These questions cover all the usual fields of academic knowledge and are taken from a book entitled A Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs To Know. From time to time, I will add additional similar quizzes to the website. The best way to do this is to write your answers on a piece of paper and when you are through answering the quiz items, check the answers from the link at the bottom of this page.
1. Toward what city in Syria was Saul of Tarsus -- later named Paul -- travelling when he underwent a dramatic conversion to Christianity?
2. Name the famous Swiss archer who was forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son.
3. Which of the following is the best explanation of the meaning of the expression "to give the devil his due"? to sell one's soul to the devil; to admit it when there are good qualities in a person you dislike; to practice devil worship; or to fall in love ith a very sinful person.
4. What is the famous Greek word that Archimedes blurted out when he solved an important scientific problem?
5. What does the Japanese word hara-kiri mean?
6. Name the 20th Century African-American woman who is best known for her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
7. What does the abbreviation "e.g." mean?
8. In which art, craft, or profession did Enrico Caruso become famous?
9. What was the family name of the fifteenth century Italian ruler known as Lorenzo the Magnificent?
10. Adolf Eichmann was hanged for crimes against humanity. What exactly did he do wrong?
11. Name the black man who was killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770.
12. In what year did the U.S. Supreme Court decide the Brown versus the Board of Education case?
13. When you win the Nobel Prize, to what city in what country must you travel to receive your prize?
14. What does the Latin phrase e pluribus unum mean?
15. In which ocean does one find the Galapagos Islands?
16. In what American state does one find the Mojave Desert?
17. What kind of abnormal behavior is exhibited by someone suffering from pyromania?
18. When you buy life insurance, which of the following is the term used for the person whom you name to receive the money if you die? co-signer; heir; beneficiary; or next-of-kin.
19. In which branch of science did the American scientist Edwin Hubble become famous?
20. Name the largest planet in our Solar SystemWorld.
21. What is the scientific name for the part of the earth that lies between the crust and the core?
22. Which of the following is the scientific term for animals like worms or snails which have no backbones? mammals; vertebrates; invertebrates; or monotremes.
23. Which of the following letters is not the name of a human blood type? AB; O; AC; or B.
24. Which of the following would you most likely see at a hydroelectric plant? a large lake and a dam; lots of coal and soot; many large tanks of fuel oil; or lots of signs cautioning against exposure to radioactivity.
25. What famous agricultural machine was invented by a man named Eli Whitney?
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