Saanya Verma, has scored the maximum possible scores in the Mensa Test (Cattell IIIB scale– 162 and Culture Fair scale – 142) which has put her squarely in the top one percentile across the globe.
Mensa is the High IQ society. Mensa was formed in Oxford in 1946 by Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister and Dr Lance Ware, scientist and lawyer. The organisation later spread around the world. Standardised IQ tests look for competence in a range of areas – e.g. verbal, numerical, etc. – Mensa Supervised test sessions currently comprise two test papers. One is diagrammatical while the other measures largely verbal reasoning ability. A top 2% score on either would result in an invitation to join Mensa.
“I can confirm that Saanya is one of the youngest to achieve 162 in the supervised test as it can only be taken by people over the age of 10 and a half,” a Mensa spokesperson confirmed.
Saanya was one of the thirty eight from her school in Year 6 of amongst 79,000 primary school pupils who took part in the first round of the Primary Maths Challenge. She was awarded a gold certificate and was one of 1184 children invited to take part in the bonus round. Saanya was one amongst only 153 pupils who have been thereafter awarded a silver medal. (Only 530 pupils out of those that entered the bonus round were awarded a medal.)
Saanya is a year 7 student in a leading independent school in North West London area.
Her father, Sunil Verma, a banker by profession, spends a reasonable amount of time with her discussing science and robotics and often concludes that “Saanya has always surprised me with her questions and her reasoning skills have often put me in situations where I have felt overwhelmed. We are proud of her and are constantly challenged by her”.
Saanya’s mother Sunita Pati Verma, a HR & Recruitment professional says ” It has been a proud moment for us and I think it’s an equally proud moment for the community that has provided her with the support and encouragement to achieve these unique objectives.”
Saanya is constantly being exposed to new choices. Saanya has always been interested in the cosmos and maths.
She is an avid reader. When asked about her favourite book, Saanya says, “It’s very difficult for me to choose a favourite however there are certain stories I really enjoyed. These include The Hunger Games Series (which I liked because of my fascination with dystopian fiction), The Winds of Change (due to its original plots) and finally Jane Eyre (because it proved to me that classic books were not necessarily tedious to read).”
“We have always engaged with her, encouraged her to work hard, participate and experience as many different things as possible. We have also prepared her to tackle failure as much as success. For her, family does come first. Culture and values like respect for elders etc are extremely important.” says Sunita.
Saanya spends a large amount of time working on robotics and electronics and more recently, she has been developing codes for the robots (Lego Mindstorms) and electronic instruments (Arduino).
“I have started developing robots which can do some basic tasks such as follow a line, keep within a boundary, solve a maze etc. Arduino is a more recent thing I have started working on. I am at the initial stages where I look at inputs from various sensors such as light sensor, heat sensor etc and provide outputs to display screens and motors.” says Saanya.
When asked about her interests, Sunil says, “She has various interests, likes to explore different things. Currently she is working on further improving her French, Chess, Robotics, Programming skills. Her favourite subjects include Maths, English, Science, French. Saanya has recently won competitions in English creative writing, French Spellings, Science Fairs and Public Speaking.”
Among various career choices she has been considering, the few that seem to come up more often than others are: scientist, mathematician, biogenetics, robotics, economist and may be banker (like her Dad).
Sunita adds “Saanya is at an exploring stage. Though not firmed up a decision her interests currently lie in Maths, English, Bio Genetics and Space Exploration.”
When asked about her professional and personal goals, Saanya answers, “I hope that I will find myself in an extremely well established and academic university. I also would love to gather more knowledge and experience and perhaps to follow a career path relating to healthcare, robotics, space exploration etc. As for personal goals I hope to increase my singing, tennis and chess abilities.”
Sunil & Sunita add “First and foremost we would like to see her happy. We would also like to see her in a reputed university of her choice pursuing her career aspirations.”
Image Courtesy: Sunita Verma