The Western Daily Press is reporting on the story of Nicole Barr, a student at Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow, Essex, England, who achieved the maximum score possible for a youth on the test which she took early last week.
“When I found out I got such a high score, it was so unexpected. I was shocked,” said Barr, who wants to become a doctor.
“I remember when I was in primary school and I was an angel in a school play, another girl who was playing the other angel didn’t turn up so I learnt her lines too.”
Her teachers say she is already several years ahead of her peers and was able to tackle complex algebra before the age of ten.
Helena Mills, head of the district that includes Burnt Mill Academy called Nicole a brilliant, hardworking pupil.
“She works incredibly hard and has thrown herself into many different activities in her first year with us,” Mills said. “”For example she has been camping, entered writing competitions and taken part in a national maths challenge. She lives and breathes our unofficial motto of hard work pays.”
The talented young girl has become the talk of the gypsy community where she was raised. Also known as Travelers, members of these communities live mostly in Ireland and the UK and are predominantly Roman Catholic. They tend to live and travel in caravans, hence the name “Traveler”. Made popular by the TLC hit series, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, travelers tend to marry young and raise big families.
At present, one of the largest traveling communities in America is living just outside North Augusta, South Carolina.
This is the heritage from which Barr hails. Her father, James, is a 36 year-old gutter cleaner and driveway repairman who is understandably thrilled with his daughter’s accomplishment.
“The story has been going around the gypsy community, particularly on Facebook where it keeps being shared. It’s nice for us to be in the news for something good for a change. This shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from, anyone can be academically brilliant.”
Nicole is now a member of yet another exclusive community – Mensa International – which is comprised of people with exceptionally high IQs.
Of the 110,000 members of Mensa worldwide, only 35 percent are female, and just eight percent are under the age of 16.
Mensa Spokeswoman Ann Clarkson told the Daily that “Nicole’s IQ puts her comfortably within the top one percent of the population. Only children can get a score higher than 161, because that is the maximum IQ score for an adult. The test is age adjusted for children.”
She added: “While a score of 162 isn’t exactly unknown, it is still quite rare.”
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