Christian Science Monitor Scientific Literacy Quiz

Posted on December 21, 2011  Comments (3)

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:

  1. Newton’s First Law of Motion describes what phenomenon?
  2. 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?
  3. DNA contains adenine, cytosine, guanine, and what other nucleotide base, which is not found in RNA? (I had no idea on this one)
  4. What term describes the single initial cell of a new organism that has been produced by means of sexual reproduction?
  5. 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 SunTen Things Everyone Should Know About ScienceUnderstanding the Evolution of Human Beings by Country

3 Responses to “Christian Science Monitor Scientific Literacy Quiz”

  1. Pew Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz » Curious Cat Science Blog
    April 25th, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    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…

  2. Lindsay
    April 23rd, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    I am extremely scientifically literate for someone not working in sciences, however, I lack high levels of knowledge in physics and chemistry, but am still well read. I got a 50% and at the end of the test it said the average was around 75% or 80%. The only way that is possible is if actual scientists that are familiar in all areas took the test, or people looked up that answers as they took the quiz. Most of my biologist buddies got around ~40% and they are brilliant.

  3. glenn coker
    June 16th, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    Some comment got the age affect wrong; education today has been “dumbed down”. I am 76 and got 90% (45 correct) going through it quickly. Todays youngsters are too lazy to study science.

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