The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

The Pew Science Knowledge Quiz

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 21, 2009

I saw today that the Pew Research Center has posted an online Science Knowledge Quiz at their website as a way of testing the general public’s scientific knowledge & understanding.  Click here to take the quiz…

My thoughts on this?  First, the good news: this is a great idea, and I’ve already seen it making the rounds like crazy on the Internet.  I also have more than one teaching colleague who has incorporated into their lessons (or at least plans to do so).  This is great PR, in my opinion, for pointing out our collective strengths & weaknesses when it comes to understanding science.

Now the bad news: the questions are pathetically easy, but what is really pathetic is that only about 10% of the people taking the quiz get all 12 questions correct (full disclosure: I’m in that top 10% 🙂 ).  In addition, the questions are merely fact-based in nature – all multiple choice with no questions geared towards testing the critical thinking skills of the test-taker.

All in all, I think the popularity of this little online quiz is a plus.  I encourage you to take it yourself, and then pass it along to others.

2 Responses to “The Pew Science Knowledge Quiz”

  1. John T. Collier said

    Matt – Another interesting science literacy quiz can be found at Science Cheerleader. They had some questions that were geared a little bit towards critical thinking. I was (I think) the first person to score a 100% on the quiz (brag, brag).

    Full disclosure – I recently became a contributer to “Science Cheerleader”, so I’d naturally be a booster for the site. However, I also support the mission of Science Cheerleader, which is to advocate for science.

  2. ztrewq said

    I always enjoyed nerdquiz (, there is a lot science related question there. Unfortunately, nerdquiz is dead; however, the polish version ( is alive and kicking.


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