The Huffington Post Cavan Sieczkowski First Posted: 02/13/13 EST Updated: 02/14/13 EST
A British teenager, who loves tanning, manicures and parties, is being hailed as smarter than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates.
According to the Telegraph, Lauren Marbe, a 16-year-old from Loughton, Essex, has an IQ of 161. The straight-A student took the Mensa brain test with other high achievers from her school, and wound up getting a score that could be higher than some of the world's most revered minds.
"I was one of the last people to get my result and everybody before me had got around the 130 mark so that was the kind of result I was expecting," Marbe, who is a singer and hopes to study at the University of Cambridge, told the Telegraph. "My teachers knew I was quite clever because of my grades but they had always thought I was blonde and a bit ditzy. Now they keep saying 'I didn't realize you were that clever.'"
It's important to note that the IQ scores of German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and American founder of Microsoft Bill Gates are mere estimates. Einstein never actually took an IQ test because none of the modern intelligence tests existed during his lifetime, Yahoo! News U.K. notes. He is believed to have had an IQ around the 160 mark. Hawking and Gates might have scored 160, as well.
Business Insider stresses that IQ scoring is an inexact science. "Even with a test result in hand, the number can vary from exam to exam," writes BI reporter Robert Johnson. "Third party scoring or estimates based upon intellectual achievements are a popular way of getting a ballpark figure."
Mensa U.K. even notes that percentile is a more accurate assessment than IQ number. "An IQ of 150 is a meaningless claim unless the testing mechanism is also cited, but an IQ in the 98th percentile (i.e. higher than 98 per cent of the population) has consistent meaning," according to Mensa. A score of 132 on the Culture Fair test used by British Mensa places a candidate in the top 2%.
Either way, Marbe has earned the praise of her peers and superiors.
"In a time where the media and Government criticise our youth for their supposed ignorance and superficiality it is even more vital to celebrate and encourage intelligence," the principal of Roding Valley High School, where the 16-year-old "girl genius" attends school, told Yahoo! News U.K. "It is these bright young things which we hope - with the guidance of a good education - will become the future leaders of our society."
News of Marbe's IQ accomplishment follows the announcement that a 3-year-old boy has been inducted into Mensa. Sherwyn Sarabi from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has become one of the youngest members of Mensa. His IQ is 136, and he can count to 200 and name every country in the world.