Youngest Mensa Singapore member is two-and-a-half years old: 5 things about the IQ club

Elijah Catalig, at an age of two years and six months, is currently the youngest member in Mensa Singapore. He is pictured at home with some of his puzzles, games and activity books on May 7, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Elijah Catalig, at an age of two years and six months, is currently the youngest member in Mensa Singapore. He is pictured at home with some of his puzzles, games and activity books on May 7, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Aged just two years and six months, Elijah Catalig is the youngest member of Mensa Singapore - the society for people with an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in the top 2 per cent of the population. He solves patterns, reads story books and plays IQ games meant for children five years his senior.

Here are five things about Mensa (including part of a sample quiz).


1. According to the Mensa Singapore website, Mensa Singapore was registered in 1989 and is recognised by Mensa International to be one of only 20 countries worldwide to qualify for full National Mensa status.

There are currently over 4,000 Mensans in Singapore. A top 2 per cent score on an IQ test will qualify you to join Mensa - or you can provide evidence that you are already in the top 2 per cent of the population .

IQ, is a measure of someone's intelligence - usually measuring in problem-solving tests - compared to others of his or her age. In an IQ test, the average score is taken to be 100, and a score below this means your intelligence is below average.


2. Mensa Singapore was initially rejected when members tried to register it as a society. In 1979 and 1980, a group of Mensans had applied to the Registrar of Societies (ROS), and were rejected. It was only after March 1987, when Mr Edward Vincent, then executive director of Mensa International (MI), visited Singapore that doors opened. With financial support from MI, advertisements were placed in The New Paper and The Straits Times to invite the public to take the admission test and join Mensa. On Oct 15, 1989, these initial test sessions began at Braddell Primary School.


3. According to the Mensa International website, the word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin. Mensa is a round-table society, where race, colour, creed, national origin, age, politics, educational or social background are irrelevant.


4. According to the Mensa International website, Mensa members have ranged in ages from two to more than 100, but most are between 20 and 60.

Their backgrounds are diverse - their education range from preschoolers to high school dropouts to people with multiple doctorates, and there are members who are on welfare and those who are millionaires.

The Mensa members also cannot be classified by occupation. There are professors and truck drivers, scientists and firefighters, computer programmers and farmers, artists, military people, musicians, laborers, police officers, glassblowers.


5. Here are three quiz questions from a sample test that Wolverhampton-based Mensa gave British site Daily Mail Online. Can you answer them?

a. A travel agent has taken 53 bookings for Thailand, 22 for Bali and 23 for India. How many bookings have been made for Canada?

b. Add together three numbers to score 21. Each number can be used as many times as you wish. How many different combinations are there?

0 3 4 5 6 10 12 15

c. Replace each set of dashes with a seven letter word. The same seven letters must be used for both words. What are the words?

"The mother said that continually sorting out the children's _ _ _ _ _ _ _ had given her a headache and she needed a couple of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ "


Answers:

a. 33 ( The number of consonants in the country gives the first digit and the number of vowels gives the second digit)

b. Five

c. Battles and tablets

jalmsab@sph.com.sg