Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks to American Mensa for this material. I have tailored it for our group. Click the questions below to see the answers, or just scroll down the page.

Do children have to be members of Mensa to attend Gifted Children’s Program events?

I have an idea for an event. Who should I contact?

How do children join Mensa?

How do I go about testing my young child?

How can I find out more about Mensa’s Gifted Children’s Program?

My friend has a gifted child, but they live in another town. Do they live within the boundaries of Mensa of Western Washington (MWW)?

Are there any schools or special programs specifically for gifted children in our area?

Are there any summer programs specifically for gifted children in our area?

I think my child is gifted. Where can I learn about giftedness and gifted children?

I’ve heard about the Templeton Report on acceleration. How can I get a copy?


Mensa is not an advocacy group. Are there advocacy groups for gifted children?

Answers


Q: Do children have to be members of Mensa to attend Gifted Children’s Program events?

No, but they must have a permission slip signed by a parent, and the parent must accompany the child to the event.


Q: I have an idea for an event. Who should I contact?

If you have an idea for the Young Mensa group or for a Mensa Family Day event, contact the Gifted Children Coordinator.


Q: How do children join Mensa?

Anyone of any age who scores in the top 2% in an accepted standardized IQ test may join Mensa. American Mensa’s youngest member to date was three years old. However, the Mensa Admission Test is standardized for people age 14 and older. Younger children join Mensa by submitting a qualifying score from any one of more than 200 tests that Mensa accepts as prior evidence. To find out if a test is acceptable, call 1-800-66-MENSA (63672).


Q: How do I go about testing my young child?

Go to either a licensed psychologist who administers recognized individual IQ tests such as the Stanford-Binet 5 or WISC-IV, or a specialist in gifted children credentialed for such evaluations. If they are not well-versed in test interpretation for gifted children, go to any of several Web sites, including Davidson Institute, Hoagie’s Gifted Education and Educational Options to learn what the scores indicate. Scores in the 98th percentile or higher qualify a child for Mensa. Most schools administer achievement batteries every other year. These normally include an embedded ability test, usually the Otis-Lennon or the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test).


Q: How can I find out more about Mensa’s Gifted Children’s Program (GCP)?

For information about MWW’s GCP, contact the Gifted Children Coordinator. For information about the national program, read the Mensa Bulletin and Interloc, and visit the GCP youth. Don’t forget to ask how to join the their email lists.


Q: My friend has a gifted child, but they live in another town. Do they live within the boundaries of MWW?

Members are assigned to Local Groups in Mensa according to their ZIP codes, although anyone may join any Local Group as a “member by preference.” MWW includes the 98XXX ZIP codes — except for 986XX, which are part of Oregon Mensa. American Mensa has information on other Local Groups.


Q: Are there any schools or special programs specifically for gifted children in our area?

Contact the gifted coordinator for your local school district. Don’t forget about charter schools, private schools, magnet schools and homeschooling groups.


Q: Are there any summer programs specifically for gifted children in our area?

Check Student opportunities at the Washington Association for Educators of the Talented and Gifted site include summer programs in our state.


Q: I think my child is gifted. Where can I learn about giftedness and gifted children?

Q: I’ve heard about the Templeton Report on acceleration. How can I get a copy?


The Templeton National Report on Acceleration
, A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students, is available for downloading. At the website you can also order free paperback copies of the report. It comes in two volumes: the 82 page report and 190 pages of supporting research. This is a MUST HAVE for the parents of gifted children.


Q: Mensa is not an advocacy group. Are there advocacy groups for gifted children?


The links above are provided as informational resources and in no way indicate an endorsement of or any particular partnership with any organization. Mensa of Western Washington is not responsible for the content of any of the linked Web sites; this includes updates to or availability of linked sites and the accuracy, reliability or helpfulness of the information on these sites.