Sunday, October 01, 2006

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED #13: Reclaiming my Inner Geek

WHY DID I do it? I love mental challenges. So, one day last Spring I challenged myself to take the test for Mensa.

The total testing time was about two-and-a-half hours. Two timed tests.

The first IQ test was over in a flash: 50 questions, 12 minutes. It was the notorious Wonderlic test - the very same Wonderlic test given to incoming NFL football players, the one on which a very promising recent quarterback prospect allegedly only scored a 6.

The questions aren't as difficult as one might think - math (arithmetic, algebra, geometry), verbal (vocabulary, analogies,etc.), and logical reasoning skills. Pacing is the issue. You just have to average a little over 4 questions a minute.

You're not penalized for incorrect answers. So, while I put an answer for every question, I really only completed about 44 or 45 questions. I tend to favor accuracy over speed. (Here's a link to a few dozen contemporary other quarterbacks' scores.)

The second IQ test, the Mensa test, was very bizarre. It began with the proctor reading a 3- or 4-minute long passage about, of all things, Greek pagan theatre: Circles. Drums. Priests. Fire.

We were forbidden to take notes.

Then, the proctor gave us pencils and administered 6 very abstract mini-tests (what shape next in this sequence) ranging from 10 minutes to about 20 minutes each, before giving a final test asking 30 questions about the passage on Greek pagan theatre, which we'd listened to nearly two hours previously. Surprisingly, on that section, I remembered enough where I only had to guess on 5 or so answers.

Due to advisement from their legal department, Mensa no longer gives your actual IQ score by mail for fear of litigious test takers - something about liability for the potential psychological trauma of receiving an IQ score without the presence of a licensed psychologist. Nowadays Mensa only notifies you on a pass/fail basis, whether you meet their requirements.

You have a choice to either pre-qualify from a test from your youth, or to qualify on one of the two proctored tests.

So, two weeks later, I received my results from the proctored tests by mail:

My first official Mensa "event" is this week. Talk about interesting material.

I'll let you know how it goes...

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED # 13: Become a member of MENSA.


BLUE said...

oh joy! geekdom is fun ... i know a few folks in Mensa. please tell us what the "events" are like.

Collin said...

Yeah, let us know if you meet Sharon Stone, who always whips out her Mensa credentials. Too bad she can't pick a script to save her life. lol