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Mensa.

Postby Mathmagic » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:29 am UTC

Before anyone says anything there is a thread already for what has turned into a Mensa-bashing party. I'm wondering if there's anybody here who is already in Mensa (or qualified for it), who might be able to share their experiences with the Mensa exam and being a member of the group.

I'm thinking of taking the test this summer, so I'm looking for any insight into what you think of your experience so far with the test-taking and such. How did you do on the test? Did you accept? Why or why not?
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Sine Nomen » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:07 pm UTC

You do know that they accept all manner of standardized tests right? I qualified with the GMAT.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby 0xDEADBEEF » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:17 pm UTC

Not active, but I qualified on the California Test of Mental Maturity somewhere around '79 or '80.

I had scored in the 97th percentile on my SAT, and had people point out that it is "skewed," because it is predominantly taken by college-bound high-school graduates (I presume that the GMAT is even worse in that aspect), as opposed to a test taken by a broader sample.

The CTMM seemed a lot like the SAT, as far as test format. A lot of puzzles, problems, and pattern-matching. I'll admit that it seemed easy to me, but my favorite "definition" of intelligence is "the ability to do well on standardized tests."

Now that I've moved back into "the big city," I may rejoin. The meetings are a lot of fun.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Toeofdoom » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

I'm curious actually... does an IQ test administered by a psychologist that put my IQ well above the entry score allow me in without taking another test...? What if said test was done 11 years ago...?
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Indon » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

Toeofdoom wrote:I'm curious actually... does an IQ test administered by a psychologist that put my IQ well above the entry score allow me in without taking another test...? What if said test was done 11 years ago...?


Supposedly, IQ stays constant over your life. I'll not comment about if this is accurate, it's just a requirement for the definition of IQ.

Having screwed around with IQ tests on the internet, I could get in on a good day with some tests (where I hover around 130, which I do believe is the requirement to entry - I should note that the test on Mensa's website is in this category) and with some tests could get in easily (I've topped 160).

I've nothing else to contribute, however, as I've no desire to join the organization.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Amarantha » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:57 am UTC

The actual score is not especially significant, since different tests have different scales. The point is more the percentile which the score represents. So organisations like Mensa have entry conditions along the lines of "applicant must be in xth percentile, which is anything exceeding 143 on the wossname test, 121 on the thingy test, 162 on the other test etc".

That's why people complain that they keep getting different scores. And it's why it's meaningless to say, "my IQ is 119" unless you also say which test you took. It makes more sense to say, "I'm in the 5th percentile" or whatever.

I don't see the point of high-IQ societies. Having intelligence in common with someone doesn't mean you'll have anything else in common, or even that they'll be good company generally. Plenty of dumb people are lovely and fun to hang around with, whilst plenty of smart people are dicks. I choose my friends based on how well I enjoy their company, and not on how smart they are.

It's true that IQ tests have a limited usefulness in testing intelligence, as there are so many aspects of intelligence. But I do know they're used as a diagnostic tool for certain psychological conditions. I took a Wechsler test when I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, not because they were interested in my score, but because the graph of the scores for each section of the test (there were a dozen or so) has a fairly characteristic shape in autistic people.

*edit* Oops, sorry if this post is slightly redundant/off-topic. I thought I was posting it in the other mensa thread where it would have been slightly more relevant. I tried to delete it from here, but it seems I can't do that now that a subsequent post has been made.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby goblin_subway » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:27 am UTC

I will re-post a paraphrase of what I said in the "mensa bashing thread" I qualified for mensa, went to one meeting, felt they were not cut from the same cloth as myself (I prefer to work with my hands) and I never went back.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby akashra » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:49 am UTC

I think you'll find that most (if anyone else) in Mensa won't admit so here. It's much of a "What stays in Mensa" and "The first rule of Mensa is..." these days.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Phen » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:30 pm UTC

I took the test a couple of months ago and was admitted... I guess that makes me a douchebag :(
I havn't gone to any meetings or anything, though.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby 3tard » Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

I took the wisc-IV test last year, partially so i could convince my school to put me in harder classes and partially to qualify for mensa. A score of 130 is needed to qualify and I scored a 129. I didnt like how they took writing dexterity into account in the wisc test the score for that part was 109 while other things like short term memory and mathematical proficiency (the part that tests your natural ability to think with numbers) were in the 150s. I want to take another exam to get in, but I cant find the time.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Mathmagic » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:23 am UTC

Hmmm, interesting input all-around so far.

What kinds of questions are asked on the Mensa test? I read in the other thread that it's not the same kinds of questions as the "internet IQ tests".

And will Mensa accept *really* old tests? Like... from grade 4 (which would be ~10 years ago for me)?
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby goblin_subway » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:28 am UTC

Ok, internet IQ tests are massively incorrect. They are designed to give everyone a good score. Try giving what you consider the wrong answer on every question. You get a positive result.

Also, It would be idiotic of mensa to accept tests from youth. What if you started drinking a liter of vodka a day at 14 and then went on to severe hard drug use. You show up at 30 as a half-dead human with genius scores from 4th grade....... I kinda doubt they would even open the front door.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Mathmagic » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:40 am UTC

I wasn't at all implying that "Well I did well on the internet tests, so I can get into Mensa!" type thing. I was just wondering about the question style; a lot of the internet tests are all "what's the next number in the sequence?" or "which object doesn't belong?" and other logic type problems. Are the Mensa tests the same?
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby goblin_subway » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:46 am UTC

It is very similar to the general IQ test. It also includes general knowledge questions that a highschool student should be able to answer but probably can't.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby phaiakia » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:05 am UTC

mathmagic wrote:Hmmm, interesting input all-around so far.

What kinds of questions are asked on the Mensa test? I read in the other thread that it's not the same kinds of questions as the "internet IQ tests".

And will Mensa accept *really* old tests? Like... from grade 4 (which would be ~10 years ago for me)?


If you want to know what kinds of questions will be on the test, you can take a home test for "practice." (You order it from the American Mensa website.) They'll grade your home test so you know if it's worth taking the qualifying test. (I've got the home test sitting in an envelope on my desk right now, but haven't gotten around to taking it.)

I'm in a similar situation as you -- my last IQ test was probably done when I was about 10 years old, and while I know I scored high enough, I have no idea how to get my hands on the official scores. I'm pretty sure they will take old results, though. Check the official American Mensa website.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Phen » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

mathmagic wrote:I wasn't at all implying that "Well I did well on the internet tests, so I can get into Mensa!" type thing. I was just wondering about the question style; a lot of the internet tests are all "what's the next number in the sequence?" or "which object doesn't belong?" and other logic type problems. Are the Mensa tests the same?

It depends, really. The one I took was purely a figure reasoning test, no general knowledge required... Just fill in the correct 9'th box. Very much like this test.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Sunlounger » Sun May 04, 2008 3:46 pm UTC

I took the OLSAT when I was in 5th grade and was in the top 2% worldwide. I am now 14 and I'm signing up for Mensa.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby FortMax » Sun May 04, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

If they take ACT scors, I could probably get in with no problem (I got a 33 my junior year in HS), but probably wouldn't be interested.

Never heard of the wisc IV test. What exactly does writing dexterity judge? If it judges handwriting, I'd be doomed if I ever took that test. In middle school (at the time, we were required to write in cursive on anything that would be turned in for Language Arts) my teacher waived the rule for me because he couldn't read my chicken scratch. Hell, at times I couldn't read it myself. The rule was quickly tossed out altogether because everyone else decided if I didn't have to use cursive, they didn't either.

It doesn't help that I hold my pencils weirdly either. I have all my fingers stacked on one side of the pencil with my thimb on the other side. I've tried holding it the "correct" way, but my writing just gets worse.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby WraithXt1 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:12 am UTC

I wish my ASVAB score would translate into a GRE score, I'd just submit that.

I'm taking an IQ test later this week to see how I do!
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby mrbaggins » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:05 am UTC

I was offered a place as a kid, didn't take it, don't care to apply now.

I have a psych eval that gives me a 162 IQ, I usually get 150-180 on online ones. (Note, these were 8 years ago)

There's a fee to take the MENSA test now, if I recall correctly, and it's not that little. You're also limited in the number of times you can take it, or the times in a timespan... or something...

But yeah, I don't think I'd fit in very much with most of the people I know that are in MENSA. Most people I know in the thing are pricks.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby |Erasmus| » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:57 am UTC

I did some test thing they published about 5 or 6 years ago, and passed it. Never did an official entry test or anything, and don't really have a desire to join, but I imagine I could if I wanted to.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Monty40xi » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

I've thought about trying to get into Mensa, but I ask myself, what would I get from Mensa that I don't get from working with engineers all day or chatting on xkcd?
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Klapaucius » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:14 pm UTC

I was in Mensa for a year. I decided that, since I wasn't at all active in the group, the discounts on science magazine subscriptions, car rentals, and vague bragging rights were not worth the membership dues.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby WraithXt1 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:52 pm UTC

My main concern is an extra resume bullet! Is stating that you're a member of MENSA a decent thing to put on your resume? I cant decide if it is or not!
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby existential_elevator » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:37 am UTC

... Is mensa actually as active / worthwhile in the UK? I would be tempted to try for membership when I'm a little more settled.
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Mavketl » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:22 pm UTC

I've never been in Mensa, but one of my friends is and he gets a lot of friends/interesting conversation/fun days out of it. I went to weekend camps for smart (and often, but not necessarily, nerdy) kids when I was younger*, and I met some of my current best friends through that. I now regularly go on these camps as a supervisor and it's awesome to see everyone bouncing around and realizing that they can actually try their best and still lose a game from some of the other kids. Primary school / high school are not always nice environments if one doesn't fit in in any sort of way.

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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby negatron » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:I've thought about trying to get into Mensa, but I ask myself, what would I get from Mensa that I don't get from working with engineers all day or chatting on xkcd?

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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby lexprod » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:31 pm UTC

Qualified, payed one year's of dues, got the paper laminated card, all with the intentions of going to Mensa Mind Games. Then found out it was in Arizona and I was in New York. I might re-join for another Mind Games, or at least go to one AG event, but I've let it lapse since I'm still in college and moving around quite often.

I was psyched when I got in though. It's like being on a college football team, you discover that you actually are something in one talent on a national level. Narcissistic and egotistic and elitist? Probably. But it felt awesome. What I really want from it though is puzzles and games and such (probably going to the next MIT mystery hunt, want to do at least one BANG, have tried running my own minihunts but suffer from severe lack of participants, etc.)
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:56 pm UTC

I joined, never met anyone, never really did anything with it, never renewed my membership after the first year.

I got a lot more out of joining The Church of the Subgenius. (Wrote something for their magazine, etc.)
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Re: Anybody here in Mensa?

Postby Jos » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:24 pm UTC

Sorry for picking up an old thread, seemed like a better idea than starting a new one. I recently took the test FRT A for, among other thins like curiosity, applying to mensa. Now, I'm interested in hearing what other people thought about the test. Anyone else done it recently?
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