What is Mensa?
Founded in 1946 by Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, and Dr. Lancelot Ware, a British scientist and lawyer, Mensa is a high IQ society – the only qualification for membership being an IQ is in the top 2% of the population. Mensa members are also known as ‘Mensans’.
This Figure shows the required Mensa membership score on the IQ bell curve
The word ‘Mensa’ comprises two Latin words: mens, which means “mind” and mensa, which means “table”, meaning that it is a round-table (open discussion) society of minds.
There are now around 100,000 Mensans in 100 countries throughout the world. There are active Mensa organizations in over 40 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
The website for Mensa International can be found by keywording ‘Mensa International’.
Websites for national Mensa organisations can be found on this website.
What are the advantages of becoming a Mensan?
1. Intellectual stimulation. You can find intellectual resources to exercise your brain in national magazines, in local newsletters, and at regional, national and international conventions. Mensans (Mensa members) have a profusion of special interest groups. To quote from Mensa International:
Whatever your passion, there’s almost certain to be a Special Interest Group (SIG) filled with other Mensans who share it! Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in mind-boggling profusion from African Violets to zoology. Along the way you’ll find microbiology, and systems analysis, but you’ll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate and Star Trek. There are the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics — and the unexpected: poker, roller-skating, scuba diving, UFOs and witchcraft. There are SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning. Heraldry, semantics and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics (baseball, basketball, and football) and the not-so-classic (skeet shooting, hang gliding, skydiving). And any Mensan who can’t find a SIG to join can easily start one.
2. Social life. Local groups meet monthly or even more regularly. There are widely attended annual conventions offering workshops, seminars, and parties.
3. Mensa publications. You will receive your national magazine with contributions by Mensans on a wide variety of subjects. In some countries, in addition to the national magazine you may receive lively local newsletters. Mensa also publishes it’s own research journal on IQ related topics – The Mensa Research Journal – for the general public.
4. Extra benefits. In some countries Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program. There is also a program that aids traveling Mensans. There have been reports that job applications have been easier with Mensa membership on your CV – particularly if the hiring person is also a Mensan.
How to become a Mensan?
Mensa membership is open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised intelligence test.
American Mensa accepts scores from approximately 200 different standardized intelligence tests, as well as Mensa’s own dedicated IQ test. Some of these test one’s spatial and analytical abilities using non-verbal questions only. We call these tests “culture fair” because they don’t require general knowledge, vocabulary or math skills that are learned in school and which differ from culture to culture. Other IQ tests include questions that present verbal analogies or puzzles that test comprehension and mathematical ability.
A list of some of the authorized IQ tests for Mensa membership with Mensa membership are listed here.
Results from tests given by an institution, agency or clinic must include the full name of the test, the score and the percentile rank. This documentation must be on the letterhead of the institution, agency or clinic; it also must be signed by the psychologist responsible for the testing and must include the psychologist’s license/certification number as issued by the state in which the psychologist practices. Applications are individually assessed by Mensa. The American Mensa application form can be found here. This month the evaluation is free. Normally it is $40.
You may already be qualified
If you took your SAT exam before 1/31/94 or GRE before 9/30/01 you may find your score qualifies you for membership. Details are provided by Mensa.
The Mensa Admission Test
If you have not taken an official IQ test by a qualified administrator, you can choose to take Mensa’s own Admission Test. This involves certified volunteer Proctors supervising a testing session in your area! You can contact your national Mensa organisation to find out about the schedules for these tests.
If you score at or above the 98th percentile on either of the two tests, you’ll qualify and be invited to join Mensa.
If English isn’t your primary language, American Mensa offers a battery of culture fair, non-language tests.
How to prepare for a Mensa membership IQ test
1. Schedule a month in advance a Mensa Admission Test with your local Mensa organisation.
2. Train with High IQ Pro®. This will substantially improve the logical reasoning and spatial reasoning component of the test.
3. While in mid-training with High IQ Pro® , practice Matrix problems. You can find more problems on the High IQ Pro website. The more sources you find the better. We suggest doing the problems immediately after your High IQ Pro® training session. You may get additional benefits by attempting hard Matrix problems before going to sleep. Dreaming has been proven to help you figure out these kinds of problems! This kind of ‘learning while you sleep’ may also benefit your IQ test performance.
4. While in mid-training with High IQ Pro® , practice taking 10 minute International High IQ Society eCMA IQ tests. They are different every time, they are free and you can take as many as you want. You could do one every 2 or 3 days of training. This practice will benefit your combined fluid and crystallized intelligence performance when you come to taking the Mensa test. A link to this test – with details – is given below.
5. While practicing IQ test questions, get used to doing them under timed conditions, and develop effective techniques for skipping hard problems and then returning to them to be efficient with your time.
6. Take the ‘Mensa Home Test’ (key word on Google) – this will give you a very good idea of the format of the final test.
7. Do a final 10 block High IQ Pro® session just prior to taking your IQ test if you can.
Source by Mark A Smith