Football comes first for Devon boy, 12, who scored IQ of 162

Football comes first for Devon boy, 12, who scored IQ of 162

By Jenny Kumah & Jonathan Morris
BBC News, 27 January 2024

A 12-year-old boy who scored the maximum in an IQ test says football still comes first.

Rory Bidwell, from Great Torrington, Devon, joined the ranks of Mensa after acing the Cattell III B test with 162, the top score for children.

This is above what is believed to be a score of 160 for Albert Einstein.

Rory is also a keen sportsman and said he would prefer a career in football because it is “what I love”.

Rory BidwellImage source, Family picture

Rory said he felt “really good” and “fantastic” after taking the test which his mother had suggested he take.

“I knew nothing about Mensa before the test, no preparation,” he said.


“I found it quite, quite easy.”

He said he wanted to use his brain to his advantage and “do something great” in the future.

Would he like to be the next Harry Kane or the next Einstein?

The football-mad youngster has been playing since he was about five years old and turns out for a local team.

“I’d like to be a mix in the middle. but if I could pick a career I’d probably pick football because that’s what I love,” he said.

“Being smart is really good because it makes life a bit easier.


“But I do prefer football, it’s my whole life.”

Rory BidwellImage source, BBC/Andy Alcroft

“It’s really quite cool because it’s not every day that you get compared to some of the smartest people ever,” he said.

He said he “loves maths and English”.

“I like being creative, like in maths I like to think of different ways to solve problems rather than just working out the answer.”

He also enjoys gaming and going out to the park.

Rory BidwellImage source, BBC/Andy Alcroft

Rory’s mother Abi, who also took the test and got a very respectable 129, said: “I’ve always known he was a really, really special boy.


“That’s why I put him forward for the test but to get those results and to have it confirmed is unbelievable.

“He picked up reading and maths very early.


‘Incredible heart’

“He has this incredible brain but he enjoys spending his time doing what he enjoys, whether that’s playing sports or on the PlayStation,” she said.

“He has an incredible heart as well. There are many parts of him that make him really special.”

Mensa said anyone who registers an IQ score which places them in the top 1% of the population had done “remarkably well” and Rory had shown “great potential”.

The Cattell III B has 150 questions which assess comprehension through passages of texts.

The average adult has an IQ of 100, while a score above 140 is considered to be that of a genius.

The maximum possible score is 161 for adults, and 162 for under-18s.

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