Pew Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz
The Pew Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz is a simple 13 question quiz to get a very simple look at scientific understanding in society. Obviously these types of quizes are just extremely simple views, still it is interesting to see how you can do and what questions people struggle with.
I am surprised the fewer than 50% of the people got 2 true or false questions correct, including “Electrons are smaller than atoms. Is this statement…” Looking back at my previous post, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, in the 2009 Pew Science Knowledge Quiz it is also the case that under 50% got the are electrons smaller than atoms question right.
They also provided a breakdown by demographic factors. Men had better percentages of correct answers, for the 2 true or false questions men were correct 55% of the time while women got 40% correct. The two other true of false questions had much higher correct answer rates 77% (83% for men 72% for women) and 66% (70 for men, 63 for women).
There was also a substantial tendency for the youngest ages to do better and the performance to decline for each age group. I am not surprised by the question answered incorrectly most often (only 20% got it right), see if you can guess which it is.
Christian Science Monitor Scientific Literacy Quiz
This is a nice science quiz that you should learn from while taking it (unless you are extremely knowledgeable already and know every answer).
It is multiple choice, and even on some I got right, I wasn’t completely sure between two choices for example (What is the heaviest noble gas?). I managed to guess pretty well but also missed a couple.
It has one hugely annoying usability failure: after answering the question it loads a new page with the right answer and you have to click again to get the next question. Doing this for 50 questions is extremely tiresome and pointless. They correct answer could be shown at the top and also show the next question.
Some questions in the quiz:
- Newton’s First Law of Motion describes what phenomenon?
- What word, which comes from a Greek term meaning “good kernel,” describes an organism whose cells contain chromosomes inside a nucleus bounded by a membrane, as distinguished from bacterial forms of life?
- DNA contains adenine, cytosine, guanine, and what other nucleotide base, which is not found in RNA? (I had no idea on this one)
- What term describes the single initial cell of a new organism that has been produced by means of sexual reproduction?
- What term for an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter gets its name from a line in James Joyce’s 1939 novel “Finnegans Wake”?
I managed to get 39 right, which honestly include lots of educated guesses and lucky guesses. It almost seemed the test was 30% on your ability to translate Greek or Latin. Overall I think it was difficult and I was lucky to get 39 right. It would be nice to show participant results like an earlier Science Knowledge Quiz did. Percentage getting each question would be interesting too, along with the distribution of answers.
They do provide all your answers (and the correct answers) on one page once you finish (with is a nice usability touch).
Related: Nearly Half of Adults in the USA Don’t Know How Long it Takes the Earth to Circle the Sun – Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Science – Understanding the Evolution of Human Beings by Country