The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mensa and IQ Society Memberships

Mensa and IQ Society Memberships

Mensa and IQ Society Memberships: You’ve probably heard about Mensa and other high IQ societies and wondered if joining one could be right for you. With membership comes some nice benefits – like connecting with other bright minds and access to special events – but there are a few drawbacks to consider too. Should you join Mensa or a similar group? Let’s weigh the pros and cons so you can decide if it’s a smart move for you.

What Is Mensa and IQ Society Memberships?

Mensa and IQ Society Memberships

As the largest and oldest high IQ society, Mensa membership offers the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. If you score in the top 2% on an approved IQ test, you’re eligible to join. But is membership worth it?

Benefits of Membership

One major benefit is networking. Local chapters organize social events where you can meet other members and discuss common interests. You may find collaborators for creative projects or make new friends.

Mensa also provides mental stimulation. Members receive the Mensa Bulletin magazine, can access online groups on diverse topics, and attend lectures or take part in discussions at gatherings. For lifelong learners, these perks provide intellectual challenges.

Finally, Mensa membership confers a certain amount of prestige. Being part of an elite intellectual society is appealing for some. You can include your membership on resumes or college applications to highlight your cognitive abilities.

Drawbacks to Consider

The application process requires time and money. While Mensa aims to evaluate cognitive skills objectively, some say the tests narrowly measure certain types of intelligence. Membership dues, typically $70-$80 per year in the US, may deter some.

Some report that social interactions at events can feel stilted or awkward. Not all members share the same interests or values beyond their IQ scores. Local groups vary in activity levels, so opportunities to connect with like-minded people aren’t guaranteed.

Mensa’s mission is to “identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity”. But some argue the organization promotes an overly narrow view of intelligence that benefits members more so than society.

If intellectual challenge and networking with gifted individuals appeal to you, Mensa membership may be worthwhile. But go in with realistic expectations about the experience and benefits. While a high IQ can open some doors, it does not define you or limit your potential. Mensa is what you make of it.

The Benefits of Joining Mensa or an IQ Society

Being a member of Mensa or a high IQ society has some exciting perks. For starters, you’ll get to connect with like-minded individuals. Let’s face it, sometimes it can be challenging to find people who share your interests and can keep up with your thinking. In Mensa, you’ll be surrounded by others with high intelligence who actually understand how your mind works.

You’ll also get access to engaging events and activities. Mensa chapters organize everything from thought-provoking discussions and debates to fun social gatherings. There are opportunities for lifelong learning through lectures, workshops and conferences on diverse topics. For those into competitive mind sports, Mensa also hosts tournaments in games like Scrabble, chess and logic puzzles.

A Mensa membership looks impressive on a resume or college application. It signals to others that you have a high level of cognitive ability, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. This can give you an edge, especially when applying to prestigious schools or for jobs requiring strong intellectual capacity.

Of course, an IQ society membership isn’t for everyone. The annual membership fees, while reasonable, may be off-putting to some.

There’s also the potential discomfort of being in a group focused on quantifying and categorizing human intelligence. For those who don’t put much stock in IQ tests or feel uneasy about intellectual elitism, a Mensa membership probably won’t appeal.

At the end of the day, joining Mensa or a similar high IQ society is a personal choice. For many members, the benefits of intellectual stimulation, social connection and career opportunities far outweigh any potential drawbacks. If you think it might be right for you, why not take an IQ test and find out if you qualify? You’ve got nothing to lose, and a whole new community of brainy friends to gain.

Networking and Social Opportunities

Connecting with Like-Minds

One of the biggest benefits of joining Mensa or a similar IQ society is the opportunity to network with other gifted individuals. As the old saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together.” Finding others with similar intellectual interests and abilities can lead to stimulating conversations, collaborations, and even friendships.

Through local chapters and events, online forums, and the organization’s magazine and website, there are many avenues open for making valuable connections. You may find kindred spirits who share your passion for topics like philosophy, mathematics, or neuroscience. Interacting with those operating on your level can help combat feelings of isolation that sometimes come with having a high IQ.

Access to Engaging Events

Most IQ societies organize regular get-togethers, lectures, and other social and educational events for members. This could include guest speakers on a variety of subjects, group discussions or debates, museum tours, book clubs, and more. Attending these events is an excellent way to continue honing your mind while also socializing and developing your personal network.

Some of the larger organizations like Mensa even host annual international gatherings and conferences. These multi-day events feature thought-provoking presentations, social activities, competitions, and the opportunity to connect with members from around the world. For those looking to exercise their intellect, these intensive get-togethers can be highly appealing.

While the high cost of membership and event fees is certainly a downside for some, many find the mental stimulation and chance to interact with intellectual peers well worth the investment. The key is taking advantage of all the organization has to offer to get the most value from your membership.

Overall, joining Mensa or a similar high-IQ society can open up rewarding social and learning opportunities difficult to find elsewhere. Making meaningful connections and accessing engaging events are two of the biggest benefits for those seeking an intellectual community.

Access to Resources and Events

Mensa and IQ Society Memberships

Being a member of Mensa or a high IQ society gives you access to a wide range of resources and events. As a member, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other gifted individuals at local chapter meetups and the annual international convention. At these events, you can participate in engaging discussions, listen to fascinating guest speakers, and make new friends with similar interests.

Many members find lifetime friends and even romantic partners through these social connections. The networking opportunities are invaluable, especially if you have a career or business where high intelligence and quick-thinking are assets. You never know who you might meet that could lead to an exciting new opportunity.

Mensa also offers members access to an extensive library of books, games, and media on a wide range of intellectual topics. You can borrow materials through their website and postal mail for a small fee. For the lifelong learners, this type of resource is ideal.

Members are frequently eligible for discounts on educational programs, brain training software, and other tools for enhancing cognitive skills. Mensa partners with select companies to provide special offers and pricing exclusively to members. If you’re looking to strengthen your mental abilities, these deals can help you save a lot of money.

While the social and educational resources are a significant benefit of membership, some argue the annual dues are too high for what you receive. The cost varies in different countries but typically ranges from $50 to $100 per year. If you don’t plan to take advantage of events and offerings frequently, the fees may outweigh the benefits. However, for many gifted individuals, the opportunity to connect with like-minded people is priceless.

Overall, Mensa and high IQ society memberships provide a wealth of resources for expanding your mind and enhancing your life. The social connections and learning opportunities open doors to new experiences that can profoundly impact your future. While the annual dues may deter some, the potential benefits of membership are well worth considering.

Sense of Community

Joining Mensa or a similar high-IQ society means you instantly have access to a community of like-minded individuals. These are people who share your high intellectual capacity and curiosity about the world. You may find kindred spirits with whom you can engage in stimulating discussions and debates on topics that interest you.

Within these communities, you’ll likely find people with similar obscure interests and hobbies. Have you always wanted to learn Klingon or debate the merits of obscure philosophical doctrines? Chances are, you can find others in Mensa who share those interests. The society provides opportunities for in-person and online interactions through local chapters, special interest groups, and online forums.

However, some critics argue that a high-IQ society may promote an elitist attitude. There is a possibility of members looking down on those with average intelligence. The exclusive nature of the organizations can also foster judgment and conflict within the community.

Before joining, think about what exactly you hope to gain from membership. Are you looking to find like-minded friends or engage in intellectual discussions? Or are you more interested in the validation and status that comes from belonging to an elite society? Your motivations will determine whether the benefits of membership outweigh the potential downsides for you.

If you do join, go in with an open and humble attitude. Appreciate others for their character and shared interests, not just their high IQ scores. Make an effort to be inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds. And if you start to feel the society promotes unhealthy attitudes, don’t be afraid to speak up or ultimately withdraw your membership.

With the right mindset, joining Mensa or a similar organization can be rewarding. But go in aware of both the benefits and the potential drawbacks to make the most of your experience. An open, balanced, and inclusive outlook will help create the kind of meaningful connections you’re looking for.

Personal Growth and Learning

Joining Mensa or a high IQ society can provide opportunities for intellectual stimulation and personal growth. Expand Your Mind

Surrounding yourself with highly intelligent people exposes you to new ideas and ways of thinking. Conversations at local chapter meetups or online forums introduce you to complex concepts and debates you may never encounter otherwise. This exposure helps exercise your brain and pushes you outside your intellectual comfort zone. Lifelong Learning

Most high IQ societies promote continual learning through lectures, workshops, and events. Mensa, for example, hosts an annual gathering with presentations and activities on a wide range of topics. You can discover new areas of interest and pursue them at your own pace. Many members find these learning opportunities reinvigorate their natural curiosity and joy of discovery.

Of course, a high IQ society membership isn’t for everyone. Some potential drawbacks to consider:

Feeling Isolated

Some people may feel socially isolated in these groups if they have trouble relating to others on an intellectual level. While stimulating conversations are valuable, emotional connections with like-minded people are also important for wellbeing and happiness.

Perception of Elitism

There is an unfortunate stigma around high IQ societies that they promote an elitist attitude. While these organizations aim to provide community and resources for gifted individuals, some see them as a way for members to flaunt their intellectual superiority. Make sure you join for the right reasons – curiosity, learning, and personal growth.

A Mensa or high IQ society membership offers benefits but also challenges. If you pursue membership, do so to expand your mind and enhance your lifelong learning, not to prove your worth. Surround yourself with people who share your passion for knowledge and mental adventure. With an attitude of openness and humility, you’ll find the experience personally and intellectually rewarding.

The Drawbacks of Mensa or IQ Society Membership

Mensa and IQ Society Memberships

While Mensa and other high IQ societies may seem appealing in theory, joining isn’t for everyone. Some potential downsides to consider:


Mensa membership dues are typically a few hundred dollars per year. For what amounts to a social club, the fees may not seem worth it for all. If cost is a concern, look for ways to offset fees, such as volunteering your time for the organization. Some local groups also offer discounted student rates.


Some see Mensa as an elitist organization that promotes an “us vs. them” mentality based on intelligence. Discussions can frequently turn into petty arguments over who has the higher IQ or is the most clever. This intellectual elitism and in-fighting is off-putting for many.

Limited Benefits

Aside from networking opportunities and a sense of community with like-minded people, there are few concrete benefits to membership. Mensa does not provide job referrals or placements. Nor does it usually lead to career advancement or new opportunities on its own. For the fees charged, some expect more useful perks and services.

Social Discomfort

Not everyone is comfortable in highly intellectual social circles or situations where intelligence is flaunted. Many Mensa events center around puzzles, problem-solving, debates, and other activities that can make some feel inadequate or anxious. The social aspects of membership do not appeal to or work well for all personalities.

While joining Mensa may be an ego boost or provide mental stimulation for some, it is not for everyone. Evaluate why you want to join and make sure the benefits outweigh the potential negatives before paying the membership dues. Mensa could be an exciting social club for the intellectually gifted or an uncomfortable experience of elitism and social discomfort for others. Know yourself and go in with realistic expectations.

Costs of Membership and Events

Mensa membership comes with a cost. The annual dues for most countries are between $30 to $70 per year. This provides you access to local group activities and the Mensa magazine. Some Mensans feel the dues are worth it for the intellectual stimulation and social connections. However, others may find the cost hard to justify if they do not take advantage of events and resources.

Mensa events also often charge admission fees. These cover the costs of space rental, food, drinks, speakers or materials. Prices range from $5 to $50 or more per event, depending on the type of function. While many events like casual dinners,game nights or speaker meetings have modest fees of $10 to $25, larger conferences may charge $200 or more for multi-day events.

Some potential downsides to consider regarding Mensa costs:
• The dues and event fees can add up over time and may be difficult for those on a tight budget.
• You may not utilize enough of the offerings to warrant the ongoing costs if you do not attend many local events.
• Conferences, especially travel to international AGMs, can become quite expensive, possibly $500 to $1500 or more for some members.

However, for many members, the intellectual and social rewards of participation in Mensa make the membership fees and event costs well worthwhile. The opportunity to interact with other highly intelligent individuals, engage in stimulating discussions, attend informative presentations, and forge new friendships is invaluable.

While Mensa and other high-IQ societies are nonprofit organizations, membership is not free. As with any organization, there are costs associated with administration, resources, events and operations. For most members, the benefits of belonging to such a society far outweigh the costs. But for each individual, determining if the fees provide personal value and are affordable is an important consideration.

In summary, Mensa membership opens the door to a community of bright minds, but does come at a cost. Weighing the pros and cons of the fees versus the potential benefits can help in making the choice that is right for you.

Potential Feelings of Exclusion

Joining Mensa or a similar high-IQ society may lead to feelings of exclusion for some. By definition, these groups only accept those with scores in the top 2% of the population on approved IQ tests. This inherently leaves out the vast majority of people. Some may feel that emphasizes an “us vs. them” mentality where members see themselves as intellectually superior to others.

For those on the cusp of the minimum requirements, the testing and admission process can be an ego blow if you don’t get in on the first try. Rejection from a society you aspire to join may leave you questioning your own intelligence and abilities. On the other hand, gaining admission after initial rejection or a prolonged application process may lead to imposter syndrome for some new members. You may feel you don’t truly belong among such a group of cognitive elite.

Once joining, you may find it difficult to connect with other members on a social level. While you share an affinity for intellectual pursuits and high-level thinking, relationships require more than just common interests to thrive. The culture within these groups largely self-selects for those with strong logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences. Those with strengths in other areas like spatial, bodily-kinesthetic or interpersonal intelligences may feel out of place in the organization’s activities and discussions. They may have a hard time finding like-minded members with whom they share a deeper connection.

For these reasons, Mensa and IQ society memberships are not for everyone. Each individual must weigh the potential benefits of joining such a group against the possibility of feelings of exclusion. With open and honest communication, many of these concerns can be addressed. However, it ultimately comes down to each person and whether membership in such an organization will enhance or diminish their well-being and self-concept.

Is Mensa or Another IQ Society Right for You?**

So you have an above-average IQ and are curious whether joining Mensa or a similar high-IQ society is worthwhile. There are some benefits to membership, but also a few potential drawbacks to consider.

Membership in these organizations provides intellectual stimulation and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. You’ll have opportunities for networking, mentorship, and participation in engaging discussions on diverse topics. Some groups host local get-togethers, speaker series, and special interest groups. You may find mentors and form friendships that last for years.

However, the membership fees for some groups can be pricey. Mensa’s fees range from $70 to $90 per year. While not exorbitant, the fees may deter some. There is also a chance of encountering “intellectual snobbery” from certain members. Not all high-IQ individuals have strong social skills or empathy. Some look down on those with “average” intelligence, although this behavior is discouraged.

You’ll need to decide if the potential benefits of membership outweigh the costs and risks for you. If you’re looking to engage in thought-provoking discussions and connect with intelligent peers, joining an organization like Mensa could be rewarding. But if cost is a concern or you prefer more diverse social interactions, you may be better served through local interest groups, continuing education, or other communities.

The choice comes down to your priorities, needs, and budget. Don’t feel obligated to join Mensa or any group just to prove your worth or intellectual capacity. Your intelligence can be stimulated and expressed in many ways, with or without an official membership card. The most important thing is finding communities that enrich your life and bring you fulfillment. If Mensa fits the bill, great; if not, there are plenty of alternatives out there. The key is making the choice that is right for you.


So in the end, is a Mensa or IQ society membership right for you? Only you can decide. There are benefits, like meeting other smart people and engaging your mind. But there are also drawbacks, like the cost and potential feelings of elitism. Take some time to reflect on what’s important to you. Getting to know yourself better and determining your own path is the greatest intelligence of all. Whatever you choose, keep learning, stay curious, and continue growing. The journey of discovery never really ends.



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