Take Mensa's Free Test And Find Out If You're A Genius

Mensa -- the club for people who know they're smarter than you -- is offering its home test for free during the month of January. It's an IQ test that takes 32 minutes to complete and will tell you whether you're Mensa material.

Although blitzing this test won't get you admitted to Mensa -- that test has to be taken in a controlled environment -- it's a really good approximation, and a good score would certainly be good enough to declare yourself a genius, at least to your friends.

This test takes place on a computer, but the actual Mensa test is on paper. If you want to seriously prepare for a Mensa exam, the written test is still $US18. You don't have to be a genius to figure out how to take the test -- you input your address and email, and then you will be emailed a code that gives you access to the virtual test centre.

Mensa is an organisation that has been around since 1946. Its primary objective is to identify high-IQ individuals and nurture them. The primary requirement is that you have to have an IQ that is at or above the 98th percentile. Those odds aren't bad -- they're about 1 in 50! Once you're a member, you get to attend exclusive gatherings and discuss things like science, philosophy and your favourite websites. Who said smart people don't have any fun? [Mensa]



    For such smart people their website sure is shitty.

    Me? I belong to Densa

    A serious correction needs to be made: this test is by no means an IQ test.
    It will not tell you your IQ, nor will it give a 'good indication'
    As a psychologist who has administered many real IQ tests, it is very frustrating when people believe that their computer can tell them their IQ if they answer a few questions- Even from Mensa- it's just not there.

      I'm genuinely curious - why wouldn't the online test give you an approximation of how you would perform in an actual IQ test?

        I am also a psychologist:
        - It would give you an approximation, but a really poor one. There is a lack of control in online administration that results in measurement error. There's also an issue that many of the task types in a full IQ test require an administrator present.

        because IQ is EXTREMELY demographic dependent. Pretty much every aspect about you as a person has an effect on how your test should be graded.

        EG, If a person who lives an extremely privileged life and got to go to all the best schools and a person who is of a minority ethnicity, had access to only basic schooling in an extremely underfunded school (see: no child left behind) were to hand in a near identical test, the richer person would have their final score calculated noticeably lower.

        It is hard to explain all the intricacies of IQ test scoring here, but demographics could quite easily make the same given answers have a difference of over 20 points.

          I'm not sure where your getting your information from, but I'm trained to administer the WAIS (its a requirement of registration as a psychologist in Australia), and I've never heard this demographic grading you refer to (with the exception of age). The test is technically supposed to measure general ability, independent of opportunity or other demographics - the last meta-analysis I read suggested that education could impact some of the verbal scales, but this is explains around 5 points, not 20. That said, it does assume a certain level of literacy in adults.

          To remain on point - they don't adjust the score based on demographics, though they may choose to discard the test administration all together.

          Ah. I knew demographic and development background played a part, but I'd thought that it only had to do with the selection of questions administered. Thanks @thom and @alphamone

    My advice? Don't bother joining even if you meet the requirements. Many years ago I sat their test (old fashioned paper and pencil version) and got a high score. For about 4 or 5 years after I received regular mail from them trying to persuade me to pay the annual fee and join. Their "selling point" seemed to focus on the exclusivity of the group. In the decades since then I've met a good few people who are Mensa members and, without exception, they've been the most smug, socially inept people I've met. They seem to make sure that within an hour or so of meeting you know they're in Mensa. There may be a majority of well adjusted Mensa members who you don't hear about and it's just the minority weirdos I meet.
    If you want to join some sort of group/club/community, you're better off choosing something a little more inclusive and less insular.

    Last edited 17/01/13 6:37 pm

      If you think that Mensa are elitist, you should see the groups that go even higher in their joining requirements. Some of them are also only have single language websites (some of which are the sorts of sites that should have gone extinct after the 90s), and are probably so far into the margin of error of the tests that they use (either due to interpretation, memorization or just plain badly made tests) that they might as well be a Mensa fork.

      It also ignores the fact that IQ on its own is meaningless, as it doesn't matter if you have an IQ of 170, because the vast majority of jobs in fields of science are so applied that your only advantage over a person with say, 130 IQ is that you are faster in calculating things in your head, and that you might have a high level of expertise in other fields that may or may not have any relevance at all to the field you are currently employed in. (e.g. a nuclear physicist isn't going to need to know about the complexities of brain chemistry).

        I wouldn't say that IQ by itself is useless. Generally speaking, its quite predictive of outcomes like wealth, education and job performance. In fact, its the single best predictor of job performance available, although it is even better if you throw in some other tools.

        Your right in that there isn't much practical difference between a score of 130 and 170, but you need to keep in mind that 130 is already at the extreme of the population distribution anyway (you have to be in the top 2.5% of the population).

          Intelligence has at least 5 loosely areas of which the ability at IQ tests is but one. The other areas include: interpersonal; intrapersonal, musical, spatial, kinesthetic...

          I know a real estate agent who grew his business into a sizable, successful, thriving one yet he wasn't "smart" enough to get through year 10 at high school.

    I took the actual test at the Victoria Hotel in Melbourne 20 years ago. I missed (potential) Mensa membership by a couple of points. Is life better or worse? I am single and have been stuck in a boring, sucky job for all that time. Despite a relatively high IQ, these things are mostly my fault. IQ alone, won't do anything for you. The rest is up to you.

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