Mensa is an international organization for “smart people.”
In 1946, two men from England met on a train and decided to start an organization for people of high IQs. They originally wanted to develop a society of great thinkers that would benefit humanity.
“It was developed to foster intelligence and offer a stimulating social environment,” says Phyrne Parker, former President of Mensa Canada.
To qualify to become a member of Mensa you must be able to show you have an IQ greater than that of 98% of the world’s population. That may sound a little daunting but with a global population of over six billion people, there should be over 120 million potential Mensans out there.
“The tests aren’t based on knowledge or memory,” says Parker, “because knowledge and memory don’t really have anything to do with intelligence.”
“The tests are based on spatial thinking and verbal and mathematical skills. They measure how fast the brain reasons, plans, problem-solves, thinks abstractly and understands complex concepts,” she says.
“However, you must be able to think quickly because a large part of intelligence is how fast you can look at a problem, analyze it, solve it and move on,” she explains.
Parker acknowledges that some people have called Mensa elitist. “You can accuse any organization that has any sort of membership criteria of being elitist,” she says. “If you really want to, you can call the Boy Scouts elitist because you have to be a boy to join,” and adds, “our only criterion is you have to be bright.”
Mensa welcomes all members regardless of age, sex, race, beliefs or income.
Parker feels that young people would greatly benefit from Mensa as she believes that, “many are presently in an environment where they aren’t being mentally challenged or stretched. Mensa could offer things that perhaps the educational system is not providing,” she says.
So, are you curious? Are you Mensa material? If you can correctly answer three or more of the following questions in less than ten minutes you might want to consider contacting www.mensa.org!
Answers at the very bottom of this page
Click here to do an official 30 minute Mensa workout on their website, and get back test results:
2. 2500 (Karen likes squared numbers)