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Are you as smart as a 7th grader?

There is a new TV show that pits adults against 5th graders. The adults don’t fare so well. But the adults chosen to go on the show are not randomly selected, and the 5th graders are even far less random.

Illinois gives a state exam to all 7th graders. Some of the questions are on astronomy. The 7th graders didn’t do very well, apparently. They gave an example question on the front page of the Chicago Tribune today. It wasn’t an actual test question (they won’t give those out), but rather, a sample question to give you an idea what might be tested. At least when I was a kid, those sample ones were always easy. Not anymore, apparently.

I couldn’t get the question printed in the Tribune off the website, but I did find it in this document.

The link I gave is to the html version of the document. You actually need to follow that link and then click on the very top line of the file the link opens where it says “this is the html version of the file…” (Sorry I couldn’t find a more elegant way to post the question.)

The question I am talking about is the first question at the top of page 10. See how long it takes you to figure it out, but be careful to cover the answer because it is right below the question. Maybe I am just dumb, but it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the answer to the question. If I had a 7th grader who could solve it, I’d reward him or her with a trip to the Dairy Queen.