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Are You Smart Enough To Join Mensa?

Updated on January 26, 2016

Elementary my dear Watson

Could You Join Mensa?

Have you ever seen those ads in the newspaper, magazines or the internet for Mensa?

The name 'Mensa' for many people, conjures up images of the Nutty Professor, a brain-box who always has their head in a book and who can recite Pi to a thousand places. In fact this image couldn't be further from reality.

The Mensa organisation is made up of thousands of members all over the world who are as 'normal' as you and me. Mensa has only one criterion for membership - that your IQ is within the top 2% of the population. That is all.

IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, has nothing to do with general knowledge, in-depth knowledge of a niche subject or academic qualifications. It simply boils down to problem-solving ability.

People with a high IQ have a high level of problem-solving ability. IQ is another term for problem-solving ability. Of course there are many types of intelligence. Dr. Howard Gardener described a Multiple Intelligences Theory in which nine types of intelligence were identified. They include Linguistic intelligence, Spatial Intelligence and Logical (or mathematical) intelligence as well as six other types of intelligence, including Interpersonal and musical intelligence.

Mensa measures the Linguistic, Spatial and Logical intelligences that a person possess in order to determine eligibility for membership. If you are good at problem-solving, then you may be eligible for membership, even if you haven't got a qualification to your name!

The first step in the application process is to get in touch with Mensa, who will send you out a self-test. This test covers the three types of intelligence mentioned above and is done in your own home. You have to agree to stick strictly to time limits and when you have completed the test you send it back to Mensa who will mark it. If your score comes within the top two percent of the population or is close to it, they will invite you to attend a supervised test. This is a group test and is carried out under strict supervision. Your mark in this test will determine your eligibility to apply for membership. If you score within the top two percentile, you will be invited to apply for membership.

So what advantages do you get from membership of Mensa?

Well, first and foremost you get the pride of knowing that you have a high IQ, no matter what qualifications (or lack there-of) you have on your CV. The feeling of personal achievement is probably the most immediate and confidence-boosting advantage you will receive. However, Mensa is a world-wide organisation. It has Special Interest Groups (SIGs) who meet regularly and provide regular newsletters. There are SIGs covering such diverse interests as Languages, Competitions, the Supernatural, Camping, LGBT, Collectors and many more. Membership gets you access to these SIGs.

There are many meetings of Mensa members across the globe. Meetings aren't dry stuffy meetings held in dusty backrooms of libraries. They are events such as 'eating meetings' held in restaurants, camping weekends, theatre trips and as much else as you can imagine.

There is a section for children, many of whom have difficulties at school because they are not getting the teaching they need. Mensa is a way for 'Gifted Children' to 'fit in' with like-minded peers.

There are members across the world who will offer accommodation and services to travellers and of course there is the monthly magazine. Contributions are welcomed to the magazine from members on a variety of subjects, so that gives a platform for intelligent debate.

If you think you may be interested, why not give it a go? You can apply for the home test and see how you get on. You never know, this could be the confidence booster you really need. If you do go for it, then good luck, and I'll see you there!


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    • whizzer profile image

      whizzer 7 years ago from Ireland

      My name came from a comic paper called Whizzer that I used to get as a child. You should give Mensa a try...nobody will know how you get on other than yourself. Even if you don't get through first time, you can try again as often as it takes. Give it a go and good luck!

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this whizzer. Did you get your name because you are a whizz? It was suggested a few years ago that I do the Mensa. Worried that's I'd not pass it and do terrible things to my self esteem. But at least it was suggested and maybe your hub will prompt me further.