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Michael Gumbrell

Is it okay to be a member of mensa

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Saturday, 13 May 2017, 22:22

Is it okay?

I sat the 3 hour mensa IQ test last week. I did not tell anyone i was doing it. I thought that it would become a giant piss take and people would think i was arrogant and a 'know it all,.

So i got my results letter today, i scored 132 and got into mensa.

I told the family, much piss was taken... which is fair enough, i love them and they have the right to take the piss..

But it does make me wonder, is admitting to being in mensa something to be proud of, or a reason for people to mock you. Does even thinking that way make me abit on an arse?

I was initially pleased but now wonder if it is a mistake?

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Me in a rare cheerful mood

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I took Mensa's marketing test in my 20s, passed, got involved with their online discussions on Usenet, gave a more elegant solution to one of their set logic problems than their provided answer, was invited to the invigilated membership test.  Sat that.  Went home and later heard a dial-in radio programme on LBC about Mensa.  It was not nice.  The callers had nothing nice to say.  When the letter came from Mensa saying I had passed the entrance I did not action it; I never completed the membership.

Since then I have heard nothing other than snide remarks about people who say they are members.  It seems to be something one needs to keep to one's self, a dirty little secret.

My nephew is a member; he was surprised to find nobody outside the family wanted to know.

At one time I was Simon Reed FIAP FInstCPD MBCS CITP MRI and discovered pretty quickly that using those even on business correspondence results in ridicule, even from professional colleagues.

A colleague prefers to be called Dr rather than Mr because he is proud of his Phd.  Many people consider a lot less of him because of that.

But if some bird who used to get her knockers out for money uploads a photo of her surgically-enhanced fat arse, that's front page news.

What a screwed-up society we live in.

Me in a rare cheerful mood

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A previous colleague and drinking buddy accidentally revealed he was good at chess (someone took a board in one lunchtime and got thrashed in a few moves) and then someone found out he had been the captain of his country's international chess team.  He was so embarrassed; people had only ever taken the Mickey out of him for that.  It wasn't even on his CV.  On one occasion he played either Karpov or Kasparov - I forget which - and drew.  He said that was the highlight of his chess career.

On the same team was a previous Pakistan number 2 at squash but we didn't know.  That came out when they built a squash court on site and a gobby contractor was mouthing off about how he was the best in his local squash club and would take anyone on.  Eventually our middle-aged colleague with destroyed knees (squash does that to you in the end, apparently) said he'd have a go.  He just stood in the middle of the court in his work clothes and beat the gobby git 21-0.  He actually played with an old racket that had been repaired with string.  Actual parcel-wrapping string.  And the handle was held together with loads of that chunky old Sellotape we used to use to seal boxes.  Then he had to admit he had played before.  He hadn't wanted anyone to know.

Michael Gumbrell

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Hi Simon, 

In the interest of humour, can i ask if the MRI in your professional qualifications means that you used to administer MRI's, or that you had an MRI once?

I agree with much of what you say, mensa membership seems to attract a great deal of distain, or comments of ' but what about common sense' and other hostiility.

I sometimes attend meetings with external stakeholders for work, i always take and present my credentials to these meetings, it often is met with surprise. I find this odd, dealing with healthcare and sevice user privacy, within a charitably constituted frame work, surely being able to produce your credentials is important.

I am not sure if i will join mensa, it seems to be a stick that will be used to best you with...

If populist media is so keen to discuss knockers and surgically enhanced backsides, does that mean they are making tits and arses out of us all?

Least Famous 'Influencer' Ever

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I don't know about IQ tests. For a start, they seem to be biased towards logic and maths.

My personal experience shows a great variation in these tests. I took one for the Civil Service back in ... er.. 2002 and scored 129.  Not bad... Later tests put me at 149. Earlier tests, as a teenager, placed me about 109 (what's with the 9 thing?). I think 129 is most probably closest to my personal reality.

I'm an artist (writer) and I don't think IQ tests have taken us into account yet. This is why they swing about so wildly. I don't think much of them. Too narrow and not realistic of broader intelligence. I can't work out a simple maths equation, but I can write an essay on feminism as it relates to concept of the Abject and score 90+ %. I have a First Class degree in Humanities. Does that mean anything to IQ tests?

Sure, I'll take IQ 149. Sounds good. 109? Well, it's in the 'normal' range. Emotional intelligence is another matter. I'm probably 12 years old! wide eyes

Still, it's a great score you have there. Might as well have some pride in it. If it makes you feel good then I agree with it. wink

Matt. tongueout 

Michael Gumbrell

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Hi Matt,

Well when you sit the exam, there are two papers, one is just puzzle, pattern identification and straight up logic tests, this paper is thought to be biased against certain socio-economic backgrounds. The second test contains much more verbal reasoning, and language based questions, it is called a Caterill- fair test because it is believed to be less biased. I did better in the Caterill test, perhaps because i come from a very working class background. You only have to pass either test with a score of 132 to pass. i scored 130 on the first test and 132 on the Caterill test.

No test of emotional I.Q was part of the test session. It is interesting to read some articles that describe how, to be successful in I.Q exams, you need to be on the Autistic spectrum. I was unaware that i sat anywhere other than at the bottom of the spectrum, my Mrs will confirm that i might be a grumpy old bugger, and she often does, but not that i have traits of Autism.

But there does seem to be a great deal of hostility to anyone who joins Mensa, all the comments about not having 'common sense' or 'street smarts' or that you must be a 'nerd' to join. I was unaware that Mensa had any agenda although i did read something that suggested it was an anti-semetic organisation. That's the joy of the internet i suppose.

So it would seem there is a stigma about Mensa, and it's members being in the top 2% of the population for I.Q, it still seems hard to quantify why it is so widely disparaged, after all i myself am 2 meters tall, so that puts me in the top 2% of the population for height, and no-one feels the need to have such strong opinions about tall people, if you don't count the comments of 'whats the weather like up there' and people in the super market asking you to get things down of the top shelf ( i ask people to get things off the bottom shelf for me, things on the bottom shelf might as well be in a different time zone to me).

So is it worth joining?, i saw from the news letter they sent, that they do have any annual Backgammon tournament, and i do love to play backgammon...

college gratuate

is there differe between american mensa test and uk mensa test? also in uk mensa test in 45 questions what % to get to pass mensa test ?

college gratuate

is there differe between american mensa test and uk mensa test? also in uk mensa test in 45 questions what % to get to pass mensa test ?
Michael Gumbrell

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They are different tests Nicholas.

The US test is it's own thing.

The UK test uses it's own test and part of the US test.

You cannot pass or fail the test. The test score places you on a bell curve of IQ. In the UK, the average score, the top of the bell curve is an IQ of 100.

To get into MENSA you have to score 132 or more on the test.

But it is not a pass/fail situation. Just a measure of your personal variation from the median score of 100.