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What is the minimum IQ to get into Mensa?

Mensa is an international high IQ society that only accepts members who score at or above the 98th percentile on a standardized intelligence test. Mensa has chapters in over 100 countries around the world and over 134,000 members. To qualify for Mensa, you need to demonstrate an IQ in the top 2% of the general population. But what is the minimum IQ score needed to get into Mensa?

What is Mensa?

Mensa was founded in 1946 in England by Roland Berrill and Dr. Lance Ware. The organization was created to provide a forum for intellectual exchange between people in the top 2% of intelligence. The name “Mensa” means “table” in Latin, which refers to the round-table nature of the group, where all members interact as equals.

Mensa has two main purposes:

  • To identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity.
  • To encourage research into intelligence and provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.

Today, Mensa has over 134,000 members across 100 countries. The largest national groups are in the United States (over 57,000 members), United Kingdom (over 20,000 members), and Germany (over 14,000 members).

To join Mensa, you need to demonstrate an IQ in the top 2% on a standardized, supervised intelligence test. Mensa accepts over 200 different approved intelligence tests. Some of the most common tests accepted are:

  • The Stanford-Binet IQ test
  • The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
  • The Cattell Culture Fair test
  • The Ravens Progressive Matrices

So what is the minimum IQ needed to qualify for Mensa?

What is IQ?

IQ stands for “intelligence quotient” and it is a score derived from standardized intelligence tests. The average IQ score is defined as 100. In a normal distribution, about 68% of people score between 85 and 115. An IQ from 116 to 131 is considered high, while an IQ over 132 is considered very high.

IQ tests measure different types of cognitive abilities such as:

  • Verbal comprehension – vocabulary, general knowledge
  • Perceptual reasoning – spatial perception, pattern recognition
  • Working memory – attention, short-term memory
  • Processing speed – efficiency in processing tasks

Raw scores from IQ tests are converted to a standard scale where 100 represents the average intelligence level. The standard deviation on most IQ tests is 15 points. So for example, someone scoring 130 is two standard deviations above the mean.

IQ scores follow a normal distribution bell curve, where the majority of people cluster around the average IQ (100), while fewer people have scores at the extremes. About 2.5% score below 70 (very low) and 2.5% score above 130 (very high).

Minimum IQ for Mensa

To qualify for Mensa, you need to score at or above the 98th percentile rank compared to other people in your age group. This means scoring higher than 98% of the general population.

The 98th percentile score varies by test and age group. But in general, the minimum IQ score required for Mensa admission is about 132 on the Stanford-Binet scale and 130 on the Wechsler scales.

Here are some examples of the minimum scores needed for Mensa eligibility on common IQ tests:

Stanford-Binet IQ Test

Age Group 98th Percentile Score
6-7 years 137
8-11 years 133
12-15 years 131
16-19 years 131
20-23 years 132
24-59 years 132
60-90 years 130

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

Age Group 98th Percentile Score
16-24 years 131
25-34 years 130
35-44 years 129
45-54 years 128
55-64 years 126
65-90 years 124

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)

Age Group 98th Percentile Score
6-7 years 127
8-9 years 128
10-11 years 130
12-13 years 131
14-15 years 131
16-17 years 132

As you can see, the minimum IQ score for Mensa ranges between 124-137 depending on the test and age group. But the most common cutoff is around 130-132.

Other Factors for Mensa Eligibility

While scoring in the top 2% on an accepted IQ test is the primary requirement for getting into Mensa, there are some other factors that come into play:

  • The test must be administered and supervised by a psychologist.
  • Self-administered online tests are not accepted.
  • Test scores are valid for 5 years for admission.
  • Candidates under 18 generally need one parent to also join Mensa.
  • There may be alternative paths to admission in some cases.

Mensa also evaluates test scores in the context of the test’s standard error of measurement (SEM). The SEM indicates the variability inherent in IQ testing. So if your score falls slightly below the 98th percentile requirement, you may still qualify after accounting for SEM.

Preparing for the Mensa Admission Test

Since IQ is considered relatively stable over time, you cannot specifically “study” for an intelligence test. But you can familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions asked:

  • Practice sample questions from IQ test prep books.
  • Take sample practice tests under timed conditions.
  • Focus on getting enough sleep, nutrition, and minimizing stress before the real test.
  • Learn strategies for spatial, logical, and memory test sections.
  • Understand the test instructions and time limits.

With practice, you can overcome some of the anxiety surrounding IQ tests and be more comfortable on test day. But raw intelligence is still the major factor in obtaining a high enough Mensa score.

Benefits of Joining Mensa

If you meet the minimum IQ requirements, what are the benefits of actually joining Mensa?

  • Social interaction: Meet, network, and socialize with people in the top 2% of intelligence.
  • Intellectual stimulation: Engage in lively discussions and debates on meaningful topics.
  • Shared interests: Participate in group activities related to members’ common interests.
  • Continuing education:Attend lectures, workshops, and events featuring expert speakers.
  • Career development: Access resources and mentoring to advance your career.
  • Community outreach: Get involved in volunteering and gifted youth programs.

Being part of an elite intelligence community provides many advantages for personal growth, lifelong learning, social belonging, and career networking


The minimum IQ score required for admission into Mensa is around 130 to 132 on the Wechsler scale and 132 on the Stanford-Binet scale. This reflects the top 2% of intelligence in the general population. While IQ is the primary membership requirement, factors like age, test type, and score validity are also considered. With over 100,000 members worldwide, Mensa provides a forum for high-IQ individuals to develop intellectually and socially.