A high IQ society is a membership-based group of individuals who have scored in the top percentile range on an intelligence quotient, or IQ, test. Most high IQ societies are international organizations, but the heart of their activities is in local events. Regional society chapters will sponsor lectures, host dinners, and provide venues for members to share ideas and meet each other.
Membership in a high IQ society is typically dictated by one thing and one thing only: an IQ score. Members typically include children as well as senior citizens. Different societies have different rules for how high an IQ score must be in order to qualify. For some, a score in the top 95th percentile or above, taking a standard deviation into account, will qualify. More exclusive societies require a percentile rank of 99.5 or better.
There are several different IQ tests available, though the models of each are globally consistent. The Stanford-Binet intelligence scales are the most commonly used IQ tests in the United States. As with any IQ test, the goal is intelligence testing. Tests purport to measure a test-taker's general intelligence in a way that will classify how smart he is both subjectively and in reference to the larger population.
IQ tests are standardized tests, and questions typically include logic, reasoning, and math. They are administered in a time-compressed setting. Many schools test students’ IQ as a matter of course, to help identify gifted children and to give teachers a sense of the overall intelligence of their classes. Some employers also require IQ scores from new hires, or give tests when no scores are available.
High IQ societies typically accept scores from any of a long list of approved IQ tests. Test scores proffered as membership credentials must always be certified, endorsed, or otherwise guaranteed. Where they originated and when is not usually an issue.
So long as an applicant can prove that a high-scoring IQ test is his own, the date of that test does not usually matter. A student who scored in the 99th percentile in the eighth grade, for instance, may be able to use that score to qualify for a high IQ society membership well into his 20s or 30s. It is widely believed that IQ remains relatively constant throughout a person’s life.
Not all high IQ society applicants have documented IQ scores available. Individuals who believe that they have the intelligence quotient to join a society may either arrange to take one of the approved tests independently or in many cases may take a society-specific test. Some high IQ society tests can be taken online, but most require in-person, proctored administration.