Mensa Organization
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The American Mensa is an organization consisting of members who have demonstrated through official tests that they an IQ in the top 2% of the nation.

To qualify for membership, a person can either provide prior evidence or take one of Mensa's supervised tests. "Candidates for membership in Mensa must achieve a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of intelligence (a score that is greater than or equal to that achieved by 98 percent of the general population taking the test)."

The following scores on prior intelligence tests would give evidence of being in the top 2%:

  • SAT score of 1300 (taken prior to 9/30/1974)
  • SAT score of 1250 (taken from 9/30/1974 - 1/31/1994)
  • Wechsler Adult and Children Scales, scoring an IQ of 130
  • Many other tests as well.

In my case, at the age of 14, a professional psychologist administered to me the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised (WISC-R), on 9/15/1981. The report said that I had achieved a Full Scale WISC-R IQ of 130. Additionally, as an senior in high school, I had scored a 1300 on the SAT (800 in math and 500 in reading, in 1983). The 1300 SAT score is the equivalent of an IQ of 135, according to the IQ Comparison Site.

In general, an IQ of 130 or higher qualifies a person to be in the top 2%. An IQ score of 100 is considered average. IQ scores are formed on a bell curve, with 96% of the population falling between IQs of 70 and 130, thus 2% have IQs below 70 and another 2% have IQs above 130. The following web page link describes what IQ scores mean, and it shows a graphical picture of a bell curve and where particular IQs fall within that curve. While a person is considered "gifted" when having an IQ of 130 or higher (represented by 1 out of 50 people in society), a person is considered a "genius" when having an IQ of 140 or higher (represented by 1 out of 400 people in society, or the top 0.25%).

American Mensa is part of the International Mensa, founded in England in 1946. The two individual founders wanted to form a society for people whose IQ was in the top 2% of the population, "with the objective of enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities." International Mensa has more than 100,000 members in 100 nations worldwide; 40 of the nations have active Mensa organizations; and the USA accounts for approximately half the total members.

On a local level, I am a part of the Tampa Bay Mensa, which serves Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Sumter counties. A few of the members have web sites linked on the Tampa Bay members page. Here you can get a feel for some of the diverse types of people in the group. As I have found, "No two people think alike, but they think a lot." However, I did find one person (out of 16) on this member site that clearly does share my religious values, so I was happy to find this person and introduce myself via e-mail. He was also glad to get acquainted with me.

To unofficially test yourself, visit the Mensa Workout, for a 30 minute, 30 question test.

 

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Page was last updated on September 07, 2015