There are a lot of IQ tests available on the Internet these days. Whether they're testing people's abilities to crunch hard numbers or their knowledge about how certain words are spelled, these kinds of tests are often concerned with the types of information that aren't all that useful in the real world. Sure, it's good to know how to do calculus- for mathematicians. Otherwise, knowing how to find the derivative of an equation is probably not something that's going to come in handy while out at the grocery store. The kinds of knowledge that do come in handy during day to day life aren't usually the tidbits of information that are tested on a typical IQ test.
We've decided to create a quiz to test not the kind of technical knowledge a person might need to know in a math course or logic game, but rather, the types of knowhow that come from just living life on this planet. This could be anything from general historical facts that most people should know to well-known geography. Even though most people should know most of the things tested on this quiz, it's rare for a single person to know all of them. So, we challenge anyone out there- can anyone manage to get 100% on this common sense quiz?
How many planets are there in our solar system?
This one was easy once upon a time. When we were in grade school, it was simple enough. Ever since we could remember, there had always been a certain number of planets, and we were taught acronym after acronym to aid our memories. But then, things started to change, with popular definitions of planets changing and certain objects in our solar system having their identities altered by scientists. And then debate arose again around these common astronomical definitions. Amidst all of this scientific debate, it can be difficult to remember how planets actually are in our solar system. Does anyone know?
Which of the following molecules stores and passes on heritable traits in organisms?
Although not everyone knows the details of molecular biology, most people know a few basic facts. Most of us are aware that humans are multicellular creatures, conglomerates of trillions of cells coming together to create living, working organisms capable of complex processes and cognition. Most people are also aware that there is a type of molecule that is responsible for passing on hereditary characteristics between parents and offspring. Without this molecule, the world would be much different than it is today. Although most people are aware of the presence of this molecule, not everyone can pick out its name. What is this special molecule called?
What molecule in coffee keeps people awake?
We all know that drinking coffee and tea keeps us awake on those late nights at the office. It also turns us into functioning human beings when we have to set our alarms for 6 a.m. to get to work on time. But can anyone name the exact molecule responsible for that rush of wakefulness we all get after throwing back a good cup of java? It's the molecule that keeps the world turning, whether it's keeping pilots awake in the cockpit or spinning the wheels in the minds of entrepreneurs. Without this molecule, life on this planet could be quite different. What is it?
What is the capital of Australia?
A country's most famous cities are often not the country's capital. In Canada, Toronto might seem like the obvious place to put the Parliament Buildings, but the capital of the country is actually a small city called Ottawa. Similarly, many foreigners might pick out New York City as the capital of the United States given that it is probably America's most famous city, but the actual capital is actually on the Potomac. A lot of people think they know the capital of Australia, but often, they're taken by surprise. Can anyone pick out which of the following cities is the capital of Australia?
During which century did Audrey Hepburn live?
There are certain names that everyone recognizes. Even if the person isn't alive anymore, they've made a big enough mark upon history that their legacy will live long past the day they depart this world. This is true of famous emperors, like Charlemagne or Augustus. It is true of brilliant minds, like Leonardo Da Vinci and Descartes. It has also become true of actors. Although geniuses and entrepreneurs still have their claim to fame, movie actors have become some of the most well-known people in the world. This particular actress is one of the most famous women in the world. During which century did she live?
Which of the following is NOT an organ?
This question might seem obvious at first glance, but it's not quite as simple as it may seem. Whether something is an organ or not feels like it should be obvious knowledge, but labels can be tricky to deal with. In the human body, there are organs, tissues and cells and systems. One thing that might seem like an organ may actually be a tissue or a system. We've all heard the names of the basic components of our body, like the bones and the stomach, but not all of us can pick out whether those things are organs or not. Which of the following is NOT an organ?
In what unit is sound measured?
Anyone who's ever taken a science course knows what it feels like to be confused by units. There are just so many of them. When studying physics, a new unit of measurement appears every time a person flips pages in the textbook. There are different units for speed and force, for energy and frequency, for periods and acceleration. Although it may seem obvious upon retrospect to name which units are for which measurements, it can be pretty difficult to pick them out without any hints. Most of us have heard people talk about the units for sound before. Can anyone pick out which unit of measurement below is for sound?
How many continents are there?
Although this one seems easy enough, it can be easy to get confused. There are a lot of countries on Earth, and it can be difficult to remember which sections correspond to which continents. Plus, there are a ton of tiny little islands and archipelagos, which can make it harder to pick out a set number of land masses when eyeing a globe. And learning about the nature of continents can make things even more difficult. The borders of continents often lie beneath oceans, and the land masses that might look like they should correspond to a separate continent are often just a subsidiary of an existing one. How many continents are there?
The sun the centre of our...?
Space is a big place. There are so many different aspects of it, from the stars to the black holes to the planets to the quasars (don't worry, we don't know what these are either). On top of all of this, there are different classification systems. There are clusters, local groups, systems, galaxies and all kinds of different groupings to put stars into. It can be hard to remember what grouping means what. There's usually something at the centre of each type of grouping, something with gravity that causes everything else to rotate around it. What is the sun at the centre of?
Which of the following is an instrument typical of jazz?
We all know jazz. It's that thing that Ryan Gosling was trying to save in La La Land. It's the music we often hear in the background in elevators. If anyone has been to New Orleans, it's that music that was playing in many of the venues. It's truly one of the most influential musical movements of all time, and people still love it today as much as they did when it first dominated the musical scene. There's just something about the way the different sounds come together, alongside the improvisation. Which of the following instruments is typical of jazz?
Which civilization had the first known democracy?
Democracy hasn't always been as popular as it is now. For a long time, civilizations were run by cults of personality, whether those were kings, queens or oligarchies. The will of the people wasn't seen as important, because, by and large, the people weren't thought to be competent enough to make their own decisions about important things like governance. That stuff was better left to the elites. But nowadays, democracy has become much more common, with the will of the people seen as the most important aspect of governance. This system originated a long time ago. Which civilization had the first known democracy?
Which of the following is NOT a temperature scale?
One of the hardest things about basic science courses is units. Learning about the ways in which molecules react or the basic cellular processes that allow a cell to function can actually be pretty interesting. After all, this stuff is relevant to daily life. But learning which unit to express specific measurements in can get tedious quickly. Although we all know how important getting the units right is, it's hard to enjoy memorizing all the different temperature scales and when to use which. Then, there are the units for energy, for frequency, for periods and the list goes on. Can anyone name which of the following is not a temperature scale?
Which of the following animals is a marsupial?
There are a few things that Australians are better at than the rest of us. They sure know how to surf, and they've got partying down to an art. Plus, unlike the rest of us, most people who live in Australia probably know what to do in the event that they stumble upon an enormous spider. We don't even know what to do when we stumble upon a minuscule spider, so props to the Aussies. And another thing they know pretty well? What a marsupial is. Does anyone taking this quiz know which of the following animals is a marsupial?
During which time period did the Renaissance take place?
Everyone knows what the Renaissance was. Well, at least everyone knows it has something to do with art, Italy and Leonardo Da Vinci. Although most people do have a basic understanding of the events that shaped this time in human history, not everyone can name the exact time period during which these events were happening. People may know that the Renaissance started in Florence and represented a fundamental shift towards secularism and a more individual-approached way of life. But when asked to name the exact centuries during which this period took place, people often draw a blank. Can anyone pick out the centuries of the Renaissance?
Which of the following people is NOT a famous author?
Even for those of us who aren't avid readers, it's hard not to recognize the names of certain writers. There are numerous titles that pretty much everyone knows, even if they have NO idea what those titles are actually about. For example, it would be quite difficult to find anyone who hadn't heard of the title Of Mice And Men. Sure, some people might think it to actually be a story about mice and men, but still- they know the name. The same goes for the authors associated with such titles. Can anyone pick out which of the following names does NOT belong to an author?
What equation is Einstein famous for?
Even if a person has never taken a science course in their life, chances are they know who this wacky-haired genius is. Einstein is one of the most famous scientists of all time and his ideas changed the way we see our world. He was raised in Europe, but eventually, he fled Germany for America, settling in Princeton, where he taught. He is famous for many ideas and even won a Nobel Prize for one of them. It's hard to pick out which of Einstein's ideas is the most famous, but there is a certain equation that is particularly well-known. What is it?
Which of the following animals is NOT a rodent?
They're one of the most disliked animals in existence. But many often forget that there are a lot more animals to the rodent family than rats and mice. We tend to label the entire family as a group of pests because of the poor reputations of the more common rodent species, but there are many rodents that are totally benign in human society. And some of them are actually pretty adorable. We know- it's hard to imagine a rodent being cute, but there's much more to this family of organisms than many people know. Can anyone name which of the following animals is NOT a rodent?
Which of the following countries is NOT in Europe?
We all love Europe, with its beautiful architecture, rich history and delicious food. From France to Britain and Germany, we all know the most famous countries of Europe. But there are a lot of countries in Europe, and many of them don't make the news in the same way that countries like Spain and Italy do. Most of us in North America are quite well versed in the geography of Western Europe, but not all of us can name the different countries of Eastern Europe. Can anyone figure out which of the following four countries is not actually in Europe?
Which musical movement came first?
Most of us are aware of the most famous musical movements of the last few hundred years. There's rock, there's jazz, there's R&B, there's rap, there's classical, there's romanticism, there's Baroque music and the list goes on. Music tends to build upon itself, with the trends of older movements leading into new ones. Although everyone knows the main musical trends that have defined music, not everyone can name the order in which these movements dominated the cultural scenes. Some of the more famous movements have less than a couple dozen years between them, but others have hundreds. Which of these musical movements came first?
True or False: Exothermic means energy is released.
Although these are the kinds of things that are taught in high school science courses, high school is a long ways in the past for most of us (thank goodness). The simpler aspects of science may seem like they should be basic knowledge, but for those of us who left science behind in high school in favour of arts or a trade, even the most basic teaching points of science are difficult to remember. This question in particular is a favourite test question of high school science teachers. Can anyone think back to their last science course and remember what exothermic means?
Which place did Charles Darwin travel to that inspired his theory on evolution?
We all know the famous theory of Charles Darwin. If an animal has characteristics that allow it to better survive in its environment, it is more likely to live to a mating age and pass on offspring than an animal that is not adapted to its environment. As a result, the more suitable characteristics are more likely to pass on to offspring than the less suitable ones, and species will gradually evolve to suit their environments. But Charles Darwin didn't come up with this theory in a vacuum. He went somewhere famous and was inspired by the organisms he saw there. Where did he go?
Which of the following countries is NOT in the United Kingdom?
The United Kingdom can be confusing sometimes. Is it a country? Are its constituent countries countries? Exactly how many countries are involved in the whole ordeal? Well, somehow or another, the United Kingdom is a country, and its constituent countries are also countries. Separations and distinctions have come into being between certain countries that used to be part of the UK. So, naming the constituent countries of the United Kingdom can be a difficult process. One must be well versed in geography as well as history, or a seasoned traveller. Can anyone name which of the following countries is not in the UK?
If a person turns left four times, in which direction are they walking?
Questions like these seem simple enough upon first glance. But when people really start thinking about them, they can become a bit confusing. We humans have a tendency to overthink the simplest of questions, confusing ourselves into a stupor and making it impossible to answer questions a four year old would find as easy as 1, 2, 3. But if anyone is finding themselves a bit confused by this question, all they need do is stand up and try the deed for themselves. Then, the answer should quickly become obvious. So, if a person turns left four times, in which direction are they walking?
Which of the following countries was NOT allied with the United States during World War II?
War history can be difficult to keep track of. Humans seem to be fundamentally inclined towards war and violence, so uncountable wars have broken out throughout our history on this planet. Perhaps the most famous for modern readers, though, is World War II. Most people know the basics about this war. The Allies were fighting the Germans, who were committed to the idea of a superior race ruling the planet. But the finer details of this war's history can fall to the wayside. Not everyone can name the year America entered the war. And furthermore, not everyone can even name who was on which side. Which of the following countries was NOT allied with the United States during World War II?
Which of the following elements is the lightest?
This question may seem like it requires basic knowledge of the periodic table of elements, but people should be able to reason it out. If anyone still remembers that song they used to memorize the first few rows of the periodic table in high school, now is the time to dig that baby out and try to remember the first few verses. It's easy with the periodic table, because the lightest elements are on the top. But even if readers haven't taken a science course, this question should be easy enough to answer. Just think about where we see these elements in real life.
What principle causes planes to fly?
Can anyone dig back into their minds to those high school science classes? Most of us love to stare out the window while a plane is taking off, watching as we leave the ground behind and enter the realm that, for centuries before, was reserved for only clouds and birds. It's a magical thing, to fly so many miles above the Earth and look down upon the vast landscapes of our globe. Humans from a couple thousand years ago could never have imagined the heights we'd reach. But can anyone actually name the principle that has allowed us to rise so high?
How many perfect squares are there?
For anyone who might have forgotten, perfect squares are numbers that are the product of a rational number that has been multiplied by itself. Most of us remember this from memorizing our multiplication tables in elementary school. We all had some pneumonic to remember 4 x 4, and 5 x 5, and 6 x 6. Once we got up to the level of 11 x 11 and 14 x 14 in the higher grades, thing got a little bit more difficult, but it was still certainly doable with a handy little multiplication song. Can anyone name how many perfect squares there are?
Why does sweating cool us off?
We sweat on pretty much a daily basis. We know that sweating cools us off, but many of us would be unable to explain why it does this if we were asked. Explanations like, "Well, we get wet, and that cools us off" might come to mind, but such explanations just raise more questions- why does being wet help us to cool off? When it comes down to it, the explanation for why sweating cools us off lies in the fundamentals of science. It's not that complicated, but it's something a lot of people wouldn't be able to explain off the tops of their heads. Why does sweating work like this?
Why does snow blindness occur?
Most people have heard of blackouts, but not everyone knows what a whiteout is. It's basically the exact opposite of a blackout. Instead of being unable to see anything because of the absence of light, people can't see into the distance because there is too much snow in the air. But people can go blind in the snow for other reasons than a whiteout. Snow blindness can occur when trekking through snow-covered areas on bright days. Our bodies aren't built to withstand extremes, whether than be light or temperature, and in such conditions, the eyes can be injured. What causes snow blindness?
True or False: The Great Wall of China can be seen from space with the eye.
We've all heard this kind of thing before. There are so many things that people say can be seen from space. But, although some of this is true, not all of it is. The Great Wall of China is quite a wall. It was built over the course of centuries and has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, with people flying halfway across the globe to walk on it. People even run marathons on it, jumping between the enormous steps like they're nothing. So, even though it's big, does anyone know if it's big enough to be seen from space?
What century is referred to when people say "Victorian"?
We've all heard the phrase "Victorian times." The Victorian era is often depicted in movies, with the story focusing on the romanticism of the time. Many famous writers came from this era, and it's become one of the eras throughout history that is most often depicted in the cinemas. There's just something about it that tickles the imagination. People love to imagine what it was like to live in different times, and people seem particularly fascinated by this century. Even for people who haven't studied history, naming which century people are referring to when they say "Victorian" shouldn't be too difficult.
Which of the following countries was last to be colonized by the Europeans?
This one might take a bit of interest in European history to answer. Everyone knows that European countries set forth and colonized much of the rest of the world during the past few hundred years. Many people even know which countries have been responsible for much of this empire-building. All one needs to do is examine the official languages of the New World, and the countries responsible for sending colonists out to vanquish local populations and establish their own societies should be obvious. However, not everyone knows the order in which certain areas were colonized. Can anyone name which of the following countries was last to be colonized by Europeans?
In which century did the United States declare its independence from Britain?
We all know that America used to be a colony of Britain Throughout the centuries, the landmass that has come to be known as America has actually been influenced by countless countries in Europe, from the French to the Spanish to the Dutch (New York actually used to be New Amsterdam). But it was the Brits who had the most influence on America, and the citizens of America famously overthrew their rulers in the Revolution, an event which has become even more famous around the world in the wake of the hit musical Hamilton. In which century did the US declare its independence from Britain?
What is the capital of Austria?
Although a lot of people know many of the countries of Europe, it's a different matter to know their capitals. Sure, most of us can name the capital of Britain or France, but some of the other European countries can be more difficult. Once someone reminds us of the capitals, we feel like shouting to the sky, "I knew that!" But the fact of the matter is, we are often unable to recall this information on our own. We may be able to recognize it once it's presented to us, but that's an entirely different thing than being able to pipe up during Trivial Pursuit and impress our friends with our vast knowledge of Austrian geography. Can anyone name the capital of Austria?
What is the capital of Scotland?
Whether from watching the gorgeous scenery in Outlander (Jamie Fraser, and the landscape) or from a visit to the beautiful green highlands in person, it's hard for people not to love Scotland. There's something about the place, from the haggis to the bagpipes to the greenery. Plus, it's hard not to love those thick, rolling accents. Even though most people know the basic things associated with Scotland, such as the aforementioned bagpipes, not everyone knows which city is its capital. We all know some Scottish cities, but distinguishing which is the capital might be difficult for some. Can anyone name the capital of Scotland?