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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

General Knowledge quiz

In the Today article, "The new illiterates", Denyse Tessensohn laments that many young Singaporeans don't know much of anything else beyond what they study in school. Here are some questions she posed. Without referring to any source (e.g. Google, encyclopedia, other person, etc.), can you answer them?
  1. What and where is Angkor Wat?
  2. How do you pronounce "Socrates"? What is his place in history?
  3. Name any novel by Alexandre Dumas.
  4. Name the third in the trinity of Hindu deities after Brahma and Vishnu.

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Anonymous said...

Could you answer any of them other than #2?

Yuhui said...

Anonymous: Pls leave your name.

jeffyen said...

haha darn ironical. Tessensohn talks about young folks only learning stuff to 'pass the exam' and here, she is using a similar thing (a test/exam) to guage whether one is 'illiterate' or not! Should I study for her test too? lol :)

Ed, Edd & Eddy !!! said...

haha, true. The answer to these questions are learned in school, no?

Well, I definitely know the first two.

Tym said...

Arguably the knowledge you need to answer the quiz isn't necessarily learned in school, but stuff you come across in the course of a certain amount of reading --- and I think that's where the quiz is flawed, because Socrates and Dumas, not to mention Hindu deities, are hardly brought up as a matter in "general" conversation.

On the other hand, if the young Singaporeans who were quizzed were indeed new teachers, that means they've had at least sixteen years of education, including a university degree, during which course one sorta hopes they would've at least come across some of the four names. One doesn't have to have taken classes in Indochinese history, Western philosophy, French literature or comparative religions for these names to enter one's consciousness.

Of course, a more useful quiz might have asked about truly more "general" knowledge: capitals of certain countries, name all the US states (which my friends and I tried to do last week --- we finally had to listen to the Animaniacs song, "Wakkos's America", in order to track down the elusive Delaware), current/former political leaders, trends, etc. It'd be more telling if a bunch of university graduates/new teachers didn't know the truly "general" stuff --- then no need to ask about the particulars to prove the point!

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