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Mensa Membership: Help Grad School Application?

  1. May 24, 2010 #1
    Assuming I'm capable of passing the test to become a member of Mensa, do you think that it would be a sufficiently impressive addition to a physics graduate school application to be worth the cost (about $40, I think) and effort (a test in a nearby city) of becoming a member?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2010 #2
    No. MENSA attracts the most naive, not the most intelligent people who are willing to pay money to satisfy their egos. Grad schools would much rather see research experience rather than MENSA membership ( in fact, I think that even putting MENSA membership on a grad school application would be a negative).
  4. May 24, 2010 #3
    Lol what?? Are you serious?
  5. May 24, 2010 #4
    No way!
    It is quite arrogant and it tells very little about your chances of suceeding in Physics.
    So, it either will help you very little or may even be a negative.

    Not worth the effort.
  6. May 24, 2010 #5
    It does seem like it would be a bit ostentatious. A university doesn't care what some stupid MENSA exam alleges, right? Say someone does take the exam and doesn't "pass." Would this dissuade them from pursuing a career in physics? It's possible. It doesn't mean anything.
  7. May 24, 2010 #6
    If you can do well on the GRE, you should have no problem passing the Mensa entrance exam, in my opinion. In that way, a Mensa membership would be redundant.

    I paid for a year of Mensa when I was 19, because I had no friends, and I was hoping to establish contacts and social relationships through their meetings and events. I was by far the youngest member there, so that wasn't worthwhile at all.

    I suggest saving your money.
  8. May 24, 2010 #7


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    Your grades are almost certainly far more predictive of your success as a physics grad student - and grad schools know that. I doubt that a Mensa membership would matter even a little bit.
  9. May 24, 2010 #8
    I agree with Pinu7. It certainly wouldn't help, and I know that I would scoff at anyone listing Mensa as a qualification. (I think of Mensa as an organization for ostensibly smart people who've never managed to do anything with their intelligence and therefore need external validation.) Honestly, it might cause me to reevaluate an otherwise qualified candidate.
  10. May 24, 2010 #9
    I was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Would putting that on my resume help any?
  11. May 25, 2010 #10
    I was referring to putting it down on the application section that deals with organizational memberships, not just to show off alleged intelligence.

    Sarcasm fail due to poor analogy, kylem. Organizational memberships do have something to do with school applications.
  12. May 25, 2010 #11
    Not grad school applications. Grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation concerning your suitability for and experience with research.
  13. May 25, 2010 #12
    I would say the only ones that matter when applying to grad school are of professional bodies like, say, the Institute of Physics. These are fairly cheap to join as a student, but I would also say completely worth it. Being a member of a body like this is a good way to stay in the loop with current research and be made aware of conferences etc that you might want to go to.

    Otherwise, I don't see any reason that being a member of MENSA would be helpful.
  14. May 25, 2010 #13
    Interpretation fail. I was asking because National Merit Finalists face much higher qualification standards than Mensa members (which is laughably low, making the entire concept of it being a "high IQ society" a joke).
  15. May 25, 2010 #14


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    Generally, they're looking for membership with organisations like APS, IEEE, CAP, AAPM, etc. It's another tickbox that demonstrates you're doing as much as you can to be an active member of the physics community. But in all honesty, I don't think having such memberships really makes that much of a difference in your ranking as a candidate compared to other factors. Such memberships are helpful in and of themselves however as student members of such organizations will have access to material that will help them learn about their field, provide reduced costs for conferences, and even provide access to scholarships.

    Membership with other organisations such as MENSA, fraternities/sororities, political groups, etc, will round you out your character on paper, but are highly unlikely to affect your ranking.
  16. May 26, 2010 #15
    Yes! As an aspiring neuroscientist, I find the concept of IQ laughable. Excelling at IQ tests mean only one thing: that you excel at IQ tests. The application of critical thinking to science in general and physics in particular is another pursuit entirely.
  17. May 26, 2010 #16
    Im too lazy to read the above responses so sorry if this was repeated but

    the answer is NO...if you want people to think youre a pretentious idiot then put your

    mensa membership on your grad app, if anything itll lower your chances of getting

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