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UK adults score just 6 out of 10 on test for 11 year olds

A 10 question test, based on parts of the syllabus taught to 7 to 11 year olds, was posed to a nationwide panel of 18 to plus-45 year olds. The test, compiled by trivia site,, was attempting to assess the nation’s knowledge on facts such as the cube of 2, the first name of Shakespeare and the capital of Sweden.

Full marks, so answering all 10 questions correctly, was only achieved by 12% of the adult panel. Of those, 71% were women and therefore 29% men, disputing the commonly held belief that women are the weaker sex at trivia.

The average score around the UK was just 6 questions right out of 10, peaking for those in the South of England at 8 whilst those in the North of England averaged just 3 questions right; a rather low score considering that the questions are all answered within the Key Stage 2 syllabus taught to school children between the ages of 7 and 11.

The regional scores for the test were as follows:

Southern England - 8/10

Wales - 7/10

Northern Ireland - 6/10

Scotland - 4/10

Northern England - 3/10

The question that stumped the majority of the panel was how to spell skilful, 77% got that wrong. 25% could not name the capital of Sweden, 23% did not know who was on the throne in 1900 and 5% couldn’t recall Shakespeare’s first name.

Andy Salmon, founder of that undertook the nationwide general knowledge test, comments on the results, “Considering that these questions could be answered by at least a 7 year old, you might say the test was easy and so an average score of 6 out of 10 is pretty weak. Of course, it’s not that any of the questions were particularly difficult, we have all been taught this information, it is retaining the knowledge that is the hard bit. This is what is all about; a fun and easy way to remember anything.”

Commenting on the regional divide, Andy adds, “It’s interesting to see the range of results around the country. Southerner’s correctly answered more than twice as many questions as those living in the north of England. Here’s a link then for those living in the North; ‘What are the names of the two train stations in Manchester?’

This is how would help you remember?

When Beckham arrived at Manchester United, the Club felt it would serve him well to get a lady on board. 'Pick a dolly from the Spice Girls' they said...'Ok, Victoria it is!' is the ingenious and fun way to remember facts, from ‘ought-to-know’ like capital cities and dates of monarchs to ‘nice-to-know’ like the Seven Wonders of the world and the dates James Bond films were released. The concept, which uses word-play to link facts into a sentence, has been developed by Andy Salmon at the website, which so far holds over 2500 links for trivia. Andy, who is working full time on, knew the idea had serious potential when he was able to teach his six year old triplets the 10 most populated cities and the 12 Chinese New Year’s.

The ten questions from the test are listed below with their corresponding links from that reveal the answers.

1. Which is the correct spelling: skillful, skilful, skilfull, skillfull? Cor, is Ronaldo 1 L of a player or what? Skilful isn't the word

2. What is the playwright’s Shakespeare’s first name? Will Shakespeare go down as the greatest ever Briton? Hmm...

3. What is the capital of Sweden? You stock homes from IKEA, that famous company from Sweden

4. What is the longest river in Great Britain? It makes sense as it does rain severn days a week in this grey part of the world

5. How many sides does a heptagon have? The Magnificent Seven helped a gun-shy community.

6. What is the cube of 2? When you are in a Q you have 2 8.

7. What are the dates of the second world war - what years did it start and end? 'I'd like to shoot those dirty 'nein'mongers with my Colt 45, especially that Adolf geezer, I'd shoot him a second time!!!'...'Calm down Clint old son, calm down!'

8. Which monarch was on the throne in 1900? let's go to the 19th hole to celebrate our golf victory

9. What is the medical term for your skull? I love all these links, cramming 'em into my head and remarkably they are all staying in

10. Which planet is nearest to the sun? Freddie Mercury was hot stuff and clearly the number one 'Showman' of all time.

Notes to editors:

The questionnaire was answered by 2180 adults in June 2008. Questions were based on the Key Stage 2 curriculum and so 7 to 11 year olds would be expected to be able to correctly answer all of these questions. Participants were not shown the links, but were given multi-choice answers.

Contacts and interview requests:

CJ Brough
+44 (0) 20 8123 4193
+44 (0) 7785 325 360

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