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Fifteen Cardiff schoolchildren get into high IQ society Mensa

Fifteen children at a Cardiff high school have passed the highly challenging test to get into Mensa, a society for people with high IQs.

The average mark for entrants of the test is 100, but fifteen pupils at St Illtyd's Roman Catholic High School, Rumney, scored 148 or more.

One 12-year-old scored the maximum mark of 162, which is higher than the estimated IQs of Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

The pupils will join around 20,000 other members of British Mensa.

As membership is restricted to the top two per cent of the population by IQ, members can come from all walks of life and backgrounds, according to Mensa.

History teacher David Richards organised for the pupils to take the test. He said it's a "diverse" test.

"We were looking at trying to provide a challenging opportunity for our more able pupils, so we decided to offer all pupils, not just the more able and talented pupils, an opportunity to sit the Mensa test.

"It's challenging, it's rigorous, and it gives [the pupils] an opportunity to show their problem-solving skills. This is the third year the school has ran the test. This year, 68 pupils volunteered to take it."

"The enthusiasm to take the test voluntarily was unexpected but pleasing," Mr Thomas said.

He added: "Everyone has had a different perspective on it - some found it quite straight-forward, some found it quite challenging, some found it progressively challenging, and others just found it outright confusing."

12-year-old Gabriel Navarro, who scored maximum marks, said: "When we first found out that I had 162, I didn't really understand what it meant so I was just proud for what I got.

"But then the next day everybody was like, 'You got 162? That's the max. score,' but I didn't really believe it until the teachers started saying it so I'm really proud."

Majharul Islam, 12, said he was surprised to get into Mensa.

"I scored 157 points on the test. My family were really proud, especially my mum."

Matilda Bates admitted she found the test progressively challenging, but urged others to give it a go.

"I'd say go for it, it's a really good confidence boost and you don't really need high marks in school to get high marks on the test."

What is Mensa?

Mensa is a not-for-profit membership organisation that was formed in 1946 for people with high IQs.

British Mensa has about 20,000 members across the British Isles. There are more than 110,000 members world-wide.

It aims to identify and foster human intelligence, encourage research and provide a stimulating environment for its members.

The current youngest British Mensa member is four years old. The youngest-ever member was two years and four months old at the time of joining.

What famous members has Mensa had?

Well-known members of Mensa include TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Cardiff-born boxer Nicky Piper, model and former Miss Rochdale Laura Shields, journalist Garry Bushell, the late sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, US actress Geena Davis, footballers Andy Harris (Leyton Orient) and Joey Beauchamp (Oxford United), and Who Wants to be a Millionaire winner David Edwards, who is from Barry.

What is included in the test?

Standardised IQ tests look for competence in a range of areas, including literacy and maths.

There are two test papers - one uses diagrams, while the other measures the ability to work through concepts and problems expressed in words. A top 2% score on either would result in an invitation to join Mensa.

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