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
- 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
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