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Trial by FireTrial by Fire Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
edited March 2006 in College Admissions
Should Mensa membership be listed as an extracurricular or an award/honor? I'm leaning towards the latter, but I also attend related events.
Post edited by Trial by Fire on

Replies to: Mensa

  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    I would personally say EC. It is more of a club with restricted membership. Using it as an award might look a little pretensious, too.
  • Bill_h_pikeBill_h_pike Registered User Posts: 1,208 Senior Member
    Remember, mensa used to admit people with a 1300 SAT score. It' really not all that hard to get into to.
  • Sephiroth226Sephiroth226 Registered User Posts: 687 Member
    "Remember, mensa used to admit people with a 1300 SAT score. It' really not all that hard to get into to."

    Yea....... your dead wrong. Back then SAT was a one-shot test with no chance for prep or anything. Tell me, if your so smart, how many people in this world have an IQ at 150 or more. Statistically it is about .5%, which I do not think is a large number.
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    They recentered the SAT in the mid 90's because the average score was dropping so much below 1000. The effect of the recentering is that a "normal" score has 100 points added to it. Scores in the 1970's were never low. The recentering was done because they were higher in the 1970's, and they gave everybody taking it now a bonus. (The details of the recentering algorithm are rather complex, but the average bonus was 100 points.) Also, nothing kept people from prepping for it or taking it multiple times. Most people did not, however.

    The requirement for Mensa is that you score in the top 2% of some test that measures IQ. At any rate, Mensa no longer accepts the SAT as one of the acceptable tests since they decided that it doesn't measure IQ.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Mensa isn't impressive. When it comes to the very top colleges, probably virtually all of the applicants would qualify for Mensa. Regardless, what colleges care about is what you have done with your intellect, not what your IQ is.

    I think that listing Mensa as an honor would make one seem more interested in hitting the right numbers, which when it comes to IQ is an accident of birth, than in actually doing things that result in awards and impact.

    Now, if you're actually doing something with Mensa such as speaking at conferences, that would be an EC to list.
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    I'm not so sure that membership in any club could be considered an "award." Mensa membership might be worth mentioning as community service, except that Mensa doesn't do any community service -- or any other useful thing. It's a club whose main purpose is to decide who can join the club.
  • s'vrones'vrone Registered User Posts: 951 Member
    If I were you, I wouldn't put it at all unless I were involved enough to write a meaningful essay about it. For me, Mensa conjures up images of people sitting around congratulating themselves on being intelligent rather than doing anything constructive.
  • Sephiroth226Sephiroth226 Registered User Posts: 687 Member
    I agree.

    I disagree that IQ is determined at birth because an IQ test consists of information that one learns as they grow. Ability to learn and strengths/weaknesses are determined at birth, but IQ is something acquired with study and age.
  • Trial by FireTrial by Fire Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    Mensa no longer accepts SAT scores (post ‘94) due to the fact that studying for that test has become an extracurricular in and of itself for many students. Bill, you’re correct. If they still accepted 1300+, it wouldn’t be hard to qualify. I qualified by a required IQ test taken when I had to switch schools in second grade.

    Including it on the app is somewhat of an afterthought. I’m not applying to ‘very top colleges’ in the traditional sense. I hope to attend art school, and they don’t require their applicants to ‘hit numbers’. I have had an encouraging portfolio review with one of my favorite schools. I just thought I would list it because it is one of the ways I spend my free time. I guess it might be more of a hobby. I do not speak at conferences : ) It’s simply an enjoyable way to make older friends with the same interests.

    I agree that it isn’t what a person has between the ears, but what they do with it that counts. The schools I am interested in value creativity, not dry scores. Portfolios impress, not numbers.

    Northstarmom, you made me giggle. IQ as an ‘accident of birth’. Sounds like a defect. Sometimes it feels like one! I see your point though. Listing it is somewhat like listing my hair color.

    Thank you for the quick responses. I’m glad this board exists, because I’m not sure who to ask!
  • QuincunxQuincunx Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    You are absolutely right. When you get into the Top50 schools, virtually, everyone qualifies for MENSA.

    I joined at very young age, and stuck with it. I like the journal and the SIGs.

    I did not put it down on my college application. I did put Prometheus Society (IQ society for IQ > 160 sd 15) down, however, under extra-currics.

    It's really not needed. Colleges can tell your IQ from your ACT or SAT score.

    By the way, IQ is innate.
  • DaderooDaderoo . Posts: 276 Junior Member
    I wouldn't mention it. Do they still give out the little yellow lapel pin?
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    I think people might be making it easier to get into Mensa than it really is. I'm not sure about the SAT 1300 being a qualifier years ago, but it sounds unlikely even for a score received before the re-centering in 1994. You do have to have score at or above the 98th percentile in an intelligence test.
  • bing121086bing121086 Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
    If you go to the meetings, write for the newsletter or the like, put it under clubs and EC's; if you're just in it, I wouldn't put it.
  • Mystic MerlinMystic Merlin Registered User Posts: 535 Member
    I think Mensa requires like a 135 IQ, not a 150 IQ.
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    Since there are different tests, it is really the percentile and not the score. The requirements for Mensa is to be in the top 2% of IQ's. It would be around 130 or 135.

This discussion has been closed.