A sophomore at Eulji University School of Medicine has the highest so-called intelligence quotient in Korea, U.S. website Business Insider reported. Lee Han-kyung achieved an IQ test score of 177, placing him seventh in the world. At No. 1 is Greek psychiatrist Evangelos Katsioulis (36).
The figures come from a website named World Genius Directory, which collates the results of various IQ tests by clubs that purport to bring intelligent people together.
The most venerable of these is MENSA, whose members are required to have an IQ test score of at least 130. Others include the Mysterium Society (at least 130), EPQ Society (143), Glia Society (147), ISI Society (148) and OLYMPIQ High IQ Society (175). The last has only 26 members.
The tests are not universally admired, but by one reckoning the probability of achieving an IQ score of over 175 is one in every 3.5 million people. Lee is a member of OLYMPIQ Society and other groups.
Born in Dajeon in central Korea, Lee is currently undergoing work training at Eulji Hospital. "I took my first IQ test when I was in high school and got 150," he said. He was also the only person in the world to get a perfect score in a global IQ test conducted on 500 high-scorers around the world in 2007.
As a child Lee enjoyed developing games while other kids his age were only playing them. He also could memorize 50 words after hearing them only once and recite them backwards, as well as remember the patterns on scores of playing cards after seeing them just once.
He recalls a happy childhood until middle school but says his life entered what he calls the "dark ages" thereafter. Asked if he was ostracized, he said, "I cannot say that conclusively, but I felt alone and public education did not help me." He added, "My topics of conversation were different. Since elementary school, I've been interested in global warming, cognitive psychology and the ethical aspects of the death sentence, but my friends didn't understand me."
He said his peers considered him arrogant, which made it difficult for him to make friends with others his age.
He recalls being a fidgety student who had trouble focusing in middle and high school. "The pace was too slow and the subjects I learned were too easy, so I solved problems in workbooks alone," he said. "I would have progressed through school faster if I'd studied at home or taken a national qualification test to finish middle and high school."