Pew News Test: Rate Your News Knowledge

Results of my Pew News Test

After writing the last post, I was thinking about how ignorant Americans are of basic issues. Actually, I was thinking about how ignorant my liberal bretheren are of basic issues and civics but consider that a bit of tough love. I want them to get better. I really do.

I was checking out a couple of chapters from Rick Sheckman’s 2008 book, “Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter,” a compendium of factoids on American ignorance. It turns out we are dumber than I could have ever imagined.

The Pew News Research Center has an online test of news and political knowledge, though. You can test your own news savvy there. I scored 100%. Only 8% of people who take this test score 100%. I feel alone, though I recognize that I border on the obsessive. I’m not surprised that not everybody gets 100%, but I’m pretty shocked that anybody get ALL of the questions wrong.

Try the test out and see where you stand. It updates every few weeks, I think. I promise it won’t make you feel bad.

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About Peter Larson

Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology

8 responses to “Pew News Test: Rate Your News Knowledge”

  1. cowboypress says :

    13 of 13! Guess I’m a news junkie too!

  2. stumpwater says :

    Oh wow. I just scored 100% too, but it was certainly no great feat. I’m pretty sure my 4th grade daughter could get at least 8 of those correct. That only 43% of adults get 8 or more correct is just depressing.

    • Pete Larson says :

      Yes, it’s pretty bad. Though, many people might have given up before finishing the entire quiz. Still, it’s bad that half get 8 or more incorrect. By random chance alone, we would expect people to get between 3 and 4 correct.

      Most people I know got 11 or more correct, though those who got fewer correct may just not be admitting to it.

  3. Leighton says :

    Interesting that some of the questions used pictures of people to identify. Does Pew assume people watch TV or read Newswek / Time? A good assumption, probably.

    Most of my info comes through radio or odd newspapers. Got lucky though and made 13/13.

    • Pete Larson says :

      Yeah, I could have easily gotten them all wrong if the questions were picture-based. I never watch television. All my news is text-based. Sometimes, I’m not even sure how to pronounce some peoples’ names.

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