adds Saanya.
She has various interests and likes to explore different things. Currently, Saanya is working on further improving her French, chess, understanding of Robotics, and even programming. Her achievement in Mensa is a combination of everything. Her mother says they have always encouraged Saanya to work hard, participate, and experience as many different things as possible.
Keeping an open mind
“We have also prepared her to tackle failure as much as success. We feel elated. It’s definitely a proud moment for us and our extended family and friends,” says Sunita. Saanya is at an exploring stage. Though not firmed up a decision, her interests currently lie in Maths, English, Bio Genetics, and Space Exploration.
This test has not only helped Saanya understand that IQ is not a function of age, it also helped her improve her self-confidence. Her dad spends a reasonable amount of time with her discussing science and robotics. He says that Saanya has always surprised him with her questions, and her reasoning skills have often put him in situations where he has felt overwhelmed.
Saanya believes it is important to be persistent, never give up, participate, explore, unlearn, and learn. She says be good human beings and nice to everyone around you, regardless of age.