High-IQ society

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A high IQ society is an organization that limits its membership to people who have attained a specified score on an IQ test. The largest and oldest such society is Mensa International, which was founded by Roland Berrill and Lancelot Ware in 1946.[1]

Entry requirements[edit]

High IQ societies typically accept a variety of IQ tests for membership eligibility; these include WAIS, Stanford-Binet, and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, amongst many others deemed to sufficiently measure or correlate with intelligence. Tests deemed to insufficiently correlate with intelligence (e.g. post-1994 SAT, in the case of Mensa and Intertel) are not accepted for admission.[2][3][4] As IQ significantly above 146 SD15 (approximately three-sigma) cannot be reliably measured with accuracy due to sub-test limitations and insufficient norming, IQ societies with cutoffs significantly higher than four-sigma should be considered dubious.[5][6][7]


Some societies accept the results of standardized tests taken elsewhere. Those are listed below by selectivity percentile (assuming the now-standard definition of IQ as a standard score with a median of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 IQ points). Notable high IQ societies include:

Name Established No. of members Approx. no. of countries Fees Eligibility Approx. IQ
Intertel 1966 1,300–1,400 (as of January 2014) 31 Annual dues are $39 Top 1 percent (99th percentile; 1 out of 100) 135
Mega Society 1982 26 (as of January 2014) Unknown Annual dues are $39 Top 0.0001 percent (99.9999th percentile; 1 out of 1,000,000; not reliably measurable with current tests) 171.3
Mensa International 1946 ~134,000[8] (as of May 2017) 100 Annual dues as of November 2017 for American Mensa are $79 (dues differ by country); life membership cost varies by age Top 2 percent of population (98th percentile; 1 person out of 50) 130
Prometheus Society 1982 ~120 (as of January 2014) 13 Annual dues are $10 Top 0.003 percent (99.997th percentile; 1 out of 30,000; not reliably measurable with current tests) 160
Triple Nine Society 1978 1,800+ (as of November 2017) 46 Annual dues are $10; life membership is $183 Top 0.1 percent (99.9th percentile; 1 out of 1,000) 146

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Percival, Matt (8 September 2008). "The Quest for Genius". Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Qualifying test scores". American Mensa. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  3. ^ "Intertel - Join us". www.intertel-iq.org. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  4. ^ "Test Scores". www.triplenine.org. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  5. ^ "IQ values explained". www.triplenine.org. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  6. ^ Perleth, Christoph; Schatz, Tanja; Mönks, Franz J. (2000). "Early Identification of High Ability". In Heller, Kurt A.; Mönks, Franz J.; Sternberg, Robert J.; et al. (eds.). International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Pergamon. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-08-043796-5. norm tables that provide you with such extreme values are constructed on the basis of random extrapolation and smoothing but not on the basis of empirical data of representative samples.
  7. ^ Urbina, Susana (2011). "Chapter 2: Tests of Intelligence". In Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry (eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–38. ISBN 9780521739115. Lay summary (9 February 2012). [Curve-fitting] is just one of the reasons to be suspicious of reported IQ scores much higher than 160
  8. ^ "About Mensa International - How many members does Mensa have?". www.mensa.org. Archived from the original on 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2019-01-24.

Further reading[edit]