The IQs of German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein and English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking were measured by British Mensa's Cattell III B paper. They both scored 160.

For 12-year-old schoolgirl Lydia Sebastian, those scores are just a bit short of what she got when she took the test. She scored 162.

Lydia, who had been asking her parents for a whole year to allow her to take the test was finally able to sit the exam at Birkbeck College in London, while she was off from school on holidays. After completing the Mensa-supervised test paper, Lydia even had time to spare.

"I gave it my best shot already," said the 12-year-old from Langham in Essex, who will be starting her second year at the Colchester County High School for Girls.

Lydia's father Arun Sebastian is a radiologist at the Colchester General Hospital. He said that Lydia had been looking at websites for the IQ tests herself, and showed a great deal of interest in them. When Arun asked his wife, she said, "Why don't you go ahead with them?"

They were overwhelmed when they heard their daughter, who is only 12 years old, got a perfect score.

Arun said that while he was a trainee doctor, his wife was also studying chemistry. He had to be away on the weekends, but recalled he would talk to Lydia over the phone, who at six months had already began talking. Since she was four, Lydia has been playing the violin. She has also already read all seven Harry Potter books not once, but three times.

Only one percent of Mensa's entry paper takers achieve the maximum possible score in the IQ test. Lydia joins another 12-year-old Nicole Barr from Harlow, Essex and ten-year-old Aahil Jouher from Blackburn this year as perfect scorers in the Mensa test which measures abilities in verbal reasoning.

According to Lydia, the test challenged her language skills, definitions and analogies and sense of logic. She recalled being very nervous at the start, but once she started, it turned out to be much easier than she thought.

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