In this tutorial you will be given the following:
- The IQ score you need to become a Mensa member.
- An explanation of how a Mensa IQ score compares to an average IQ.
- The official IQ tests that qualify you for Mensa membership.
- Where to find practice IQ tests for Mensa.
- How to prepare for taking a Mensa qualifying IQ test to maximize your chances of success.
- What is Mensa and what are advantages to being a Mensa member.
Note that this is independent advice by researchers specializing in intelligence augmentationthrough cognitive training interventions.
Getting into Mensa is NOT EASY. You have to score at or above the 98th percentile – the top 2% – on a standardized, professionally administered IQ test. This is typically a score of 130 or more. What does an IQ score of 130 mean?
With standardized IQ tests, IQ tests are designed so that their scores have a ‘bell curve’ distribution in the general population with an average of 100. This curve has a peak in the middle where most people score and tapering ends where only a small percentage of people score. In statistics this distribution of scores is called a bell curve ornormal distribution – as shown below.
IQ bell curve
Standardized IQ tests are designed so that the exact average (mean) IQ score in the general population is 100. An ‘averageIQ score’or‘normal IQ score’can be defined as a score between 85 and 115.68% of people score between 85 and 115.
The Mensa qualifying IQ score is a score that puts you in the top 2% of the population in a bell curve like this one. The Mensa qualifying score is 130 or higher, as shown below.
This table indicates how IQ levels can be classified.
Note that this IQ scale is meaningless unless you obtain a score from a valid, standardized IQ test. Most of these tests are professionally administered – for a fee.
Standardized IQ tests accepted for Mensa membership are administered by school districts (e.g. the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)), private psychologists (see below), the military (e.g. Army GCT) and human resource departments (e.g. the Wonderlic). There are two broad types of intelligence test:
- ‘Full-scale’ IQ tests, made up of subtests for fluid intelligence (Gf) as well as vocabulary and general knowledge, visuo-spatial ability, short term memory, and processing speed. Sometimes quantitative/mathematical reasoning is also tested in ‘full scale’ tests. A popular example is the WAIS-IV IQ test. For more on the definition of general intelligence and 5 factors of IQ click here.
- Culture-fair tests of fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is our ability to reason and problem solve, independently of familiarity, training and practice. These test a component of your intelligence called ‘fluid intelligence’. A popular example is the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices test.
Mensa acceptsscores from approximately 200 different standardized intelligence tests (click for qualifying test information here). Some are fluid intelligence tests. Some are full-scale tests.
The more well-known IQ tests can cost in the region of $300-$500 for a professionally administered assessment.
The Mensa Admission Test
A cost-effective method of measuring your true IQ level is to take a Mensa supervised test –$40.00in the US/£17.50in the UK. This fee includes:
- A reserved place at the centre of your choice.
- The opportunity to take two IQ test papers. The Cattell III B and the Cattell Culture Fair III A.
- The marking of your IQ test papers and your results returned to you in confidence.
American Mensa offers two test batteries by Mensa proctors, that may qualify you for membership. The first includes both the Mensa Admission Test and the Mensa Wonderlic®; this is the battery of tests given most frequently. This is a full-scale IQ test. The second battery is a “culture fair” battery that includes the Cattell Culture Fair, the Nonverbal Reasoning Test and the SRA Pictorial Reasoning Test. This is primarily a fluid intelligence test. Mensa Supervised test sessions are held at centres throughout your home country.Click here for detailsfromInternational Mensa. For those in the US clickhere. For those in the UK clickhere.
The Mensa Workout
To get you limbered up, try theMensa Workout.This quiz is not an official IQ test to qualify you for Mensa but gives you a good idea of the range of question types involved in official IQ testing. The questions on the “Mensa Workout” are biased towards people whose primary language is English.You have half an hour to answer 30 questions.
The Mensa Practice Test
Alternatively you can take the onlineMensa Practice Testfor $18.As explained by American Mensa:
The Mensa Practice Test is a fun way to discover if you are Mensa material. While this timed test will not qualify you for membership, it does offer an equivalent score that correlates to your IQ range and provides a strong indication of your likelihood for success should you choose to take our admission test.For only $18, you can take the Mensa Practice Test online now, and it will be scored immediately.
The GIQ Test
The GIQ testwill give you a good standardized estimate of your ‘full scale’ IQ – combining fluid intelligence (non-verbal) and verbal problems.The fee is$10. According to the test-makers:
The GIQ Test is an online analog for the most common clinically proctored IQ tests. In our internal study, the GIQ Test correlated within about 4% of an individual’s full scale score on a clinically proctored IQ test. The GIQ Test’s sections are modeled after clinical IQ test sections.
The GIQ has the following features
- Time required: 25-45 minutes estimated. No time limit.
- Components of intelligence measured: full scale intelligence, ‘verbal’, ’spatial’ and ‘quantitative’ intelligence. Your performance sub-score on this test can substitute as a measure of your fluid intelligence.
- Culture fair IQ test? No. Vocabulary, similarities and arithmetic subtests are culture-dependent.
This is a fluid intelligence test of culture-fair reasoning and problem solving skills. It is similar to the ‘culture fair test battery’ alternative for Mensa qualifying tests. As explained on the iqtest.dk website:
This test is developed with the aim of measuring your Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The test is Culture Fair, i.e. it minimises the effect of cultural variables, such as language, mathematics, etc. The test is based on logic, but is furthermore designed to test learning capability, memory, innovative thinking and the ability to simultaneously address several problems.The test measures the general intelligence – g.The calculation of IQ is based on answers from more than 250,000 people.
In this test you have 40 minutes to answer 39 questions. Take the test here.
An effective strategy for getting into Mensa is a combination of practice and working memory (n-back) training. Working memory training back is an evidence-based method for increasing cognitive ability through neuroplasticity change (ref). There are two general training strategies for the two types of Mensa test available (check with your Mensa provider what kind of test you will do). Both of these strategies have been used successfully by hundreds of test-takers.
Culture Fair (Fluid Intelligence) IQ Test Strategy
As noted above, Mensa accept two types of officially administered IQ tests: those that measure fluid intelligence (your abstract reasoning and problem solving skills), and those that measure all subfactors of your intelligence, including verbal and quantitative intelligence – called ‘full scale’ tests. They have a Mensa Admission Test for both. For a fluid intelligence strategy I suggest the following:
- Take the freeiqtest.dk. This will give you a good estimate of your current IQ level. Take a note of your score. If it is 115 or higher, with the right preparation and training you have a good chance of attaining a qualifying score of 130 on a Mensa accredited IQ test for fluid intelligence.
- Schedule a month in advance a professionally administered fluid (culture-fair) IQ test such as theRaven Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) or the Cattell Culture Fair IIIIQ test with a local psychologist or educationalist. Alternatively, inquire with your local Mensa society whether you can take a ‘culture fair’ admission test. Culture fair tests are essentially fluid intelligence tests.
- Leading up to your qualifying IQ test, commit to training yourworking memory capacity. Working memory capacity is your mental ‘workspace’. The larger the capacity, the more complex reasoning and problem solving you can do. There is a body of scientific evidence showing that working memory training can have widespread benefits for IQ and cognitive performance (review or journal article). The evidence-based i3 Mindware cognitive training app has been designed to expand working memory capacity and increase IQ level by 10-20 points. There is a money-back guarantee if you do not attain this IQ gain based on standardized IQ tests before and after training. Evidence shows that IQ level is not fixed, and can be improved with training long term.
- Leading up to your qualifying IQ test, commit to training your IQ problem solving strategies.Practice on fluid intelligence IQ tests, such as found here on SmartKit. The i3 IQ increase software also incorporates systematic tutorials on problem solving skills and strategies, designed by cognitive scientists.
- There are other lifestyle practices you can adopt over this period to increase your IQ.These include regular exercise, a brain-optimizing diet,meditation and unbroken, regular sleep.
- After completing the IQ training program if you have chosen it, allow for at least two days of training consolidation before taking the qualifying IQ test.
- Take the official Mensa test.
- Join Mensa.
Full Scale IQ Test Strategy
- Schedule a month in advance a Mensa accredited full scale IQ test. Click here for detailsfromInternational Mensa. For those in the US clickhere. For those in the UK clickhere. Ensure that you establish that the test is ‘full scale’ – including verbal and quantitative problems.
- Take the Mensa Workout.
- Take the Mensa Practice Test (see above).
- Take the GIQ Test (see above).
- All these practice tests will give you a good estimate of your current full scale IQ level – the type that is tested on the standard Mensa Admission test.
- Leading up to your qualifying IQ test, commit to training yourworking memory capacity. For a full-scale test, we recommend the i3 Mindware cognitive training apphas been designed to expand working memory capacity and increase IQ level on full-scale tests by 10-20 points.
- Leading up to your qualifying IQ test, commit to practicing full scale IQ test problems. Thei3 Mindware IQ apphas been designed to systematically give users practice on full scale IQ test problems. This kind of targeted practice can improve scores on full scale tests.
- As in the fluid intelligence only strategy, there areother lifestyle practices you can adopt over this period to increase your IQ. These include regular exercise, a brain-optimizing diet,meditation and unbroken, regular sleep.
- After completing the i3 Mindware training program if you have committed to this training, allow for at least two days before taking the qualifying IQ test.
- Take the official test.
- Join Mensa!
To find out more about all-things-IQ and high intelligence, subscribe to the IQ Mindware newsletter and download our free content.
There are now around 100,000 Mensans in 100 countries throughout the world. There are active Mensa organizations in over 40 countries on every continent except Antarctica. The website for Mensa International can be found here. Websites for national groups can be found here.
Advantages of being a Mensa member
You can find intellectual resources to exercise your brain in national magazines, in local newsletters, and at regional, national and international conventions. Mensans (Mensa members) have a profusion of special interest groups. To quote from Mensa International:
Whatever your passion, there’s almost certain to be a Special Interest Group (SIG) filled with other Mensans who share it! Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in mind-boggling profusion from African Violets to zoology. Along the way you’ll find microbiology, and systems analysis, but you’ll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate and Star Trek. There are the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics — and the unexpected: poker, roller-skating, scuba diving, UFOs and witchcraft. There are SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning. Heraldry, semantics and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics (baseball, basketball, and football) and the not-so-classic (skeet shooting, hang gliding, skydiving). And any Mensan who can’t find a SIG to join can easily start one.
Local groups meet monthly or even more regularly. There are widely attended annual conventions offering workshops, seminars, and parties.
Mensa members publications
You will receive your national magazine with contributions by Mensans on a wide variety of subjects. In some countries, in addition to the national magazine you may receive lively local newsletters. Mensa also publishes it’s own research journal on IQ related topics – The Mensa Research Journal – for the general public.
In some countries Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program. There is also a program that aids traveling Mensans. There have been reports that job applications have been easier with Mensa membership on your CV – particularly if the hiring person is also a Mensan.
What IQ is enough for Mensa? ›
Two of the most well-known IQ tests are 'Stanford-Binet' and 'Cattell' (explained in more detail below). In practice, qualifying for Mensa in the top 2% means scoring 132 or more in the Stanford-Binet test, or 148 or more in the Cattell equivalent.What does Mensa stand for? ›
They chose the word mensa as its name because it means table in Latin and is also reminiscent of the Latin words for mind and month, suggesting the monthly meeting of great minds around a table.What does being in Mensa get you? ›
Along with the intellectual and social activities, members receive discounts on products and services including magazine subscriptions, insurance and travel. Our Member Services team is always looking into new ways to provide extra value for your membership.Am I smart enough to join Mensa? ›
To get into Mensa, a person must be in or above the 98th percentile on a standardized IQ or other approved intelligence test, meaning their score must be equal to or greater than the scores of the top two percent of candidates who take the test.Is a 135 IQ good enough for Mensa? ›
A score of 130 or higher signals a high IQ. Membership in Mensa, the High IQ society, includes people who score in the top 2 percent, which is usually 132 or higher.What is Albert Einstein's IQ? ›
Albert Einstein likely never took an IQ test but is estimated to have a 160 IQ—but even that can't stand up to these masterminds.How hard is it to get into Mensa? ›
To qualify for Mensa, you must have scored in the top 2 percent of the general population on any one of more than 200 accepted, standardized intelligence tests — including our Mensa Admission tests — at any point in your life. An estimated six million Americans are eligible for membership.Are any celebrities in Mensa? ›
- Isaac Asimov. Considered one of the godfathers of science fiction, Isaac Asimov is famous for novels like The Bicentennial Man and I, Robot. ...
- Marilyn vos Savant. ...
- Chino XL. ...
- C. J. de Mooi. ...
- Nolan Gould. ...
- Kyung Park. ...
- Geena Davis. ...
- Henry Milligan.
An individual's IQ does not change with age. In other words: if you did an IQ test now and then another one in 10 years' time, your IQ score will probably be very similar. This is because IQ is always measured relative to other people your age.What do you need to qualify for Mensa? ›
Furthermore, some intelligence tests don't even use IQ scores. That's the main reason Mensa keeps it simple with a cutoff of 98 percent—meaning that if you are at or above the 98th percentile on an approved intelligence test, you will qualify for Mensa.
Does Mensa look good on a resume? ›
“Bear in mind that Mensa isn't just a membership card: it's a club. Many Mensa members are also involved in leadership roles at the local and national level – and leadership experience is ALWAYS good on a resume.”Is Mensa a big deal? ›
Mensa is a non-political, international high-IQ society for bright or exceptional minds. With members ranging from 3-103, Mensa has been one of the most prestigious intellectual circles on the planet since the mid-1940s.What is the average IQ in USA? ›
IQ compared by countries
With an average IQ of 98 points, the USA ranks 29th in this ranking. With 108 points, the inhabitants of Hong Kong reach the highest intelligence quotas worldwide.
One of the most well-known online exams available to you is Free-IQTest.net. It has 20 questions that will measure your IQ score accurately. After this test, you have to give your birth date since the test calculates your IQ score based on your age. This way, you may compare yourself to your peers.Who has the highest IQ in Mensa? ›
Eleven-year-old Yusuf Shah is being hailed as a genius after he made the highest possible score, 162, on a Mensa intelligence test. His performance beats those of physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, who were both estimated to have IQs around 160.What is a good IQ score by age? ›
|Age Range||Average IQ Score|
|20 to 24-year-olds||99|
|24 to 34-year-olds||97|
|35 to 44-year-olds||101|
|45 to 54-year-olds||106|
But one leading researcher in the 1940s suggested that a genius should have an IQ over 180. That's about one in every 2 million people. There is no one definition of genius. But many doctors study highly intelligent, or gifted, children to understand genius better.What is the average adult IQ? ›
In general, an IQ score is defined with a median and mean of 100. Scores above 130 are labeled as above average or “very superior,” while scores under 70 would be considered below average or labeled as “borderline impaired.” Most people have an average IQ between 85 and 115.What is Bill Gates IQ? ›
Bill Gates IQ is 151.45, despite the fact that he has never publicly disclosed it. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs in 1973, which converts to a score of 1590 out of 1600. With this IQ, Bill Gates is technically a genius because he is smarter than 99.96% of the population.What is the IQ of Elon Musk? ›
Elon Musk IQ is close to this starting point, with an estimated score of 155. The typical genius has an IQ of around 140.
Does Ashton Kutcher have a high IQ? ›
With an IQ 160, Kutcher is not only in a unique class of brilliant folks, but he is also one of the few actors in Hollywood with such a score, according to Hollywood.How many times can you take Mensa test? ›
Individuals may take a test or test battery only once, unless American Mensa's Supervisory Psychologist provides an allowance for circumstantial reasons. If you've taken all available tests or test batteries and have not met the requirement to join, we encourage you to submit evidence of prior testing.What does a Mensa IQ test look like? ›
This test consists of 35 problems that must be solved within a 25 minute time limit. All the items consist of entirely visual patterns with progressive difficulty, and do not require specialized knowledge or mathematical skills. Each correct answer gives one point, and all items are weighted equally.What is Bruce Willis IQ? ›
American actor Bruce Willis has an IQ of 101. American pop singer Britney Spears has an IQ of 98. American boxer Muhammad Ali has an IQ of 78. With a 54 IQ, Sylvester Stallone is an American actor, screenwriter, and director.Is Natalie Portman a member of Mensa? ›
The actress never confirmed her score nor her membership in Mensa's high IQ society, but her life and academic achievements seem to confirm the rumor.
Two-year-old Isla McNabb of Crestwood, Kentucky, recently received her membership in the organization of the world's most intelligent people.At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›
They conclude that humans reach their cognitive peak around the age of 35 and begin to decline after the age of 45. And our cognitive abilities today exceed those of our ancestors. “Performance reveals a hump-shaped pattern over the life cycle,” report the authors in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.What IQ do you need to be gifted? ›
Although there are no standard IQ levels of intellectual giftedness, some experts suggest the following IQ ranges: Mildly gifted: 115 to 129. Moderately gifted: 130 to 144. ighly gifted: 145 to 159.What increases IQ? ›
Training your memory, executive control, and visuospatial reasoning can help to boost your intelligence levels. The best way to train these areas of your brain is to engage in thoughtful activities and games, learn new skills, and keep your brain active.How much does Mensa membership cost? ›
How much does it cost to join? Less than a Netflix subscription! Mensa dues are $79/year, and we offer discounts for additional family members and multi-year memberships. You can learn more about our dues structure here.
How many Mensa members are there in the US? ›
The country with the most members in the world is the United States. The United States has more than twice as many members as any other country on Earth. It is estimated that approximately 50,000 people from the United States are members of Mensa.Does Mensa membership expire? ›
Your access will expire the day after your membership expires with the country where you reside. If you renew your membership prior to expiration, please contact us with your new expiration date.Does Mensa give you a certificate? ›
The International Mensa membership certificate is signed by the International Chairman and the Executive Director. It is printed in blue ink on a heavy cream coloured conqueror card. Printed with your name and joining date from your membership record.Do you need to prepare for Mensa? ›
Before doing the Mensa test, it is important to prepare well by resting, eating and drinking properly. Your results will suffer if you attempt to perform a Mensa IQ test when being tired or hungry. It's better to be well-fed and hydrated as well as having had enough sleep.What is 137 IQ? ›
An IQ of 137 is among the highest possible. IQ 137 is classified as Very Superior intelligence on the Wechsler scale. If you have an IQ of 137, you have every cause to be proud of your originality. This number is likely to provide you with a wide range of abilities, skills, talents, and interests.What does it mean if your IQ is 131? ›
115 to 129: Above average or bright. 130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted. 160 to 179: Exceptionally gifted.What US state has the highest IQ? ›
Massachusetts, with an average IQ of 104.3, is the state with the highest IQ in the United States, but only by 0.1, as New Hampshire is the second state with the highest IQ, with an IQ score of 104.2.What is the average IQ of military officers? ›
Officers scored 121.9, bringing up the average IQ for those who died. Non-commissioned officers scored an average of 106.7.Is IQ genetic? ›
Researchers have previously shown that a person's IQ is highly influenced by genetic factors, and have even identified certain genes that play a role. They've also shown that performance in school has genetic factors. But it's been unclear whether the same genes that influence IQ also influence grades and test scores.
What is the most accurate IQ test? ›
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, or WAIS, is the most accurate IQ test.Where can I take an IQ test for free? ›
There are two free IQ tests that you can take at 123test, classical and culture. The classical intelligence test gives you a sense of what an actual IQ test is like and the culture fair test is the certified test of the International High IQ Society.Who has 500 IQ? ›
|Marilyn vos Savant|
|Born||Marilyn Mach August 11, 1946 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
|Spouse||Robert Jarvik ( m. 1987)|
"Steve Jobs likely had an IQ roughly 160 or above”, according to the article "Steve Jobs Leveraged His Intelligence To More Effectively Create." It means Steve Jobs IQ is 160. Jobs was tested around the end of fourth grade, according to Walter Isaacson's book.What was Stephen Hawking's IQ? ›
Similar to Einstein, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had an estimated IQ of 160, yet it is unknown if he ever took an IQ test, according to enhancingbrain.com. According to Healthline, about 68% of people have an IQ between 85 and 115.What IQ do you need for Harvard? ›
“Average” in a selective prep school can be ~120. Average IQ at MIT or Harvard is closer to 130. Average SAT score is 1000 (M+V).Is 120 IQ a genius? ›
An IQ score over 140 indicates that you're a genius or nearly a genius, while 120 - 140 is classed as "very superior intelligence". 110 - 119 is "superior intelligence", while 90 - 109 is "normal or average intelligence".Is an IQ of 135 considered genius? ›
A normal intelligence quotient (IQ) ranges from 85 to 115 (According to the Stanford-Binet scale). Only approximately 1% of the people in the world have an IQ of 135 or over. Genius or near-genius IQ is considered to start around 140 to 145. Less than 1/4 of 1 percent falls into this category.Is 125 a good IQ? ›
The IQ 125 score is substantially above the norm on all measures, as the typical range on most scales is 90 to 109. On certain current scales, such a high score is also referred to as "above average." In any case, it is one of a kind.What is the IQ of Bill Gates? ›
Bill Gates IQ is 151.45, despite the fact that he has never publicly disclosed it. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs in 1973, which converts to a score of 1590 out of 1600. With this IQ, Bill Gates is technically a genius because he is smarter than 99.96% of the population.
What is the IQ of Mark Zuckerberg? ›
Various sources, however, estimate it at 152 IQ based on biographical data, publications, and achievements. He is regarded as a genius and among the world's most intellectual individuals. A score of 152 is regarded as high, while a score of 100 is considered normal.What is the average IQ of doctors? ›
So what's the average I.Q. of a doctor? The average I.Q. of a doctor is approximately 125. Studies have determined that a doctor's I.Q. will normally fall within the 110-130 range, putting them into the 'high average' and 'superior' Wechsler classifications.Can IQ increase with age? ›
A person's IQ score can certainly change with age. Studies in adolescents suggest that IQ typically increases as young adolescents age, which seems plausible considering that general life experiences and educational experiences (such as schooling) change both the brain and the intelligence.What was Jeffrey Dahmer's IQ? ›
Jeffrey Dahmer - 145
The Milwaukee Cannibal is one of history's most disturbed and infamous serial killers. But he was also, according to his IQ tests, damned clever too.
85 to 114: Average intelligence. 115 to 129: Above average or bright. 130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted.What are the signs of genius in adults? ›
Signs of Genius in Adults. The signs of high intellectual power in adults are similar to those in children. They include quick learning, interest in unique topics, and the ability to process information fast, among others.What is Kim Kardashian IQ? ›
Kim Kardashian IQ is estimated to be 190.
This IQ demonstrates that Kim is among the smartest people in the world. With a $1 billion net worth, Kim Kardashian is ranked 17th on the Forbes World Billionaires list.
One of the most well-known online exams available to you is Free-IQTest.net. It has 20 questions that will measure your IQ score accurately. After this test, you have to give your birth date since the test calculates your IQ score based on your age. This way, you may compare yourself to your peers.