Understanding the Mensa IQ test can seem complicated, but it really isn’t. An IQ test is simply a measure of your intelligence compared to the average person. Are you above average or below average? The Mensa IQ test is no different.
Well, everything except for all the Mensa IQ test answers! If you are thinking of applying for Mensa, you must understand the Mensa IQ test and all of its components. From gaining a good knowledge of what Mensa as an organization is to breaking down how IQ tests work, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Mensa IQ test in this article.
What is Mensa?
Mensa, as a word, means table and is the name given to the Mensa organization, which serves as a round table of intellectual ideas. The main goal of Mensa is to foster human connection and communication amongst the most intellectually gifted people all across the world. The organization is similar to a club that you might join, where the members receive perks or benefits and are welcomed into a community.
The Mensa community is composed of people from all across the globe. People of every race, ethnicity, religion, educational background, age, and nationality make up Mensa. The organization has an international branch that oversees all its national chapters, but many countries offer members access to their national chapter of Mensa.
The only qualification you must meet to be accepted into Mensa is that you must score in the top 2% or the 98th percentile or above on either the Mensa IQ test or a Mensa-approved IQ test. The organization is made up of knowledgeable people and is known worldwide as a great intellectual endeavor.
Why Should You Join Mensa?
Joining Mensa is like joining any other club. There are benefits. The most obvious benefit of joining Mensa is the sense of like-minded community that it provides. For many people, just having others like them with whom they can discuss things can be beneficial, but this is far from the only benefit of being a member of Mensa.
One significant benefit of Mensa is the ability to be a part of either the online community called Workplace by Facebook or a special interest group known as a SIG. In both cases, they serve as smaller groups within Mensa of individuals with similar interests. For example, there may be a SIG on gardening, but there also may be an online Workplace community on gardening.
These are places for Mensa members to meet other members interested in the same topics and engage in discussion about the topics. These programs are integral to Mensa’s goal of fostering human connection and intellectual communication.
Another fantastic benefit of Mensa is that you have access to SIGHT. SIGHT stands for Service of Information, Guidance, and Hospitality for Travelers and is similar to a Mensa-only couch surfing program. The program aims to make international travel more straightforward for Mensa members by connecting them with local Mensa members wherever they might be traveling to.
Being a member of Mensa gives you special access to events all across your home country. In the US, Mensa members participate in the Mensa MindGames, a three-day event that brings together some of the top game creators and tons of Mensa members to play and critique the games. The games are all competing to become one of the five games selected as a “Mensa Select” game year.
Other Mensa events, such as CultureQuest, are hosted more at a local level. CultureQuest is a giant trivia game for Mensa members, complete with fabulous prizes. Members form teams of five and then have 90 minutes to compete by answering questions across a wide array of categories. This event is only open to Mensa members in the US or Canada, but lots of national Mensa chapters have their events for their members.
Which IQ Test Does Mensa Use?
Mensa accepts a number of different IQ tests. They offer sessions of their own Mensa IQ test, but they also accept IQ tests from a number of other reputable test publishers. Make sure you check with your local Mensa chapter to see what tests they accept and what tests they offer.
Make sure that whatever test you choose to take is accepted by Mensa. Although Mensa does accept a variety of IQ tests, including Stanford-Binet and Cattell, there are also tests that they do not accept. Mensa offers their own “Mensa IQ test,” but they also accept the most prominent and common IQ tests, as long as they offer official results.
It is also worth noting that each age category has different testing requirements. If you are over 16, most Mensa-approved tests will be accepted for your admission. If you are under 16, you’ll need to be extra careful as not all IQ tests will be considered for admission of children into Mensa. Remember that there is no minimum age to get into Mensa, though, so there is a test out there that is approved for every age.
What is the Minimum IQ to Get Into Mensa?
The short answer is that the minimum score to get into Mensa is the 98th percentile. The numeric score itself can look slightly different depending on the test that you take, but your score must fall in or above the 98th percentile. This will put you in the top 2% of the world’s population based on the intellectual measuring capabilities of the IQ test.
For example, if you were to take the Stanford-Binet IQ test, which is an approved and popular IQ test for Mensa admission, you would need to score at least a 132. On the other hand, if you were to take a similar approved and popular IQ test, such as the Cattell test, you would need at least a score of 148.
In both cases, the numeric scores stated above represent scores in or above the 98th percentile. The numerical difference in scores is due to the different ways that these tests are scored. Each IQ test is slightly different, but most of the common tests are accepted by Mensa. Although IQ tests started as intelligence quotients and were based on quotients representing chronological age and mental age, they are no longer based on this style of thinking.
If you are thinking about taking an IQ test to get into Mensa but don’t want to spend the money without first having some idea of how high your IQ is, there are options for you. There are plenty of Mensa free IQ tests online that will give you some idea of your score. Since these are not Mensa-approved tests, they won’t be 100% accurate, but they should give you a rough idea.
Another option is to take the Mensa IQ challenge on the Mensa website. The IQ challenge is given by Mensa and is a free, shortened version of the Mensa IQ test that you can take online. It won’t be entirely accurate because it is a shortened version of the IQ test, but it has been reputable since Mensa published it.
How Does Mensa Measure IQ?
IQ tests are an interesting point of discussion, considering many people know of them but actually know very little about them. IQ tests were initially created to help determine if a child needed extra help in school. They compared a child’s chronological age, their actual age, to their perceived mental age and converted those numbers into a quotient.
Nowadays, IQ tests are scored through rigorous statistical analysis and can be used by lots of organizations, like Mensa, to gauge someone’s intelligence. IQ tests work by testing various skills, such as basic math, working memory, fluid reasoning, and more, and combining them to give you one end score.
IQ tests are designed to have a normal distribution and an average of 100. This means that all scores are scaled so that 100 becomes this average score that everything else can be based around. So if you score a 120, that means that you are testing above average. These scores put you into percentile categories or ranks, and this is what will ultimately be used to determine your acceptance into Mensa.
So we keep saying that IQ tests measure your intelligence, but what exactly does that mean? Intelligence is a measure of your ability to learn new information and adapt to change. Since it is generally accepted that people will get more intelligent as they grow up, their IQ scores will likely change as well. The Mensa IQ test is an excellent snapshot of how you can learn and adapt compared to how the average person learns and adapts.
How Accurate is the Mensa IQ Test?
Although there have been some not-so-pleasant uses of IQ tests in the past, and thus many doubts have arisen surrounding their place in modern society, they are generally accepted by scientists as being an accurate measure of general intelligence. However, it is essential to note that although an IQ test covers a variety of topics, it is only designed to allow the test publisher to give you a score that measures your general intelligence, not each topic precisely.
According to the American Psychological Association, the true definition of intelligence is the ability to learn new things and adapt to new situations. If we go off of this definition, which is what IQ tests commonly are based on, the test simply measures how good you are in relation to the average person at learning new things and being adaptable. In this way, the test is considered entirely accurate.
It is also worth discussing what can affect your IQ score and how set in stone it is. For example, could you take an IQ test one day and have a qualifying score but test the next day again and not? This is totally possible! IQ can change based on lots of factors, from your genetic makeup to your environment, to how you feel when you sit down to take the test.
In general, your IQ will likely always fall within a specific range. If this range is higher, you will have a greater chance of getting into Mensa than someone whose normal IQ range is lower, but you do have some control over your IQ score. Remember that your genetics and other factors outside of your control impact your IQ, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Wrapping Things Up: What is the Mensa IQ Test?
There are so many great benefits of being a Mensa member that it can’t hurt to start exploring if Mensa might be right for you. IQ might be fluid and have the capacity to change over time, but your Mensa membership will never be reversed. Once you have achieved the score you need to be accepted into Mensa, you can sign up online, pay your membership fees, and secure yourself a lifelong membership into a unique international community.
This article has covered everything from understanding what Mensa is to answering your burning questions about IQ tests. If Mensa sounds like a good fit for you or if you have test scores that place you in the top 2% intellectually, we hope that this article has given you the tools necessary to decide if Mensa is the right choice for you.