Review: Can You Pass Mensa’s Brain Test?

Geek Culture

Image: American Mensa

Want to test your brain but only have a few minutes? If you have somewhere between five and 60 uninterrupted minutes available, you can play with the new iPhone app called Brain Test, brought to you by American Mensa. The idea of Brain Test is to test your knowledge and skills in the areas of logic, math, language and visual patterns.

If you are new to the program, or if you only have five minutes, choose the Training option. It will ask you five questions in the above topics. When you’re done, it will give you a score out of five. It won’t tell you which questions you got wrong, however. If you have at least 20 minutes, you can choose one of the regular test modes. The available tests are Short (20 minutes/20 questions), medium (40 minutes/40 questions) and long (60 minutes/60 questions). It doesn’t seem to allow you to pause any of the tests, so make sure you have enough time to complete the chosen test.

While one minute per question may not seem like a lot of time, some of the questions are easier than others, which allows for plenty of time for the more difficult ones. So take your time on the tough ones and answer the easier ones quickly.

Oddly enough, I felt that the vocabulary questions were the easiest. This is odd, because my SAT and GRE scores were definitely skewed toward higher math scores than verbal ones.

During play, you can skip questions and go back to them later, but on the medium and long tests, that can involve a lot of page turning.

Image: American Mensa

When you’re done with a test, the app tells you how well you did, shown on the bell curve. They do not tell you how many you got correct. Some of the questions are quite difficult, so don’t feel bad if you don’t do as well at first as you might expect. I’m usually very good at math patterns, but those were the most difficult questions for me.

Brain Test saves your test scores so that you can see your score history. This list is editable, however, so if you have a particularly unrepresentative test, you can delete it. You can also share your scores with others.

It is possible to set up different profiles in Brain Test, so that more than one person can use it. This part is set up a bit strangely, however. You can’t choose from a list of profiles, you just type your name in. When you switch back and forth among profiles, you have to type your name in again, but, it does still remember all of your results from the past.

Brain Test is for people who want to seriously test their abilities. It doesn’t count as a Mensa admissions test, but it’s a fun challenge to do in your spare time. Brain Test is available in the iTunes store for $1.99. I know I’ll be playing this game over and over, because I like testing myself, and there is plenty of room for improving my scores.

If paper and pencil are more your speed, there are also plenty of Mensa-related puzzle books available.

Note: A copy of the app was furnished for review purposes.

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