So what exactly is Mensa? Mensa is a society for individuals with high intelligence quotients (IQs). It was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill and Dr. Lancelot Ware. Mensa is Latin for "table," representing the fact that all members are equal, regardless of their profession or background.
To become a member of Mensa, an individual must score in the top 2% on a standardized intelligence test. Mensa offers its own test, but membership can also be obtained by submitting evidence of prior achievement, such as a score on the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT.
Mensa has grown to become a global organization, with chapters in over 100 countries and a membership of over 100,000 individuals.
What Does Mensa Mean?
Mensa is a Latin word that means "table." It was chosen as the name for the organization because it represents the idea that all members are equal, regardless of their profession or background. The founders of Mensa, Roland Berrill and Dr. Lancelot Ware, intended for the organization to be a place where individuals with high intelligence quotients (IQs) could come together and share ideas without regard for social or economic status. Today, Mensa is a global organization with chapters in over 100 countries and a membership of over 100,000 individuals.
What IQ Do You Need to Get into Mensa?
To become a member of Mensa, an individual must score in the top 2% on a standardized intelligence test. This means that an individual must score higher than 98% of the population on a recognized IQ test.
The specific IQ score required for Mensa membership can vary depending on the test used and the specific norms for the population being tested. For example, a score of 131 on the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale, which is often used to test children, would qualify an individual for Mensa membership. However, a score of 132 on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, which is commonly used to test adults, would also be required for Mensa membership.
It's important to note that Mensa does not publicly release the exact cutoff scores for each test, as these can change over time. If you are interested in becoming a member of Mensa, you can visit their website or contact them directly for more information on the testing and application process.
Benefits of Mensa Membership
- Networking opportunities with other high-IQ individuals
- Access to Mensa's publication, "Mensa Magazine," featuring articles on science, culture, and current events
- Discounts on products and services from various companies
- Invitation to local and national Mensa events, including social gatherings and lectures
Famous Mensa Members
- Actress Geena Davis
- Director James Cameron
- Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan
- Singer-songwriter Bobby McFerrin
Mensa and Controversy
Mensa has faced criticism for its exclusivity and elitism, with some arguing that intelligence cannot be accurately measured by a single test and that the organization perpetuates harmful stereotypes about intelligence. Others have defended Mensa, saying that it provides a supportive community for individuals who may feel isolated due to their high IQs.
Despite the controversy, Mensa remains a popular and influential organization, with many notable members and a significant presence in popular culture.