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Mensa IQ Levels
IQ or Intelligence Quotient is an attempt to measure intelligence. This means many things to many people but generally the attribute of intelligence refers to quickness of mental comprehension (or mental agility). Intelligence is often confused with knowledge, wisdom, memory, or other attributes and in general has a variety of meanings depending on the context in which it is used. The term IQ usually refers to the attempt to measure a person's mental agility.
There are many standard IQ tests in use around the world. On most intelligence tests, average IQ score is 100, but some tests give different numerical values to the level required for entry into Mensa, in the same way that the same temperature is expressed by different numerical values on the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.
One way of comparing scores from different IQ tests is to convert them to a ranking, or percentile score, which tells you in which band you fit. A percentile score of 99% means that you are in the top 1%, a percentile score of 98% puts you in the top 2% and so on.
British Mensa uses two main tests to identify people's IQ scores, the Cattell III B and the Cattell Culture Fair III A.
A score which puts you in the top two per cent of the population on either of these papers would qualify you for membership of Mensa.
An adult can only get a maximum IQ of 161 on the Cattell III B test.
As different IQ tests were developed, each was given its own scoring system. Therefore, an IQ of 150 is a meaningless claim unless you know the actual test which was used. In order to compare one IQ test against another, the scores are converted to 'percentiles', i.e. where a person's score falls in comparison to the rest of the population by percentage. Mensa offers membership to anyone whose IQ score places them within the top two per cent of the population, no matter which approved test was used.
A top 2% mark in any of these frequently used tests below qualifies you for entry to Mensa. The minimum test mark to get into Mensa is:
One of Mensa's core aims is to 'identify and foster human intelligence'. With that in mind, the Board of Mensa appointed a Gifted Child Consultant and established the Mensa Gifted and Talented Support Programmes, to assist educators in their work with gifted young people and to support young members and their families.
Mensa has several hundred gifted children among the membership. Young members of Mensa are entitled to the same membership benefits as adults - magazines and newsletters, special interest groups and social events. There are also some opportunities to interact with other young members at events such as the Annual Gathering, and young members are encouraged to participate in the newsletters created especially for them.
Identifying Gifted Children
Mensa's G&T Advice Leaflet offers information and advice about gifted children, as well as details of other organisations who can help, and further reading on the subject.
Check out our special Gifted and Talented News features such as Gifted Children - a checklist for parents
The Mensa Supervised IQ Test is suitable for children aged over ten and a half years. Younger children should be assessed by an educational psychologist to find out their IQ score - your local health authority or education authority can help you to find professionals in your area.
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