What is Mensa?
Mensa is an international non-profit organization for people with very high intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. It is said to be created to foster intelligence for the benefit of other people, to bring about research on intelligence principles, and to provide its members with a social and intellectual environment.
Mensa as a word has Latin roots and it means “table”. The name itself symbolizes the round-table nature of the organization, wherein all members are considered as equals and have their rightful place inside. As an organization, Mensa was established in 1946 by Roland Berrill and Dr. Lionel Ware. It originally started as a means for socializing and exchanging of ideas between those with high intelligence. Back then, basically anybody can join regardless of social, racial, and political background.
This membership concept still continues today with no other qualification other than passing standard IQ tests with at least 98th percentile. If one decides to join the organization, he just needs to take a standard IQ exam or provide previous evidence of high IQ scores. Another good thing about this organization is that there is no age qualification also. So whether one is a pre-schooler or a senior citizen, one can join the group as long as you qualify with your IQ scores. Various social and cultural activities are organized for all the members to enjoy. Many join the organization as they enjoy the mental stimulation provided by interacting with other people on the same level of intelligence.
Not all is good for the Mensa organization though. There are also many critics that label the organization as very exclusivist because their only requirements are high IQ scores. Skeptics believe that standard IQ tests are not the only and absolute basis for intelligence. But despite these criticisms, the Mensa organization has continued to grow with various chapters in many countries worldwide. And with its dedication to improving educational standards and dealing with social problems, many would agree that the objectives of the organization will actually do well for the people.