Wellingborough school genius achieves highest Mensa IQ test score possible - at the age of 10

The brainbox shocked his mum with the perfect result

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:18 am
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:31 am
Dexter with his letter from Mensa.
Dexter with his letter from Mensa.

A brainbox left his family stunned after achieving the highest Mensa IQ test score of 162 - at the age of just 10-years-old.

Wellingborough Prep School head boy Dexter Pettican's perfect result makes him one of the youngest members of the high IQ society with the maximum score.

The year 6 pupil, who lives in Earls Barton, only took a test after a conversation with his grandad over sudoku and crosswords left him wondering what his IQ was.

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Dexter achieved the top score.

But he returned a score of 162 on the Cattell III B test, which examines verbal reasoning, giving him a higher IQ than Professor Stephen Hawking who was believed to have an IQ of 160.

Dexter's mum Chantal, 40, said: "I almost fell off my chair I was that surprised.

"Doing the test was never about having a child genius, it was about having some fun.

"We are incredibly proud of him."

Dexter first became interested in taking a test after his grandad told him about IQs and how to work it out, leaving the inquisitive youngster wanting to know more about his own.

Chantal, a personal assistant at Barclays, looked online but found Dexter couldn't take a Mensa test because he wasn't 10-and-a-half, the minimum age to sit one.

After waiting until he was the minimum age he travelled to Birmingham to take the test, answering 150 questions in 90 minutes in the nick of time.

And last week Dexter, who enjoys doing riddles and brainteasers in his spare time, found out he had not only been offered Mensa membership but achieved perfection.

Chantal said: "He's quite a modest child but he's pretty chuffed and proud of himself.

"He starts senior school in September so this is a big boost for him."

Dexter, a keen sportsman who plays cricket at Overstone Cricket Club and rugby at Old Northamptonians, loves anything to do with maths.

And Chantal said he wants to be a mathematician or scientist when he is older.

She added: "He's so young - the world is his oyster."

A British Mensa spokesman said: “We are delighted to welcome Dexter to Mensa, where he joins a growing community of children and teenagers.

"As well as the chance to meet other bright sparks, Dexter can join in with Mensa’s events and special interest groups to help him develop his interests and discover new ones.

“His parents can also join our family Mensa groups to tap into the support network of other parents who understand the delights and challenges of bringing up a bright spark."

What is Mensa?

Mensa was founded on October 1, 1946, in Oxford. It was the brain child of two barristers, Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill, who discovered a mutual interest in high intelligence and its applications during a chance meeting.

Their founding principle – that all members are equal regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, race or politics – is still at the heart of the society today.

There is only one criterion for membership: a measured IQ in the top two per cent of the population.

Once in, all members are equal and individual IQ scores are rarely mentioned. Mensa is a round table organisation - the word Mensa actually means table in Latin, although many people still think it must be an acronym.

There are about 140,000 Mensa members worldwide and about 19,000 in the UK and Ireland, aged between three and 102.

Notable people reported to have qualified for Mensa membership include TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Olympic swimming champion Adrian Moorhouse and Roger Squires, the Guinness World Record crossword compiler.