You’ve probably heard of Mensa – the group some people refer to as the “High IQ Society.” Well, you could become a member of that elite group, and they’re even recruiting kids! According to USA Today, there are more than 100,000 Mensa members around the world, and last year, 42% of new members were between 29 and 49 years old. Some chapters have admitted kids as young as two years old! Mensa’s not just a convention of nerds. It includes middle-schoolers, college kids, artists, and intellectuals. Current members include Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, actress Geena Davis, and retired U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf.
So, how can you qualify for Mensa? You have to score in the 98th percentile – that’s the top 2% of the population - on an accepted, standardized test. Either Mensa’s own admission test, or one of 200 other tests, like Stanford-Binet, Miller Analogies, or the GMAT. Experts say that about one in 50 people could qualify. Since Mensa’s a social organization, membership gives you access to a network of people you may have never met otherwise.
National Mensa groups hold yearly gatherings with speakers, dances, leadership workshops, children's events, and games. The biggest regional gathering in North America is held in the Chicago area around Halloween. Currently, more than 1,300 members are under age 18. The organization sponsors a national college scholarship program. The teen program in the U.S. is run by 19-year-old Alexis Wise, who joined when she was 14. She coordinates the group via text message, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’d like to go further, check out the website Mensa.org.