Are You Better Than The Average American At Science?

There's only one way to find out.

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The National Science Foundation in the U.S. recently published a report about how much the American public knows about basic science concepts. Want to know how you stack up against the people who responded? Take the quiz!

  1. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Really, really quite hot – about 6000 degrees.

  2. Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's true! All the continents used to be lumped together in a landmass called Pangaea. But they're always moving, even today.

  3. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Humans have known this for a pretty long time now. We're really hoping the 24% of people who got this wrong misread the question.

  4. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Radioactivity comes from atoms that are not stable and so decay into smaller atoms. And it occurs naturally (did you know bananas are radioactive?).

  5. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Electrons are fundamental particles and make up atoms (along with protons and neutrons), so of course they're smaller.

  6. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Lasers are all about light, not sound.

  7. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Ok, so some will quibble with the language used, but this question was designed to reveal whether you know about the Big Bang or not. (Perhaps the language is why 61% of people asked by the NSF chose "False".)

  8. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Only men have a Y chromosome (women have two X's, men have an X and a Y) so only they can determine whether the baby gets a Y, making it male.

  9. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Nope, just bacteria. Which is why antibiotics are no use against the common cold, which is caused by a virus.

  10. Correct!
    Wrong!

    This is natural selection.

Are You Better Than The Average American At Science?

Sorry, you're below average.

On average, 61% of Americans were able to answer these questions. For example, 84% were able to answer the question about the Earth's core, while only 39% were able to answer the question about the big bang. Maybe you're having a bad day? Come back later and try again, we won't tell anyone.

Sorry, you're below average.
Flickr: rhruzek / Creative Commons
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You're smarter than average.

Congratulations, you're smarter than most! On average, 61% of Americans were able to answer these questions. For example, 84% were able to answer the question about the Earth's core, while only 39% were able to answer the question about the big bang. Here, have a gold star.

You're smarter than average.
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You're roughly average.

Well done! On average, 61% of Americans were able to answer these questions. For example, 84% were able to answer the question about the Earth's core, while only 39% were able to answer the question about the big bang. You're doing just fine.

You're roughly average. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
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