Indian-American Preesha Chakraborty, aged 9, named in world’s brightest students list

Preesha Chakraborty, a nine-year-old Indian-American schoolgirl, has been named in the “world’s brightest” students list, released by the prestigious Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (JH-CTY). The list is based on the results of above-grade-level tests of over 16,000 students across 90 countries.

Indian-American student Preesha Chakraborty, aged nine, has now qualified for more than 250 Johns Hopkins CTY’s Online and On-Campus Programmes for advanced students. Photo courtesy: X/@DDNewslive

Preesha is a Warm Spring Elementary school student in Fremont, California, and she took the US-based Johns Hopkins Center’s test in the summer of 2023 as a Grade 3 student, said a media release this week.

She was honoured for her exceptional performance on the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), ACT (American College Testing), School and College Ability Test, or similar assessments as part of the CTY Talent Search.

Less than 30 per cent of students qualify each year for either High Honors or Grand Honors/SET based on their test scores.

The Indian-origin student aced the test’s verbal and quantitative sections — on par with the 99th percentile of advanced Grade 5 performances — and bagged the Grand Honors, according to the press release.

The achievement qualifies Preesha for more than 250 Johns Hopkins CTY’s Online and On-Campus Programmes for advanced students in grades 2-12 in mathematics, computer programming, chemistry, physics, reading, and writing.

Mensa member at a very young age

Preesha is a lifetime member of the universally renowned Mensa Foundation, the oldest high-IQ society in the world. Membership is open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardised, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.

The Indian-American student achieved the Mensa membership at the age of six by securing 99 percentiles in the national level NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test), which assesses K-12 students for gifted and talented programmes.

Preesha loves travelling, hiking, and mixed martial arts, outside of studies. According to her parents, their daughter has always been passionate about learning and has consistently displayed exceptional academic abilities.

This is not just recognition of students’ performance on one test, but a testament to their curiosity and capacity for learning.

Amy Shelton, Executive Director of the CTY, about the “world’s brightest” students list

“These students have demonstrated enormous potential, and now we encourage them to seek out experiences and communities that help them challenge and stretch their knowledge, connect with other young scholars, understand diverse perspectives, think critically, and pursue their goals confidently,” said Shelton.

Founded in 1979, CTY is a centre for innovation dedicated to advancing the field of gifted education through research on testing, programmes, and other support for advanced learners.