Mensa is an international organisation whose only requirement for joining is to have an IQ in the top 2 per cent of the population. It was founded in 1946 and has about 110,000 members in 100 countries. IQ scores can be submitted from approved testing organisation, or applicants can be tested by their local Mensa office.
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The International High IQ Society
In 1946 barrister Roland Berrill and scientist/lawyer Dr. Lance Ware founded Mensa in England with the goal of creating a society for bright people to share ideas and interact socially. Mensa accepts members from any walk of life and any affiliation given that they have an IQ in the top 2 per cent of the population. Mensa does not have a political affiliation nor a religious one, and its goal is to create an environment free from radical, religious and political distractions.
There is no specific IQ score that qualifies a person for Mensa. Instead, members are accepted by the percentile in which they fall. Applicants must score in the top 2 per cent of the population, meaning that in the U.S. alone, approximately six million people can qualify for Mensa. Because different tests have different scales, there is not one specific score that qualifies a person for Mensa. For example, the minimum qualifying score of the Stanford Binet test is 132, but the Cattell test has a minimum qualifying score of 148.
Although many websites and organisations offer IQ testing, with a varying range of costs, Mensa only accepts scores from approved intelligence tests administered in a controlled environment. There are more than 200 different Mensa-approved intelligence tests, including those administered by school districts and college preparatory agencies as well as private psychologists. Mensa will not accept unsupervised tests, which include tests submitted electronically or over the Internet. All submitted test scores are individually reviewed by Mensa before the scores are certified.
Testing by Mensa
Mensa will also test individuals locally through a volunteer on a per-request basis. In the U.S., applicants must be at least 14 years old, and the 2011 fee was £26. American Mensa will only test an applicant once, unless there are extenuating circumstances or reasons to believe the test results will be different a second time around. Different national Mensa chapters have different procedures and age requirements, so applicants should contact their national office for more information.
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