What are high IQ societies? How smart do I need to be to get in?

What is a high IQ society?

A high IQ society is a group that restricts its association to those individuals who have earned a required score on an IQ exam. Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices, Stanford-Binet, and WAIS are the most widely accepted tests measuring intelligence by high IQ societies for admission into the organization. Note that the common theory holds that there is no test that can accurately determine an IQ greater than 146 SD15. Any high IQ society requiring results higher than three sigmas are looked upon as questionable.

Among the most respected high IQ societies are Mensa International, Intertel, the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry and Prometheus Society. How smart does one need to be in order to gain admission depends on the society for which one is applying. Below you will find general descriptions for each organization along with mandatory exam scores and guidelines for admission into the group.

It is advised to do thorough research before choosing what society to join.

Mensa International

Mensa International is a high IQ society that allows members the opportunity for intellectual exchange through a variety of functions like gatherings, published articles, and roundtables (Mensa, which means table in Latin, got its name because the roundtable is the symbol of the organization). These activities are held both nationally and internationally. Mensa prides itself on having members from over 100 nations.

Mensa’s mission is simple. The organization strives to create a better humanity through an exchange of ideas by connecting members with one another. The events are social as well as intellectual. The society does not discriminate based on race, political views, level of education, class, age or religious affiliation. This philosophy allows Mensa to remain an organization that is open to all perspectives.

Mensa accepts any individual scoring in the upper two percent of the general population on any of the accepted exams as long as they are given and supervised under the proper policies and procedures. Practice exams may be taken online. The actual exam for admission must be taken in person. For more information on testing, contact a Mensa office near you.

Prometheus Society

The Prometheus Society separates itself from the rest in that the scores of its members are normally four standard deviations above average. Because of the uniqueness of its members, the organization recognizes the social awkwardness they may experience in the “real” world. Therefore, this society works to unite people of the same high level of intelligence through interaction and shared ideas. The group has members from around the world.

Those interested in joining the organization should examine the accepted tests and required results. Provided that your scores represent a result that is 1 out of 30,000 percentile, you may fill out and submit an application for membership. Upon acceptance, remit dues and adhere to rules and regulations. One nice thing about the Prometheus Society is that it allows those who do not meet the testing standards to become a subscriber. Subscribers pay dues and are permitted in the “Member Area.” They may also resource all “Gift of Fire” journals on record. For a list of acceptable tests and scores, click here.

International Society for Philosophical Enquiry

The International Society for Philosophical Enquiry a.k.a. ISPE is one of the oldest societies with members from all over the world. ISPE is considered a democratic association that is all-inclusive and strictly voluntary.

The philosophy and mission of ISPE are noble in that its focus is strengthening and improving humanity not simply through intellectual exchanges, but service. Members are encouraged to be active as board members and officers. Each individual is pushed to take on tasks that push one beyond their potential to make a difference within and outside the organization. The membership helps the members achieve these objectives through support generated through social networking. There are publications to discuss and activities to attend that bring together people of high intelligence to better themselves and the world around them. Members learn the importance of acting on one’s own volition.

While ISPE considers a wide range of standardized exams, the organization can administer its own tests to measure IQ. Members must place in the 99.9 percentile of the general population. For a complete list of tests ISPE accepts, click here. Applicants must be 18 years or older and be able to provide evidence that validates the standardized test and score earned. Submission of the aforementioned information must be made by a reputable testing office.


Intertel was founded in 1966. Since then the organization has added nearly 1,200 members representing more than thirty nations. The group is multi-cultural and represents all levels of society. The common theme that links them together is a high IQ.

This society encourages intellectual exchanges on a limitless list of topics, inspires members to help in the study of higher intelligence and promotes friendship through association within the group. There are publications as well as an E-Board that push members to become involved. There are activities on a wide variety of subjects and meetings in which members can connect with others on the same intellectual level.

In order to be admitted into Intertel, the applicant must achieve a score that is at the 99 percentile or better on any standardized test accepted by the organization that is administered according to the policies of Intertel. All inquiries and questions should be made to the Intertel office.