What Is The Genius IQ Level?

What is the Genius IQ Level? A score of over 140 is considered a genius or near genius. There is a lot of talk about IQ tests but not many people understand what the scores actually mean.

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The genius IQ level is the highest level of intelligence a person could achieve but there are other levels that also denote great intelligence. It is important to understand all the different levels there are before reaching any conclusions about your own or other people’s intelligence. Even within the genius IQ level, there are different levels.

What Are the IQ Scores?

Let us begin by looking at the different IQ scores. Understanding the different scores will help you to understand what is a high IQ score and what is a low IQ score. If you are thinking of taking an IQ test or have already taken one, you will need to become familiar with all the possible IQ scores and what they mean so you can interpret your score accurately and in the right context. Of course, this also works if you are looking at someone else’s score (for example, your child’s).

The original idea behind IQ and the first scale for classifying each of the IQ scores belongs to the American psychologist and author Lewis Terman, who in 1916 came up with the following scores:

  • Over 140.
  • Between 120 and 140.
  • Between 110 and 119.
  • Between 90 and 109.
  • Between 80 and 89.
  • Between 70 and 79.
  • Under 70.

Logically, the higher the number the higher the intelligence of the individual that has taken the test.

Image: Wikipedia

But, as you can see there are many different scores. Let us go through them one by one starting from the top.

You wanna build your IQ higher in the next two years? Be uncomfortable. That means, learn something where you have a beginner’s mind. – Nolan Bushnell

Over 140: The Genius IQ Level

The best possible score is over 140. A score that high means that the tested individual is a genius or a near genius. It is estimated that only about 0.25% of the global population has such a high level of intelligence. We are talking about people like Albert Einstein, who was supposed to have had an IQ score of about 160.

The over 140 scores can be further broken down. A score of 135-144 means that the individual tested is highly gifted. This is a category most intellectuals would fit. A score of 145-154 would indicate genius at the same level as college professors. A score of 155-164 is also genius and would put the tested individual on the same level as Nobel Prize winners. A score of 165-179 would denote high genius and 180-200 would be the highest genius. Anything above 200 would be considered an unmeasurable genius.

People with a high IQ or over are welcome to join Mensa, the world’s largest and older, intelligence society with a global presence. Only people in the top 2% would be considered intelligent enough to join Mensa. Some of Mensa’s most prominent members, known as Mensans, are Geena Davies, Donald Petersen, Marilyn Vos Savant, Alan Rachins, and Barry Nolan.

Normal to Intelligent to Very Intelligent

But do not be discouraged if you do not get an IQ score over 140. It is extremely rare to get that. Lower scores are very good, too. And a lot more common. Let us look at other IQ scores that denote intelligence, again beginning from the top.

A score of 120-140 means that the tested individual possesses a very superior intelligence. Okay, that does not sound quite as good as “genius” but would not feel unhappy being deemed a person with a very superior intelligence?

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And there are also other excellent scores. For example, 110-140 means that the tested individual has a superior intelligence. And a score of 90-119 means a normal (or average) intelligence.

Image: Pxhere

There is nothing to worry about for people who score above 90. Everyone who scores that or higher is intelligent. The problem comes when the score is below 90. But, let us look at those low scores separately.

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new. – Travis Bradberry

Low IQ Scores

As we have seen, there are different levels of intelligence from normal to genius. But, there are also some scores that highlight the lack of intelligence of people who do not reach an IQ score of 90.

A score of 80-89 indicates dullness. A score of 70-79 indicates borderline deficiency. And anything under 70 means that the tested individual has a definite feeble-mindedness. People with such low scores many need assistance in activities that people with higher scores may take for granted.

The biggest possible gap in IQ levels would be between 70 (or below) and 140 (or above); that is the difference between a genius IQ level and a feeble-minded IQ level.

Image: Wikipedia

Let us now look at the scores below 70:

A score of 50-70 indicates mental retardation. About 85% of people who score below 70 belong to this band. A score between 35-50 indicates moderate mental retardation. About 10% of people who score below 70 get that score. Between 20-35 means severe mental retardation, which affects about 4% of people who score below 70. And an IQ score of less than 20 means profound mental retardation and only about 1% of those who score below a 70 score less than 20.

How Are IQ Scores Distributed?

Now that we have gone through all the different scores and what each one of them indicates, you might be interested in knowing how the scores are distributed.

It is estimated that as many as 99.5% of all IQ scores fall somewhere between a score of 60 and 140. Let us break it all down further.

95% of IQ scores are between 70 and 130, 70% of IQ scores are between 85 and 115, and 50% of IQ scores are between 90 and 110.

We hope that you now have a clearer understanding not just of what the genius IQ level is but also of what all the other IQ levels mean and who levels of intelligence they all denote.

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Opinions expressed are solely the authors and do not express the views or opinions of Science Trends nor the author's institution.
Cite this article as:
Juan Ramos, MA. What Is The Genius IQ Level?, Science Trends, 2018. Available at:
http://doi.org/10.31988/SciTrends.24158
*Note, DOIs are registered Friday weekly and therefore may not work until then.

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