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 answer this quiz 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. Which of the following terms from political science refers to changing the boundaries of a voting district so that one party has a majority of voters in that district -- gerrymandering? filibustering? stonewalling? or blackballing?
2. In which ocean does one find the Portugese islands known as the Azores?
3. There are two important cities named Charleston in the southeastern United States. Name the states where one finds (a) the Charleston which is an Atlantic port city and (b) the Charleston which is a state capital.
4. Name the science which specializes in the recovery and study of material objects, such as graves, buildings, tools, art, and other human artifacts left behind by ancient civilizations and other groups of humans.
5. "The Fortune 500" is an expression referring to the results of a poll about which of the following -- the 500 biggest winners in Las Vegas gambling casinos? the top 500 psychics in America? the top 500 companies in the United States? or the 500 wealthiest persons in the United States?
6. What is the cube root of 64?
7. What do scientists mean by the hydrologic cycle?
8. What is the term for cultivating decorative garden plants?
9. The human pituitary gland is located closest to which of the following organs -- the liver? the heart? the lungs? or the brain?
10. Which of the following Celsius temperatures is closest to the normal human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit -- 98.6 degrees Celsius? 0 degrees Celsius? 100 degrees Celsius? or 37 degrees Celsius?
11. A long-suffering person who has had many losses and afflictions in his life is sometimes said "to have the patience of" a famous Old Testament character who lost much and suffered much. Name that Old Testament character.
12. What did Ponce de Leon tramp all over the the southeastern part of North America looking for? (He never found it, but he did discover Forida.)
13. According to the old proverb, what happens to a fool and his money?
14. In which of the following seasons do the "dog days" occur -- autumn? winter? spring? or summer?
15. Name the legendary Christian saint who is considered the patron saint of travellers because he supposedly carried Christ across a flooded stream on a stormy night.
16. Probably the most famous American novel written in the 1950's was the story of Holden Caulfield's attempt to run away from a fancy boarding school. The author was J.D. Salinger. Name the novel.
17. Consider the following sentence. "Queen Elizabeth was called a redhead, but no one knew her hair color for sure because she always wore a wig." Which of the following terms best describes the structure of the sentence -- simple? compound? complex? or compound-complex?
18. Though he spent most of his adult life in France, the composer Frederic Chopin was actually a native of which of the following countries -- Finland? Poland? Russsia? or Germany?
19. Name the cruel and insane Roman emperor who appointed his favorite horse to the Roman Senate.
20. In the days before the communist revolution, what was the title used by sovereigns of Russia?
21. When Vice-President Aaron Burr fought a duel with former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who won?
22. Clarence Darrow was an immensely famous public figure in American life during the early 20th Century. What was his profession?
23. The British equivalent of the American symbolic character Uncle Sam is a plump, feisty man dressed in a suit made out of a British flag. What is his name?
24. What is the official name of the U.S. government department often known as HUD?
25. On which of the world's famous rivers does one find the Aswan Dam?
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