At just 10 years old, this Newcastle schoolboy is already one of the smartest people in the world.
Gosforth East Middle School student Aalim Arif received an official invitation to join Mensa, the high IQ company, after achieving an outstanding score on an IQ test.
An IQ of 130 or higher would be considered very high – Aalim’s score of 162 places him in the top 1% of people ranked by the test.
Go here for the latest news from Gosforth
Mum Shaheena Arif says that she and her husband Mohammed have known for a long time that their baby boy is smart.
But the couple, both doctors, had no idea how exceptional he would prove to be.
Shaheena said: “We knew he was smart, but we had no idea he would score so high.
“We weren’t expecting it, to be honest. He’s the one who wanted to do it, he’s been asking to take the test for a year or more. He was reading a storybook and at the end there were Mensa puzzles, he left and searched online and that’s how he got to know Mensa. He once told me he wanted to do this IQ test, I didn’t really think he was serious but he kept asking, over and over again.
“You have to be 10 years old to take the test, so as soon as he was 10 he said ‘well, I have to do it now’.
“He’s always been smart and smart and really good at math, we knew that, but when he’s your own kid, you never think of it in terms of numbers or IQ or anything like that.”
Aalim said his imagination was sparked reading a book about a young boy with a very high IQ, and after trying online tests and puzzles, he was desperate to take the test himself.
He said, “I wasn’t really nervous [about taking the test], I was right in the moment. I just walked in and did it. I thought it was worth a try.
When he found out he had succeeded, he said he was “surprised first” and then “really happy”.
A boy of many talents, Aalim can excel academically, but studying is not his only activity – he enjoys sports and has a passion for theater and performance.
When he grows up, he hopes to become an actor, pilot or scientist. As to whether his Mensa membership will help him in his future dreams, it seems for the youngster taking the test was much more about testing himself than heading towards a specific goal.
“I just wanted to come in, that’s it, basically,” he said.
For the latest local news from your area delivered straight to your inbox every day, go here to sign up for our free newsletter.