Mensa has always been a thing in my life that I looked up to, coveted even, but was scared to go out for.

It was something I always wondered if I could attain, but I knew I probably don’t belong in. And I was terrified to apply only to be denied.

Well, last winter, a friend of mine posted a Mensa practice exam link on her Facebook, stating that her husband tested very high. I was interested, so I followed the link to the Mensa website and took the practice test.

It turns out, at least according to this practice exam, that my suspicions were right. I basically tested on the lower end of being accepted into Mensa. The results came with a write up that encouraged me to arrange for an application test and that without much preparation I should do well enough to get into the club.

I was inspired by that and I decided to do a little research into what Mensa actually is and what the point was.

Obviously, there are networking opportunities and blah, blah, blah. But it really just felt like you paid $40 to test in, then $70 a year to get a quarterly magazine and a card you can carry in your wallet, that you can pull out to impress people with, I guess.

I determined that it was not the thing for me. I don’t need to network. I don’t need to be in a club to feel smart. And I especially don’t need to be in a smart persons club where I am the dumbest one there. Maybe I would feel differently if I smashed the test, but just limping in and made it even more intimidating. So, I never set up the testing date, and I resolved myself to never get into a conversation where I wished I could pull out my “smart person card”.

The story should end there, but it doesn’t. It turns out that the $70 annual membership fee mostly goes into peppering people who have tested well on this pre-test with mailers and pamphlets explaining how good your life could be if you just signed up with Mensa. What a joke.

I hate organizations that do this. I once donated $25 to the Disabled American Veterans charity in the remembrance of a friend’s dad, four years ago. And to this day every Christmas I get a couple hundred full color return address label stickers, dozens of pads of paper, and other garbage that I don’t want or need. This is on top of an initial care package of similar materials. They have clearly spent more than my $25 in sending me this stuff. That is not exactly what I was sending in money to accomplish.

At least with Mensa, it isn’t posing as a charity. You pay dues and your dues go into spreading the reach of Mensa, apparently through snail mail. It has gotten to the point where I am sorry I ever took the test to begin with.

It is still something that maybe one day I will join, just to say I did it. Join, get my card, and stop paying my dues. That way I can pull out my card to prove to other people how much better than them I am. Think they will care?


  • I guess I am dumb….what the heck is Mensa?? Never heard of it….. Google…..

    • Mensa is basically a high IQ society (you have to score in the 98th percentile on a specialized Mensa IQ test to get in). People that are smart are supposed to join and they network and share ideas and tote around their membership card. Mensa also provides a lot of educational toys for kids (like puzzle books and stuff) and educational supplements for kids all the way through high school.

    • Oh, just so it doesn’t sound super douchey, 98th percentile in IQ is around 130 on most IQ tests. It is high, but not unattainable.

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