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Mensa Means Smart

August 26, 1989|Clipboard researched by Elena Brunet and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times; Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

"How Smart Are You?" opens the mini-IQ test that prospective MENSA members take to evaluate whether or not they should even attempt the official test to determine their eligibility.

MENSA calls itself "an international organization for highly intelligent people." The sole requirement for membership (other than paying dues) is scoring higher than 98% of the general population on one of several standardized IQ tests.

MENSA has local groups throughout the nation, which meet at least once a month. The Orange County chapter, which declared independence from the Los Angeles chapter in 1980, had 1,143 members as of March, 1989. The membership is roughly two-thirds male.

The group takes its name from the Latin word for "table" and says it is a "round table society that makes no distinction as to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, economic, educational or social status. Only intelligence matters."

Here's the distribution of MENSA members in Orange County*:

MENSA Number per City Members 1,000 Residents Anaheim 84 0.34 Brea 17 0.51 Buena Park 11 0.17 Costa Mesa 84 0.90 Cypress 22 0.49 Dana Point 8 0.48 Fountain Valley 27 0.48 Fullerton 53 0.47 Garden Grove 41 0.30 Huntington Beach 103 0.55 Irvine 98 0.98 Laguna Beach 25 1.02 La Habra 22 0.45 La Palma 3 0.19 Los Alamitos 18 1.48 Mission Viejo 36 0.50 Newport Beach 97 1.39 Orange 65 0.61 Placentia 18 0.43 San Clemente 15 0.38 San Juan Capistrano 10 0.41 Santa Ana 89 0.38 Seal Beach 10 0.37 Stanton 8 0.28 Tustin 34 0.73 Villa Park 7 1.01 Westminster 23 0.31 Yorba Linda 20 0.42 Unincorporated areas 95 0.27 TOTAL MEMBERS 1,143 0.50

* As of March, 1989 MENSA MINI-TEST

On its application/brochure, American MENSA offers a mini-test just to give prospective members a taste of what lies ahead should they want to join (entrance is achieved by passing MENSA's own test or by documented evidence of qualifying scores on one of several standard intelligence tests). Here's a selection of those questions. Answers are printed below. No peeking.


1. If two typists can type two pages in two minutes, how many typists will it take to type 18 pages in six minutes? 2. If it were two hours later, it would be half as long until midnight as it would be if it were an hour later. What time is it now? 3. Pear is to apple as potato is to: a. Banana. b. Radish. c. Strawberry. d. Peach. e. Lettuce. 4. What is the following word when it is unscrambled? H C P R A A T E U 5. What is the number that is one half of one quarter of one tenth of 400? 6. Which of the following is least like the others? a. Poem. b. Novel. c. Painting. d. Statue. e. Flower. 1. Six typists. One typist types one page in two minutes. 2. 9 p.m. 3. b. Both grow in the ground. 4. Parachute 5. 5 6. e. The only one that is not a manmade artistic work. Source: Orange County MENSA chapter

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