Saturday, January 21, 2006


What is MENSA ?

People hear about mensa but they dont know what it's all about. They are told by someone that its a group for intellectuals & people with very high IQ's. Thats one of the major reasons that keep people away from appearing for the mensa tests. Very few people are willing to know their IQ, as they think, a low IQ score may be a source of embarresment.

Its true tht Mensa is an organization which has people with high IQ's, but thats just the punch line.
Mensa is something more than just high IQ & uber intelligence. Its one of the major source of motivation for all members. People from various educational backgrounds & different communities come together to form a huge pool of experience & achievements. Although these people are distinguished in their fields of work, all mensans keep their prides burried & share their experience as just another person in the crowd.

But beyond all the achievement & glory, a mensan is a true human & is equal to any other human.

What I learnt from mensa is a sense of responsibility towards society, to use my naturally obtained intelligence in the betterment of humanity & for proving myself as a better person.

These things may sound too ideal or philosophical but its the unsaid fact when you are a part of MENSA.

I have been a mensan since 1999 & since then I have met amazing people which normally I would never bump into. Eventhough these people are tested for high IQ's they seem to be built with a sense of humbleness that comes with their intelligence.

There are so many intelligent people around me, some are my friends, some are my closest relatives. Its hard to convince them to take an intelligence or IQ test. But who said it takes an IQ test to prove a person's intelligence ?

As actor P.J. Oclan said in the movie 'Little man tate' :
" You see, it isn't the size of a guy's IQ that matters. It's how he uses it."

But the bottomline is how to make yourself & your intelligence useful for your own growth !

The answer lies in social interaction. Thats where mensa comes in. Social interaction gives you a sense of confidence & makes you realize, what you are actually made of ! Thus Mensa can be seen as an Organization ( non profit ofourse ) that fosters intellectual & judgement skills.

I wont request or urge anyone who reads this, to go & take a mensa test, but yes I do suggest them to take up a Mensa test so that if they qualify then their experience can be used to make a wiser out of the wise.

Basics about Mensa:

Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions. The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose IQ is in the top 2% of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other"s company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.

Mensa Goals:

Mensa has three stated purposes:
to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity,
to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and
to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.

What kinda people are members of Mensa:

There is simply no one prevailing characteristic of Mensa members other than high IQ. There are Mensans for whom Mensa provides a sense of family, and others for whom it is a casual social activity. There have been many marriages made in Mensa, but for many people, it is simply a stimulating opportunity for the mind. Most Mensans have a good sense of humor, and they like to talk. And, usually, they have a lot to say.

Mensans range in age from 4 to 94, but most are between 20 and 60. In education they range from preschoolers to high school dropouts to people with multiple doctorates. There are Mensans on welfare and Mensans who are millionaires. As far as occupations, the range is staggering. Mensa has professors and truck drivers, scientists and firefighters, computer programmers and farmers, artists, military people, musicians, laborers, police officers, glassblowers--the diverse list goes on and on. There are famous Mensans and prize-winning Mensans, but there are many whose names you wouldn't know.

How do you qualify for Mensa

Membership in Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised. There is no other qualification or disqualification for membership eligibility.

The term "IQ score" is widely used but poorly defined. There are a large number of tests with different scales. The result on one test of 132 can be the same as a score 148 on another test. Some intelligence tests don't use IQ scores at all. Mensa has set a percentile as cutoff to avoid this confusion. Candidates for membership in Mensa must achieve a score at or above the 98th percentile (a score that is greater than or equal to 98 percent of the general population taking the test) on a standard test of intelligence.

Generally, there are two ways to prove that you qualify for Mensa: either take the Mensa test, or submit a qualifying test score from another test. There are a large number of intelligence tests that are "approved". More information on whether a test you have taken is approved, as well as information on the procedure for taking the Mensa test, can be obtained from the nearest Mensa office.

Mensa has no other eligibility requirements other than IQ testing.

Dont miss out the fun, contact the nearest Mensa Office & sign up for a test.

1 comment:

OAndreas said...

Dear Raunak, your posting caused some deja vu since I am thinking in the same lines. After I joined Mensa finally in 1997 (I knew that I should be able to master the test for over 10 years before actually doing it) I met lots and lots of people that I would not have met any other way.