Donald Trump’s IQ Makes Him Smartest President-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

President Donald Trump’s IQ of 156 places him in the 99.99 percentile of intelligence nationally, and it makes him the most intelligent president ever.

The Truth:

There’s no way to prove or disprove claims that President Donald Trump’s IQ makes him the smartest president ever, or smarter than 99.99 percent of the population.

Donald Trump’s IQ has long been a topic of conversation, particularly because Trump has made reference to his “high IQ” numerous times on Twitter and on the presidential campaign trail:

 

Still, while Trump has talked frequently about his “high IQ,” he has never made any specific claims about his IQ, or released aptitude testing to confirm those claims. Instead, Trump has pointed to his business record and the fact that he attended the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania to support claims about his high IQ.

During the 2016 presidential campaign in 2015, claims began circulating that based on Wharton’s admission requirements, Trump’s IQ was 156, making him smarter than 99.99 percent of the population (and almost all previous presidents). The claim appears to have started with a slide created by “Gary Forbes,” an online Trump booster about which little is known, in 2015:

Donald Trump Genius IQ Slide
Rumors about Donald Trump’s IQ being 156 started with this slide by Gary Forbes, a conservative strategist about which little is known.

The slide makes a number of false or misleading claims. It states, “Based on Wharton’s admission standards and his known SAT scores, Trump’s IQ exceeds 156.” However, Trump’s SAT scores have not been made public, and he didn’t go through the normal Wharton admissions process because he was a transfer student. That calls into question claims that Trump’s IQ is 156 based on Wharton’s admission’s process.

Trump Transferred to Penn from Fordham

Trump attended Fordham University from 1964-1966 before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. Part way through his first year at Penn, Trump was admitted the Wharton School of Business.

Brenda Blair wrote in her 2001 book “The Trumps” that Trump was admitted because of a “friendly” admissions officer who’d gone to school with Trump’s older brother and was familiar with the Trump family. Regardless, Trump graduated from Penn’s Wharton School of Business in 1968 with undergraduate degrees in economics and anthropology — but he wouldn’t have gone through the normal Penn admissions process as a transfer student.

Penn’s SAT Requirements Don’t Support Trump IQ Claims

PrepScholar.com calls Penn an “extremely competitive” school, advising students that they’ll need a GPA of 3.9 and “nearly straight A’s in all your classes to compete with other applicants.”

Also, students are expected to score at least a 1500 on the “new” 1600 SAT scoring scale. A score of 1500 translates into an IQ of about 145 to 148 — which is still very high, but far less than 156.

Still, those details are irrelevant because it’s not known what Penn’s admission requirements were in the 1960s for transfer students, and it’s been suggested that Trump’s family connections played a role in his admission to Wharton.

A New Version of Trump “Genius IQ” Claims 

Claims about Trump’s “Genius IQ” took a new form when a graphic began circulating that shows Donald Trump’s so-called 156 IQ made him more intelligent than every former president except John Quincy Adams.

The IQs of the former presidents was based on a 2006 study, “Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership: Estimates and Correlations for 42 U.S. Chief Executives,” conducted by University of California-Davis profession Dean Keith Simonton. Because most presidents “died long before the advent of intelligence tests,” the study extracted “personality descriptions” that were used to create unidentified profiles that a panel of judges then rated to score the IQs of former presidents.

The graphic circulating places Donald Trump’s IQ of 156 near the top of the list of estimated presidential IQs — but again, there’s no way to confirm that Trump’s IQ is actually 156 because that claim is based on shaky claims about Wharton’s admission standards, Trump didn’t go through the traditional admission process as a transfer student, and there’s no aptitude testing to verify Trump’s IQ.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Donald Trump highest IQ
An earlier unproven claim that Donald Trump’s IQ is 156 has been used to argue he’s one of the smartest presidents ever.