Ramblings: So I am a ‘Certified Genius’

Ok, jokes aside. I took the Mensa Admission Test (MAT) last month and the results came in today – my score puts me in the top 98th percentile of the general population, hence qualifying me for admission to Mensa – the high IQ society.

So why did I take the test? Well, it was actually a challenge pose to me by a friend who was very sure that I can’t pass the MAT, so I took the test.. and passed it 🙂

Now I must first make a disclaimer, the test administered by Mensa only measures abstract reasoning and there are many other forms of IQ so making the mark to Mensa doesn’t automatically qualify anyone as a genius in every possible subject in the world (I can’t play the piano before taking the MAT and I still can’t play it after scoring in the top 98th percentile).

For the unaware, Mensa Singapore doesn’t allow GMAT or GRE etc as a replacement so you can’t ‘study’ or ‘prepare’ for the entry requirement, you have to take the MAT (which is a supervised IQ test).

While my score qualifies me for membership to Mensa, I am still alittle ‘displeased’ with the test experience I had. I’m going to explain why and also share some tips for those who wishes to take the MAT in Singapore.

  • Drink a cup of coffee and eat way beforehand, Mensa Singapore holds the test at 4pm so you will feel sleepy (even more if you ate just before the test – I did).
  • Arrive early. I was early for the test but there are people streaming in even after the test started for quite awhile and its irritating.
  • Bring ear plugs or a personal music player (IPod etc). Its noisy because the test administrators will chit chat and if any latecomers sit next to you, you will get to hear (loud and clear), the test instructions.. again
  • Sit at the back of the room and try to make sure every seat next to you is taken (see the two points above on noise).
  • Even after you solve the logic, do not skip the question thinking you can come back and work it out. You will not have the time.  I made the mistake of solving the logic of the complex questions and then moving on, thinking that by solving the logic first, I will be faster and stand a better chance to attempt every question. I missed 6 questions in total and its irritating because I solved the logic and I just needed time to work out the answers (I am 100% sure I can  solved every since puzzle in the test except the last question – which I simply ran out of time for proper analysis).
  • Officially, you have 40 minutes for 30 questions (or was it 40.. can’t remember) but in actual fact, you have less than that because of latecomers and in last 5 minutes,  the test administrators will be doing an official countdown – you won’t be able to concentrate.
  • You cannot practice for this test so try to take it with minimum mental stress. I took the test for fun and I think that mindset helped me to relaxed.

So in the end, I made the mark for Mensa, even though the test experience was horrible. I am thinking of retaking the test to see if I can make it to the top 99th percentile but for now, I’m going to ‘bask in the glory’ and mull over the decision to join Mensa Singapore (I made the mark  but that doesn’t mean I have to join!)


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