Possibly one of the smartest people to ever live, Marilyn vos Savant has held Guiness Book of World Records for the highest individual IQ score ever recorded. The Guiness Book of World Records has since retired this IQ category, but she held this record from 1985 to 1989.
Marilyn vos Savant took two IQ tests: the Mega Test and the Stanfod-Binet. Her most famous IQ test score is from the Stanford-Binet, which she took in 1956 at age 22 where she scored 228 on the test, which was the listed score in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Many have criticized this Marilyn vos Savant’s record IQ test score as being outdated, as it was based on a 1937 version of the Stanford-Binet. Todays version would not allow an IQ score to rise higher than 170, so good luck getting a 228 on the Stanford-Binet today (it’s impossible)!
Savant did eventually take the Hoeflin’s Mega Test in the mid-1980s, where she scored a 46 out of 48. This is an exceptional score that places her well into the 99th percentile, and confirms that Savant is a certified genius given that she scored so well on two separate IQ tests decades apart from one another.
Savant holds memberships with the Mega Society and Mensa International.
About Marilyn Vos Savant
Marilyn vos Savant was born on August 11, 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri to an electrical engineer father and a mother who taught disabled children how to read and write. She has two brothers, one of whom is severely disabled.
Distinguishing herself academically from an early age, she skipped the first grade, and graduated high school at just 14 years old. In 1968, Savant earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She then worked as a teacher for several years before beginning her writing career, which sparked the interest of “Playboy” magazine. In a 1990 interview with Howard Stern, Marilyn Savant said that she had been listed as the world’s smartest person in the Guinness Book of World Records for more than 10 years at that point.
In her famous column, called The Sunday Parade, Savant answers a wide array of questions from readers, ranging anywhere from the meaning of life to the best way to discipline children.
Her column is published in more than 150 newspapers throughout the world. Savant also writes two other columns, one called Ask Marilyn and another called Kidspeak for “Parade” magazine.
A longtime resident of New York City, Savant lives with her husband, a former professor of computer science at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. The couple have no children.
About IQ Tests
An IQ test is made up of many different kinds of questions that test your ability to reason and solve problems. There are no trick or ‘trick’ questions on an IQ test because all the questions are supposed to be difficult in order for them to accurately measure your intelligence. The questions cover many different areas, including some that test your knowledge of the world and how you interact with it, what abilities you use to solve problems, and some more complex thinking skills that are harder to measure.
IQ Scores and Standard Deviations
IQ tests usually have a ‘normal distribution’ pattern, which means the majority of people score in the middle and there are fewer people that score either very high or very low. So while it’s possible to get a perfect mark on an IQ test, doing so is extremely unlikely. People who take the same form of an IQ test will get pretty much the same result. IQ tests are assigned national percentiles, which means that if you scored in the 95th percentile of people who took the same form of an IQ test as you did, you’d be higher than 95% of other people who also took it.
IQ Test Score Ranges
The standard range of IQ scores is between 60 to 140 – although this score will be different and depends on the type of IQ test that is being administered. This means that the average score is 100 and around 2/3 of people will score between 85 and 115. For most IQ tests, if you get less than 55 or greater than 145, this suggests there may be a problem to discuss with your doctor.