Lifestyle

Are you smart enough for Mensa? Take the test

MENSA is holding a round of admission testing 11 a.m. Aug. 24 at the Puyallup Public Library. Visit the MENSA website at mensa.org. - Courtesy image
MENSA is holding a round of admission testing 11 a.m. Aug. 24 at the Puyallup Public Library. Visit the MENSA website at mensa.org.
— image credit: Courtesy image

For anyone who’s ever wondered if they’re one of the “smart” people, here’s a chance to find out.

Mensa is holding a round of admission testing starting at 11 a.m. Aug. 27 at the Puyallup Public Library. The test takes about two hours. Applicants are required to pay $40 and have photo ID available.

Mensa is an organization “for people of IQ’s in the top two percent.” That top two percent equates to 57,670 members nationwide, with 1,219 in Western Washington.

Mensa has three main goals. The first is to “identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity.” The second is to “encourage research into the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence.” The organization’s third goal is to “provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.”

David Brown, PR coordinator for Western Washington Mensa, described the different things that might bring people into Mensa.

“Perhaps a person is a research scientist, so there’s the first reason. If they’re an altruist, there’s the second reason. The third reason is why most people belong: To meet other people who have similar interests who are as inquisitive as themselves.”

Because of that top two percent metric, Brown says people might have a narrow view of what Mensa and its members are like.

“People might look at Mensa and think it’s a bunch of people who score well on tests,” he said, “or maybe they’re a bunch of nerds who talk about science fiction.”

But that’s not the case, Brown said. According to the official Mensa press guide, the organization has 159 special interest groups ranging from arts and crafts to chocoholics to motorcycling.

“We get together, we have those special interest groups,” he said. “We’re just like any other group with a wide range of likes and dislikes. This gives us a common ground for socializing.”

As an election year looms on the horizon, even the distinguished members of Mensa can get feisty about politics.

“Just like in any workplace, you get a conversation going on politics, and it can get just as ugly as any other group,” Brown said with a touch of humor.

Take the test

For anyone interested in taking the Mensa test on Aug. 27, Brown says following the test taking advice from school is still your best bet.

“Do some simple practice skills, such as reviewing vocabulary, basic math and finding out where your basic level is,” he said. “The one thing we stress to people is to be relaxed. Get a good night’s sleep. Be open minded, and don’t stress over it.”

The Puyallup Public Library is located at 324 South Meridian in Puyallup. Visitwww.cityofpuyallup.org/library or call (253) 841-5454. To learn more about Mensa, visit mensa.org.

Western Washington Mensa facts

• 24 percent: never married

• 33.6 percent: first marriage

• 17.2 percent: two or more marriages

• 23.4 percent: unmarried after divorce

• 45.2 percent: no children

• 15.2 percent: one child

• 19.6 percent: two children

• 20 percent: three or more children

• 29 percent: one or more graduate degrees

• 23.8 percent: four-year college degree

• 30.4 percent: no degree

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