Looking for some advice here…I was recently invited to join the Mensa organization, but am having some doubts. My sole purpose for taking this test was to have something extra to put on my grad school admissions, as my undergrad GPA would get me nowhere fast. It seems, however, that nobody I’ve spoken with has even ever heard of Mensa. That is, except for one friend who called it a “dating service for nerds.” So, I need some input - is it worth the 50 bucks a year to join?

No one you’ve spoken to has ever heard of Mensa? Wow.

No, I’m not a member. Honestly, I took the test, and just plain didn’t score high enough, so I really couldn’t tell you what they do. I think Playboy did an issue on the women of Mensa a few years back, though…

“The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his ribcage.” --anonymous redhead

Dating service for nerds, ha ha ha! (good).
I only know one person who is in it, and he is mightly underwhelmed by the experience. My thought is that a grad school committee wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about it nor be very impressed (“Oh, this student has a 130 IQ and is so very PROUD of it, hmmm…”). Just a guess, though.

you’re right, it looks good on a college admission form.

but other than that there is no real advantage to joining. (except the personal boasting rights)

I’m pink therefore I’m Spam

My brother in law was a member of Mensa for many years in Ontario and loved the organization. Its legit and altho I know he loved the social aspect of it, I never heard him refer to it as a dating service.

We are, each of us angels with only one wing,and we can only fly by embracing one another

I wouldn’t think that having Mensa on a grad school application does any good. Other than the fact that Mensa tests are standardized test like the GRE. Grad schools are more interested in seeing if you know what you specifically want to do in a particular field. You would be better off writing a kick-ass statement of purpose and getting good recommendations than joining Mensa.

After you get into grad school,then you can join Mensa because it will be a great diversion from doing the work that you actually should be doing.

I would think this would harm you. My reaction would be: “Oh great. An applicant who thinks a high IQ is a substitute for work or some kind of an entitlement.” I’d recommend leaving it out. Maybe if you were applying for undergraduate admission and were profusely apologetic about having low grades, but grad school? Bad move.

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

I’m qualified to join Mensa but decided not to. Why? I’m not sure, but others’ perception of Mensa was surely a factor. I know a couple of people who are in Mensa, and all of them acted slightly embarrassed about it. Belonging may not do you any damage in school or life, but it won’t help you to tell people you’re a member.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

belonged for several yrs. hohum. other than being deep into puns & naked hot tubs, they were no different, & certainly no better, & usually no more interesting than any other group of people you might stumble on. or over. a lot of them were engineers. (ouch! sorry, sorry!)

there were a lot of special interest groups that at that time had mtgs or corresponded via snail mail, now probably via a msg brd like this. if you are high on star trek or d&d or anything over in great debates, you would enjoy that aspect.

as for whether it was worth $50/yr? only to the diehard people inside. no one else, certainly no admissions officer, would care. having passed the test proves only that you are good at passing tests & have a minimum 130 i.q., which can’t be very uncommon in people applying for college or they wouldn’t be applying in the first place.

& 95% of the joiners never attend any functions while still keeping up their dues, so as far as dating is concerned, it’s really probably a smaller pool than you would find if you went to the gym. (maybe not so shallow, but smaller)

Mensa? The hell with them. They wouldn’t let me in.

No T-shirts or sandals. Well, excuse me.

Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue.

If you just want it as another line on your grad school applications, don’t bother. All that will tell the admissions people is that you scored high on some unrelated test; that doesn’t give them any new information, since they’ll already have your GRE and any other test scores.

I’m a current member of Mensa, and have been since 1986 - without a lapse. I have been Loc Sec (Local Secretary - or president) of our local group, Membership officer, Programs Officer, and regional coordinator. Currently, I am serving as the local group’s newsletter editor. Mensa isn’t for everyone. For every person who belongs, there are people who qualify and don’t belong. What you need to do is to decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

If you are in the US, check out the local group you would be assigned to. If you don’t care for that group and there is another group close by that you like better, you can join and then “preference” to that group (tell American Mensa you want to be in that group). Don’t forget to look at the SIGs (Special Interest Groups) that Mensa has. If you don’t see what interests you, you are free to start one (once you become a member). Some local groups have local SIGs and, again, you can start one there too, if you like.

Don’t expect people to respect you just because of Mensa. Some people (me included) won’t put just the membership on a resume. (I do put my past officer positions and my editorship on one of mine because it shows some kind of responsibility. I leave it off the other resume.) :slight_smile: I have had people be disinterested in my affiliation, some were downright belligerent about it (You’re and ELITIST!), and some laugh in my face.

As for Mensans, we meet and talk - but don’t expect the discussions to be about Quantum Physics; they’re more apt to be about who won the last Lakers game and speculating what might be the cause of Dale Ernhardt’s driving problems. Mensans DO love to talk, and we do love to eat. It seems that in many occasions, they are mixed - we come together and eat and talk - in copious amounts.

If you have questions about Mensa or would like to find a local group, contact me. I’ll do what I can.

Incidently, you can join Mensa with previous test scores - like the GRE or other standardized tests, or you can have a proctor give you a test - it can be arranged thru a local group or thru National Mensa.

There are some cons about joining - people think you are showing off about how smart you are… like wearing a T-shirt that says “I’m a Genius! My IQ is 141!” and if you make a mistake, they say - “Gee, you’re too smart to make mistakes like that!” or they watch you for mistakes. That’s why a lot of Mensans don’t talk about their affiliation with Mensa.

You CAN meet guys or girls there - I met my current husband at a Mensa meeting - but the chances of that are low enough that it is not to be considered a reliable dating service. It’s simply that people tend to seek out mates that have the same likes and dislikes… so therefore, they often find themselves with someone of the same intellectual level.

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”

Am I a mensan? Well, not at this time of the month, no.

Oh, wait, you meant … blush

Mensans? Not at this time of the month, no.

Oh, wait, you meant … blush


If there’s one thing worse than a cheap joke, it’s a cheap joke that gets posted twice by mistake.

I received my invitation to join Mensa back in 1990. I read the letter sitting in a bunker somewhere in Saudi Arabia just prior to Operation Desert Storm.

I decided that since I wasn’t smart enough figure out how to get myself out of a war, then what good was a high IQ?

I kept the letter in my ammo pouch, just in case someone said to me, “Whaddaya think you are, some kind of fuckin’ genius?”

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

Bluepony - you mean you didn’t try to get them to send you to OCS? Geeze, that would have been good for 8 weeks anyway! :wink:

BTW- I was in the Army Reserves as a cook for 10 years before I couldn’t stand the place anymore. I didn’t get to play in the sandbox or go to Africa.

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”

I really, really, really wanted to join Mensa until I qualified for it and passed all the tests and everything. Now I have no interest in joining. I’m kind of flaky that way.

But, as DebiJ said:

That is really true. “Friends” of mine acted that way towards me just because I qualified for Mensa. (Of course, this was all way back in high school). So, if I ever did reconsider and turned around and joined, I probably wouldn’t tell too many people.

Just my $0.02 :slight_smile:

If Mensa is any kind of a “dating service” then I’d sure like to know why, in 14 years of membership, I haven’t been given any “dating” information. Granted I have hoped I would have some social contacts for a change; but, as others who have posted have commented, Mensans seem little different from other people…