Quiz: How Do Your Science Skills Stack Up Against Other Americans'?

by Alison Gwinn
Originally Published: 

One in four Americans doesn’t know that Earth revolves around the sun. Really. That was one of the more staggering findings of the National Science Foundation’s biennial survey of Americans, part of a larger report recently released to Congress last year on the state of science in the United States.

In the 2014 survey of more than 2,200 Americans, respondents answered just 65 percent correctly on average. (That would be a D in most junior high or high school science classes…)

Those who had completed bachelor’s degrees answered 78 percent of the questions correctly, only 45 percent of high school grads did, and people over 65 also scored lower than younger people.

Think you can do better? Take the quiz (and check your answers).

1. The center of the Earth is very hot. True or false?

2. The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move. True or false?

3. Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?

4. All radioactivity is man-made. True or false?

5. Electrons are smaller than atoms. True or false?

6. Lasers work by focusing sound waves. True or false?

7. The universe began with a huge explosion. True or false?

8. It’s the father’s gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or girl. True or false?

9. Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria. True or false?

10. Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. True or false?

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