Pew News IQ Quiz


I am bit of a sucker for these little quizzes that pop up on the internet from time to time, as long as they do not take more than a couple of minutes to complete and are not totally idiotic. Since I am a news junkie, I was tempted to do this short 13-question Pew News IQ quiz to assess whether you know more about the news than the average American. This is an admittedly low bar so this is one of those quizzes where doing well does not bring any credit at all.

It so happened that I got all 13 answers right which put me in the top 1% but it is nothing to be proud of because some of the questions struck me as quite trivial. After all, why should being able to identify prominent people by their photographs be an indication of one’s news savviness?

Comments

  1. wtfwhateverd00d says

    There were actually 16 questions, I got them all right (but I made an educated guess on two.)

    The population graph of Nigeria is interesting, is that a result of war? famine? disease? or an economic boom?

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    After all, why should being able to identify prominent people by their photographs be an indication of one’s news savviness?

    NPR news is one of my primary sources. It doesn’t help much with identifying photos.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    12/13. I missed the state map question. I know same-sex marriage was approved in Illinois, but apparently it doesn’t go into effect until June 2014.

    I didn’t recognize the woman’s photo, and narrowed it down by approximate age.

  4. AndrewD says

    hmm.. I got 2 wrong, the one identifing the senator for florida and the populatin structure. I am a UK national so that means I know as much about US politics as many US nationals. This could, of course, be due to reading Freethougt Blogs.

  5. alanuk says

    I came across a site that gave a huge number of sample questions for those aspiring to take the US citizen test. I have no wish to take the test, I have no wish to become a US citizen. I have never been there and never want to.

    Yet, I got almost every question right. The surprising thing is that I did not know the answers to most of the questions. They were of course multi-choice. It seems that the questions, combined with the answers, combined with all sorts of long forgotten knowledge, can lead to the solution.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Yet, I got almost every question right. The surprising thing is that I did not know the answers to most of the questions. They were of course multi-choice.

    I am very good at multiple choice tests, and filling in little circles with a number two pencil. I am from a state which has been subjecting its youth to standardized testing for decades.

  7. Chiroptera says

    After all, why should being able to identify prominent people by their photographs be an indication of one’s news savviness?

    Yeah, my rule of thumb is that a news source’s credibility is roughly proportional to how much it relies on visual images. My main source of new is print-based media (both off and on line) and I tend to quickly glance at or ignore the photographs.

    Anyway, I got two wrong.

  8. ericjuve says

    I answered 12 of 13 correctly, I don’t do well with middle east geography so I missed Egypt.

  9. Paul Mason says

    Well, I’m an Aussie, the only US news I follow is the Daily Show (clips via YouTube), Mano’s blog and US stories as run on Australian TV – and I got 11 out of 13. (I didn’t know about US Justice Kennedy, and I thought the women in Congress HAD to be at least 30%…).
    So only 4% of randomly chosen US respondents scored higher – not a good ad for an educated populace…

  10. says

    I missed the one with the photo of a smiling woman. I have no idea what the CEO of Yahoo looks like (nor do I care). I knew Wendy Davis was around the same (assumed) age and has similar hair so that’s what I guessed. Oh well. I consider that more a “celebrity” question and not of much value, though.

  11. Nick Gotts says

    I got 11, not bad for a non-American (I got the first two wrong).

    The population graph of Nigeria is interesting, is that a result of war? famine? disease? or an economic boom? – wtfwhateverd00d

    No. It’s the kind of demography you get when death rates have fallen, particularly in infancy, due to better medical care, but birth rates have not yet followed suit to the same extent (as history strongly suggests they will, and indeed, as is already happening).

  12. fentex says

    I’m in New Zealand and got 11/13 – guessed legalised Marijuana for the States question (I thought same sex marriage was more widely legalised in the U.S), and picked the wrong Dow Jones graph (#2).

    I did however make educated guesses for a few – the CEO of Yahoo the least informed of my guesses, and picking Nigeria was mostly deduction about which of those countries could have such a large bulge of children.

  13. teawithbertrand says

    I scored 100% here, but I’ve been paying attention and I did have to think a moment about a few of the questions. I can see how an educated person could miss some of these.

    I also took their science and technology quiz:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/

    Almost entirely simple, basic, elementary school science questions that every adult should be able to answer. According to Pew, I beat out 93% of my peers in doing so. I find that troubling.

  14. says

    wtfwhateverd00d (#1) –

    The population graph of Nigeria is interesting, is that a result of war? famine? disease? or an economic boom?

    I had to read that several times. You actually don’t recognize a natural population pyramid of non-industrial countries and from before the industrial revolution? Was Social Studies not part of your school’s curriculum? The cylindrical population pyramids of industrialized countries are the abnormal ones.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid

    http://populationpyramid.net/

    The graphs of certain countries show the effects of selective abortion and preference for males (e.g. Nepal, India, but especially Oman).

  15. says

    One more on that population pyramid site: Qatar. That pyramid is screwed up and utterly horrifying. How can there be three to five times as many men than women in the 20-40 age range?

  16. Dunc says

    One more on that population pyramid site: Qatar. That pyramid is screwed up and utterly horrifying. How can there be three to five times as many men than women in the 20-40 age range?

    In the case of Qatar, I’m guessing migrant labour.

    I got 12/13, putting me in the top 3% – I didn’t recognise Marissa Mayer. I’m in the UK, and haven’t even visited the US in nearly 20 years.

  17. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Laughs at some arrogant dipshit idiot who gets four wrong and then complains about my social studies courses.

    And no, I’ve never seen a population pyramid before, HOWEVER, arrogant idiot, I did ask:

    “The population graph of Nigeria is interesting, is that a result of war? famine? disease? or an economic boom?”

    So you can arrogantly laugh at my pitiful social studies courses and I will just shake my head and wonder why your head is so far wedged up your ass you can miss 4 questions on this trivial test and still think you have some basis to lord anything over other people.

  18. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Laughs at some arrogant dipshit idiot who gets four wrong and then complains about my social studies courses from 4 decades past.

    And no, I’ve never seen a population pyramid before, HOWEVER, arrogant idiot, I did ask:

    “The population graph of Nigeria is interesting, is that a result of war? famine? disease? or an economic boom?”

    So you can arrogantly laugh at my pitiful social studies courses and I will just shake my head and wonder why your head is so far wedged up your ass you can miss 4 questions on a trivial test and still think you have some basis to arrogantly lord anything over other people.

  19. says

    A direct question was asked without sarcasm and met with an uneducated, overly emotional and infantile response.

    Run along, little troll. Your bridge is lonely.

  20. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    For Whatever Little its worth I ( an Aussie) scored 85% getting 10 out of the 13 correct.

    I got the Dow Jones question and the supreme court swing judge question wrong and confused Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo with Wendy Davis, state senator from Texas – but really didn’t have an idea who they were.

  21. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Not so much who they were but rather who the woman pictured was. Don’t know really what any of those peopel look like – had to guess.

    @19. teawithbertrand :

    I also took their science and technology quiz:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge/

    Almost entirely simple, basic, elementary school science questions that every adult should be able to answer. According to Pew, I beat out 93% of my peers in doing so. I find that troubling.

    Agreed. Same here – got all questions correct there. All really basic indeed.

    I think a lot of people do forget that there’s more nitrogen in our atmosphere than oxygen and I suppose the creationists have affected the understanding of continental drift but yes, you’re right.

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