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Old 07-13-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
vento
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Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Haven't taken the test and would be interested to hear of anyone who has
what portion of questions you were not sure about but could for example narrow between 2-3 likely answers and ended up guessing. This is not suggesting that it would not be highly improbable to be just lucky for average person and achieve genius status.

I do understand the test will give a pretty good picture of your abilities regardless and effect of guessing a few is not that big deal but was wondering what would be effect in Mensa + other multiple choice tests and in general if incorrect answer gets point deductions making it better choice in some cases not to answer. Obviously if you are able to narrow it to 2 possible answer and penalty is equal to payoff then would expect on average to get 0 sum from those questions taken that selected answer out of 2 choices would be correct half of the time)

I would be interested hearing experiences of Mensa and other tests and if there are any good links to experiments where test been set up in a way that guessing is not awarded and results and more importantly the percentage of unanswered questions is compared to other target group.

While penalizing participants and making them to lose 2 points for incorrect answer wouln't be fair I would mainly just be interested to see what portion of certain test on average was result of guessing , ideally by focusing on what portion of questions were left unanswered (when there is incentive not to answer when not sure). Would assume that less certain you are , more you will end up guessing in normal circumstances whereas for participants generally doing well the effect is rather small. I am aware penalty can make some people hesitant and not answer certain questions they are quite sure they know the answer and could introduce other kind of bias as well.

Last edited by vento; 07-13-2020 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I took it years ago, and I didn't guess when I didn't know the answer, as I thought that wrong answers might score negative points. I learned later that this was not the case (that might have changed though), so I could have scored a bit higher with some luck. I remember that with the last question complex, I didn't have the slightest idea how to tackle it; that was for the 150+ people I guess.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Tests have rules and strategies for maximizing your score. It isn't a big deal.

The more important thing is that you ought find something better to do with your time than taking tests. Given that, in this universe, there are no activities that rank lower in than taking a mensa test, this includes every and all alternative activities.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Edit: these sort of tests can be useful to help you determine how much you are underachieving in life due to personality defects. If, let's say, you score in the top 0.1% and aren't having a top 0.1% life, then you have something to work on.

To answer your question more specifically, how to score highest is a math question. What people do (to the extent that they failed to do the math correctly in determining their strategy) isn't interesting. Or, at least it is no more interesting than whether they put the correct condiments on hot dogs.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

A good test "punishes" for wrong answers. I have taken a test where you didn't get minus points for the wrong answers. When time was about to be up I just chose the last ones randomly, of course.

But if that is taken care of, say four alternatives, you get +1 for the right answer and -1 for a wrong, then I think the luck factor is practically eliminated already when you have say ten questions. Then you can blame only yourself, not luck

I'd say it's a crude measure of smartness if you adapt your answering strategy according to the specs. But that was not what the test primarily was about, so...

Good to remember that in real life not doing things overly wrong is important. Better be say 80-90% sure.

Last edited by plaaynde; 07-13-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Reread Brian’s wise response.

Today I’ll be testing out some new whiskeys for immediate purchase.
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I think the Mensa test would be more interesting if they would give hints for the impossible problems.


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Old 07-15-2020, 06:37 AM   #8
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Screw this and take a Putnam test and ace it instead. At some point the testers are idiotic brains compared to the one tested in some sense often enough to make tests limited and only good in detecting high IQ some of the time not always. I also think time should be irrelevant in IQ tests or they should create tests that allow more time to reward the kind of brain that cares profoundly for not being wrong often rather than being fast. As one matures in life immersed in science they transition to caring for deeper thinking than quick and dirty solutions. That can be punishing in tests that are timed stressed. If you know 10000 things and you are asked to identify them in solutions you will take more time than if you know 100. If they ask both the 100 and the 10000 person topics found in say the 100 subset then the 10000 person is compromised even if better brain eventually. Also as you get older your speed declines for many reasons some of which having to do with being actually better thinker now that is less reckless and more imaginative but if they do not probe that extra range you have developed then you appear weaker. On a good day you will score higher though. So maybe testing 100s of times per year is better than a single time in order to find the truth because clarity and brilliance can vary with time during a year.

Lets make it more interesting instead

https://www.maa.org/sites/default/fi...amProblems.pdf

Also take the one Feynman aced in 1939

https://prase.cz/kalva/putnam/putn39.html

The median score in these tests is yes indeed 0


Try this also where you may find problems seen before here (but at later times than the originals there)

https://www.physics.harvard.edu/undergrad/problems


Ps1: F##K multiple choice by the way born out of inability to find graders and pay them properly for a terrible job lol. You learn more by answers that have no choices offered.

Ps2: In math and science elegant fast solutions are appreciated in competitions. But solutions that are seemingly complicated and appear to be unstoppable tend to impress me more because they indicate a confident resilient fighter. Do you want a brilliant mind that has sporadic moments of glory or a brilliant mind that will never give up with fewer moments of glory but one glorious long lasting march instead?

Ps3: Also being in the 0.1% of enjoyment is very subjective. What if one is very happy and not living in a top 0.1% mansion and yet still able to afford all essential things and some luxuries often. To enjoy certain success as defined by the majority of people may be less attractive than other pleasures or productive usage of your life. The problem with some great brains out there is their insecurity though and their childish obsession with winning and keeping scores that often prove just selfish ego trips. Sure you can spend a life going over complicated very deep abstract problems and fail to notice that focusing on other things may actually lead to solutions to these problems faster but not by your brain alone. Are you interested in the truth or in the truth provided to others by you only? Is science done for selfish self promotion pleasure reasons or because its fundamentally useful and additionally entertaining and fulfilling but more importantly useful typically.

Ps4: A lot of the high intelligence people are problematic in other common sense choices. That indicates the person is a victim of their condition, albeit a remarkable skill is born from it. They fail to grasp important simpler things at play that ignoring invalidates the main effort and purpose of brilliance which is to improve knowledge and elevate the human condition not to promote an endless battle against personal insecurities...
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I'm pretty sure my IQ would be above 100 even on a bad day

Seriously, I think the BS percentage with IQ tests and lie detectors is about 50. Yes, there is correlation, but not enough. Life tests you and the juridical system "beyond reasonable doubt" demands say 99.9%.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by plaaynde View Post
A good test "punishes" for wrong answers.
Meh -- What importance is there to arbitrary numbers of points on exams?
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:23 PM   #11
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by masque de Z View Post
Screw this and take a Putnam test and ace it instead. At some point the testers are idiotic brains compared to the one tested in some sense often enough to make tests limited and only good in detecting high IQ some of the time not always. I also think time should be irrelevant in IQ tests or they should create tests that allow more time to reward the kind of brain that cares profoundly for not being wrong often rather than being fast. As one matures in life immersed in science they transition to caring for deeper thinking than quick and dirty solutions. That can be punishing in tests that are timed stressed. If you know 10000 things and you are asked to identify them in solutions you will take more time than if you know 100. If they ask both the 100 and the 10000 person topics found in say the 100 subset then the 10000 person is compromised even if better brain eventually. Also as you get older your speed declines for many reasons some of which having to do with being actually better thinker now that is less reckless and more imaginative but if they do not probe that extra range you have developed then you appear weaker. On a good day you will score higher though. So maybe testing 100s of times per year is better than a single time in order to find the truth because clarity and brilliance can vary with time during a year.

Lets make it more interesting instead

https://www.maa.org/sites/default/fi...amProblems.pdf

Also take the one Feynman aced in 1939

https://prase.cz/kalva/putnam/putn39.html

The median score in these tests is yes indeed 0


Try this also where you may find problems seen before here (but at later times than the originals there)

https://www.physics.harvard.edu/undergrad/problems


Ps1: F##K multiple choice by the way born out of inability to find graders and pay them properly for a terrible job lol. You learn more by answers that have no choices offered.

Ps2: In math and science elegant fast solutions are appreciated in competitions. But solutions that are seemingly complicated and appear to be unstoppable tend to impress me more because they indicate a confident resilient fighter. Do you want a brilliant mind that has sporadic moments of glory or a brilliant mind that will never give up with fewer moments of glory but one glorious long lasting march instead?

Ps3: Also being in the 0.1% of enjoyment is very subjective. What if one is very happy and not living in a top 0.1% mansion and yet still able to afford all essential things and some luxuries often. To enjoy certain success as defined by the majority of people may be less attractive than other pleasures or productive usage of your life. The problem with some great brains out there is their insecurity though and their childish obsession with winning and keeping scores that often prove just selfish ego trips. Sure you can spend a life going over complicated very deep abstract problems and fail to notice that focusing on other things may actually lead to solutions to these problems faster but not by your brain alone. Are you interested in the truth or in the truth provided to others by you only? Is science done for selfish self promotion pleasure reasons or because its fundamentally useful and additionally entertaining and fulfilling but more importantly useful typically.

Ps4: A lot of the high intelligence people are problematic in other common sense choices. That indicates the person is a victim of their condition, albeit a remarkable skill is born from it. They fail to grasp important simpler things at play that ignoring invalidates the main effort and purpose of brilliance which is to improve knowledge and elevate the human condition not to promote an endless battle against personal insecurities...
I agree with at least part of that. If you are in the 0.1%, then you have improved the knowledge base and have elevated the human condition (assuming that is your goal. Different goals can and do exist). If you have not met your goals in meaningful and measurable ways, then you either aren't smart or have some personality defect that makes your smartness useless.

A useless thing is useless. What you do is absolutely the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter if you have an excellent hammer if you don't pound nails.

The subjective thing is indeed subjective. There are two ways to go about it: 1) you get to assess your own life accomplishments and if you find these lacking in merit, then you have severe deficits that need fixing. 2) others assess you and your behavior and body of work.

Which way to go about it depends on whose opinion is important. Historians won't spend much time discussing your self-assessment.

Where I disagree is on the stuff that is just incorrect. IQ is what IQ tests test. It isn't what you'd like it to be. They test for current academic readiness and nothing else.* The nice thing is they aren't remotely important, except for identifying kids who might need extra help in getting up to speed in school. The other nice thing is that we have other measures of whether someone is good at actual stuff. For instance, you can tell whether someone is good at calculating things by having them calculate things, and you can tell whether someone is good at improving the knowledge base of humanity by checking on whether they have improved the knowledge base of humanity, and you can tell whether someone is good at taxidermy by looking at the taxidermy that they have done, and you can tell whether someone is good at creating physics experiments by checking whether they have created new and useful physics experiments. It is that simple!

*included in current academic readiness are such things as rote knowledge, and skills, and a healthy breakfast before the test, and attitude towards meaningless and useless busy work, and a good night's sleep, and comfortableness. The list of things included is rather lengthy.

Last edited by BrianTheMick2; 07-16-2020 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:24 PM   #12
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
Meh -- What importance is there to arbitrary numbers of points on exams?
It is super important if that is your only accomplishment in life.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:29 AM   #13
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I remember a friend with probably a high IQ and me asking whether he is content. He said he could be ten points more. He smiled as he said it, but I still don't know what that smile meant.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #14
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

He smiled, most likely, because he was doing a chart crime verbally. There is nothing more amusing than chart crimes.
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:23 PM   #15
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I thought that he really would like to be ten points smarter. He maybe didn't come to think about he would be a different person then...
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:10 PM   #16
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
Tests have rules and strategies for maximizing your score. It isn't a big deal.

The more important thing is that you ought find something better to do with your time than taking tests. Given that, in this universe, there are no activities that rank lower in than taking a mensa test, this includes every and all alternative activities.
I do agree that Mensa is in my list one of the lowest of the lowest and dont think I ever get that far as taking it and wouldn't expect to score high.

However the question about how test are planned and best strategies maximizing the result is not irrelevant. There are so many situations where taking tests is needed or benefits (this is not about IQ tests now) outside education system. Most difficult test I had to ever take was practical IT test. Red hat related and had to make a hard choice of ignoring 2 questions ranked in a way costing me a large number of points (estimate) which would had likely messes the partitions and any other answer in test would had been irrelevant after that . Luckily my risky tactic paid of and was able to score enough points in other sections to compensate,

I find multiple choice tests much more pleasant to take assuming you just want to pass. No questions like "You have failed the exam , since you just destroyed the whole file system/partitions" OR you just failed since choosing this option in medical test just killed your patient. I am only commenting about test taking in this case rather than the need for "sudden death questions"

Last edited by vento; 08-09-2020 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:31 PM   #17
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Sure. Strategy is useful in test-taking.
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:34 AM   #18
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

I once did a test where there were loads of really nitty questions all of the form. "is the following statement true of false, if false then state why". The total result was worth < .25% of the final degree mark

So I said true to them all and went down the pub. That's top test-taking strategy strategy.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:20 AM   #19
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by chezlaw View Post
I once did a test where there were loads of really nitty questions all of the form. "is the following statement true of false, if false then state why". The total result was worth < .25% of the final degree mark

So I said true to them all and went down the pub. That's top test-taking strategy strategy.
Tests where the rewards are that small are designed purely to punish those who have mental disorders such as industriousness.
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:40 AM   #20
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

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Originally Posted by chezlaw View Post
I once did a test where there were loads of really nitty questions all of the form. "is the following statement true of false, if false then state why". The total result was worth < .25% of the final degree mark

So I said true to them all and went down the pub. That's top test-taking strategy strategy.
I think I ticked "false" in every case I didn't immediately know in a test. Could that tell us something about our personalities?

They didn't ask why I did it though.
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:30 PM   #21
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

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Originally Posted by plaaynde View Post
I think I ticked "false" in every case I didn't immediately know in a test. Could that tell us something about our personalities?

They didn't ask why I did it though.
In this case it just says you didn't read the question

If you say false then you had to say why. Meanwhile I was in the pub enjoying my full marks for industriousness
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:54 PM   #22
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Re: Mensa+ other multiple choice tests and effect of luck

Luckily it wasn't the same test...
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