The former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was not only a legendary political figure, but also one of the most important figures in modern history. In addition to his famous status as a key player in World War II, he is an accomplished historian and Nobel Prize-winning author. He was known as being both quotable and colorful with his unusual antics from climbing onto tables to give speeches and polishing his shoes in the garden.
What is less known about Churchill was that he earned an impressive academic reputation with an IQ score of around 150.
The British newspaper The Telegraph reported on Winston Churchill’s IQ score, which was analyzed through “complied analyses made by two leading academics.” Apparently, although the exact IQ score has never been disclosed, there were “two separate studies” that “revealed Churchill’s IQ to be close to 150.” Using “modern IQ testing,” the study’s author’s determined that this score would have been equivalent to being in the top five percent of people in Britain, which was apparently “the standard of genius at the time.”
A biographer named Walter Jackson Bate used Thatcher’s tests from when he attended Harrow school, one of England’s most prestigious secondary schools. His IQ score there was 129, placing him in the top 20 percent of his peers. Another test result from a young Winston Churchill was “equivalent to IQ 151.”
These results may seem surprisingly high for someone who did not excel in grade school and had an undistinguished academic career before joining British politics. Bate and other historians theorized that Churchill’s genius developed as a way to compensate for his physical limitations. He had poor eyesight and speech impediments as a child. As such, he took great interest in the arts and practiced oratory skills extensively, which was one of his primary assets as an adult politician.
Churchill’s brilliance was not only in academics. Winston Churchill was a successful artist and writer, which provided him another creative outlet to explore his ideas in the realm of politics. In addition, he used “his natural boldness” to make himself an effective public speaker. All these efforts contributed to Winston Churchill’s impressive IQ score.
Winston Churchill’s Background
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Churchill was born into an aristocratic family as the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.
At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served in various government departments; most notably as Home Secretary (1910-1911) under Herbert Henry Asquith and First Lord of the Admiralty (1911-1915) under Lloyd George. In the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1924-1929), where he restored Britain’s finances and implemented policies to combat unemployment. After Stanley Baldwin retired in 1937, Churchill became Prime Minister at the head of a coalition government. In 1940, he led Britain to victory . Churchill was infamously known for his strong speeches and radio broadcasts during the war where he coined the terms ” The Few ” and ” The Evil Empire “.
In domestic affairs, various reforms were introduced such as the creation of a minimum wage, while the expansion of the British welfare state formed a key component of the post-war reforms known as the Attlee Years, which helped to create a widespread universal healthcare system and National Insurance.
Churchill retired in 1955 but remained active as Prime Minister; he spoke in the House of Commons for over an hour without notes. Churchill spent much of his later life painting and writing. During this period, several volumes of his monumental work The Second World War were published. On A History of the English Speaking Peoples, four volumes were published between 1956 and 1958.
In January 1965 Churchill suffered a severe stroke which left him gravely ill. He died at his London home nine days later, at age 90. At the time of Churchill’s death, some 26 years after the end of his service as Prime Minister, he was the second longest-lived British Prime Minister (just a few months short of Arthur Balfour ) and the oldest holder of high office.
Winston Churchill was buried in St Martin’s Churchyard, Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace, is about 15 miles from Woodstock. He was the first commoner since John Hampden to be given a state funeral.
About IQ Tests
IQ tests are designed to measure intelligence with standardized questions on a variety of topics. A really high score on an IQ test is impossible for most people because the questions come in increasing levels of difficulty as you answer them correctly and require different knowledge to answer correctly.
When someone takes an IQ test, their score is compared with that of other people in their age group. There are many kinds of IQ tests, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Woodcock-Johnson tests. Each of these different IQ tests varies slightly in the skills and knowledge they test for and how difficult their questions are.
On an IQ test, each question is scored either correctly or incorrectly. The more questions a person gets correct, the more intelligent they are thought to be by the scores on an IQ test. However, getting all of the questions correct isn’t that easy because the questions do get harder as you keep answering them correctly.
A very high IQ score is around 140 or 145. People with this kind of extremely high intelligence are usually geniuses; however, there are some people who have scored very high on an IQ test that are not considered geniuses. Although most people can’t achieve a score of genius level on an IQ test, some factors can contribute to your scores.
People who have very good critical thinking skills tend to get higher IQ test scores than people with weaker critical thinking skills. If you study the test beforehand, you will be able to answer the questions more easily because you know what they cover. This is why taking practice tests can help raise your IQ score. However, it is important to note that only experiencing the test itself will give you an accurate reading of how intelligent you are.
Take a look at our IQ scores of famous people to see how Winston Churchill compares to other people throughout history.
What Can Affect IQ Scores?
There are many factors that can affect your IQ scores. Here are some examples:
Having a large vocabulary is one way to improve your verbal abilities, which can increase the number you get on an IQ test.
Many people who have good abstract reasoning skills also have exceptional pattern recognition abilities. This means that you can recognize a pattern in a group of objects or symbols and figure out what the next item in line would be, even if you haven’t seen it before.
Having a good memory is another way to improve your IQ score because having a better memory gives you more information with which to answer questions on the IQ test.
Having good processing speed is another way to increase your numbers, since processing speed requires you to look very quickly at a series of questions and determine the answer that would be most logical based on what you see.