July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

98th Percentile, You Saucy Minx (Part 1 of 2)

After a bit of cursory research and many “Only Connect” viewings, I have decided that this is the year I try to join Mensa. It shouldn’t be intimidating, really. If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my intellectual abilities. (Rather than a sense of style, social skills, or an aptitude for eating neatly, obviously.) But still. Mensa means something even to the non-quizzing layperson. It has clout. As per Wikipedia, it is “the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.” Total membership: about 110,000 people who score in the 98th percentile or higher on IQ tests. Considering the planet has like 7 billion people on it, that is…not a lot of people.

Hoo boy.

So I’ve obviously started my long game, which is to find as much scoop out about the test as possible. Luckily, the internet is chock full of that sort of thing once you push aside the porn and cat videos. It’s easy enough to find sample questions from Mensa, psychologists, and random people who do this sort of thing for fun. (I myself enjoy putting pennies into those paper roll things, so I daren’t judge.)

The questions tend towards several categories: verbal, maths, analogies, spatial. They often involve deducing a pattern, which I’m much better at since getting addicted to “Only Connect.” Still, sometimes I get tripped up. Example:

Pear is to apple as potato is to?
A: banana
B: radish
C: strawberry
D: peach
E: lettuce

Think about it. I’ll wait.

Got an answer?

The correct answer is (B) radish because pears and apples both grow on trees and potatoes and radishes both grow underground. Whereas I went with (D) peach because I thought the pattern was that the length of Word #2 was the length of Word #1 plus one letter. As Britta would say, Duh doy.

Then I get something like:

What is the following word when it is unscrambled?
H  C  P  R  A  A  T  E  U

…and I’ve unscrambled “parachute” before I’ve finished reading the letters. Just goes to show, I guess.

I do hope they give us scrap paper for the test, because my practice has already resulted in quite a bit of this:


I’d prefer not to resort to writing on my hand but I will if it means I get into Mensa.

[For any wondering, I have never taken a real IQ test. I just now took the test here and got a 130, which I don't think is quite good enough. Stay tuned.]

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: