The Underrated General Knowledge Test

Jonnathan Chadwick

Image: jayk7/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Some people excel at book smarts, some people are masters of empathy, some people excel at street smarts and some people don't have the common sense to come in from the rain. When you combine book smarts, street smarts, emotional intelligence and common sense, you get general knowledge. It's a little bit of everything and a little something for everybody. You need to know the atomic number of hydrogen? General knowledge. You need to know what 25% of your paycheck is? General knowledge. You need to know how to change a flat tire or how to find the North Star or how to spell miscellaneous or how to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius? General knowledge.

Never underestimate the power of general knowledge. Just because you think converting miles to kilometers is common sense doesn't mean it's not a useful skill to share. One person's common sense is another person's enlightenment, and that's the beauty of general knowledge. Unlike trigonometry and biochemistry, it's actually useful in everyday life. You may need to know how to calculate a 30% discount or add a 17% tip. You may need to know how to say hello in Spanish, and you may need to know how many s's are in Mississippi.

This is the quiz to help you brush up on the everyday general knowledge most people take for granted. Let's see how you do.

Which of these animals is a carnivore?

There are dozens of fox species around the world and they are all carnivores. Gorillas, pandas and hippos are all herbivores and gorillas and pandas are specialized herbivores called folivores. They feed mostly on shoots and leaves.

The United States is one of just a few countries that measures temperature on the Fahrenheit scale. How do you roughly convert Fahrenheit to Celsius?

If it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit, just subtract 30 (50 degrees) and divide the result by 2 (25 degrees) and you will get an accurate estimate of temperature on the Celsius scale. The exact formula uses 1.8 and 32 instead of 2 and 30.

Some of America's most influential people are its athletes. In what league did Michael Jordan play?

Michael Jordan three-peated twice in the 1990s with the NBA's Chicago Bulls and played a season of minor league baseball with the Birmingham Barons in between. He won six NBA championships, six Finals MVPs and five NBA MVP awards.

What is the most populous country in the world?

China counts more than 1.4 billion citizens and India is a close second registering more than 1.36 billion citizens. Russia and Canada are the two largest countries by land area but pale in comparison when it comes to population.

It is common custom in the U.S. to tip food servers at least 15% when dining out. What is 15% of $80?

The easiest way to find 15% of any number is to first find 10%, so in this case 10% of 80 = 8. Then split it in half (4), and add the results ( 8 + 4 = 12). This works with every number but becomes more difficult with more complex numbers.

The day before today is called yesterday. What is the day after today called?

The word morrow is an archaic word meaning the following day. The word tomorrow is one of the most misspelled words in English, but you can remember how to spell it just by remembering the phrase, "we're going to morrow."

Which of these actors played the lead role in the movie 'Casablanca'?

Casablanca was released in 1942 and stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in lead roles. The movie won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay and is one of the most popular movies in American cinema history.

Thousands and thousands of words enter the American lexicon every year. What does stan mean?

Rapper Eminem released the song "Stan" about a maniacal and obsessed fan in 2000 and the word "stan" has since been added to official dictionaries across the world. It defines an overzealous or obsessive fan.

The 2028 Summer Olympics will be the fifth time the U.S. hosted the Games. Where were the 2012 Summer Olympics held?

The 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London for the first time since 1948 and the third time in history. The United States won the most medals at the Games with 104. Michael Phelps took home four gold medals and two silver medals.

Most countries use kilometers to measure distance and speed. How do you convert miles to kilometers?

To roughly convert miles in kilometers you just have to add 60% to the value. The easiest way to do that is to first add 50% of the value and then add 10%. To convert 80 mph to kilometers per hour, just find half of 80 (40) and then 10% of 80 (8) add them together (48) and then add them to 80 (128).

There are more than 7.5 billion people on Earth. How many countries are in the world?

It is unknown exactly how many independent nations are on Earth, but the United Nations recognizes 193 member nations and two observer nations to total 195 countries. The largest by size is Russia and the smallest and least populous is Vatican City.

Michael has $100 to split evenly among himself and three other people. How much money should each person get?

Michael and three other people equals four people in total. If you split 100 evenly by four it equals 25. The number 100 is evenly divisible by several numbers and serves as the basis of numerical systems like currency, temperature and percentage.

What is the most abundant element in the universe?

The first element listed on the Periodic Table of Elements is hydrogen because it has an atomic number of 1, meaning its nucleus carries just one proton. Not surprisingly, it is also the most abundant element in the universe and a key component of water.

Who was the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay?

Jordan Peele's 2017 mystery/thriller "Get Out" was a box office success and earned the writer the Best Original Screenplay award at the Academy Awards. He was the first African American to win the category. Geoffrey Fletcher won Best Adapted Screenplay in 2009 for "Precious."

What does "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" mean?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that you should appreciate what's in your hand instead of trying to get the more, bigger and better that's hiding behind the bush. If you have to drop what you already have, you might end up with nothing.

How long does it take the moon to orbit Earth?

The moon's orbit is actually measured two different ways that yield two different results. The first orbit is a sidereal month, which is the amount of time it takes for the moon to return to it's position in space (27) days. The second is a synodic month, which is the amount of time it takes for the moon to re-align with the Earth and the Sun in a certain location. This takes 29.5 days.

There is a holiday celebrated every day of the year, but which of these is a federal holiday?

The are 10 federal holidays in the United States and Christmas is one of them. The holiday is celebrated on December 25th each year, but if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the government will observe it either Friday or Monday.

Knowing how to tell the time is an essential life skill. What is 7:35 p.m. in Military Time?

Many Americans only know the 24-hour clock as Military Time, but it is actually used in much of the world. It runs from 0 - 24 so there is no need for a.m or p.m. distinctions. The first 12 hours are the same. To convert a time after noon, just add the time to 12, so 7:35 p.m. is 12 + 7:35 = 19:35.

What color does Tiger Woods always wear on the Sunday of PGA tournaments?

Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour in 1996 and won his first Masters Tournament in 1997. He has worn red on Sunday of every championship since he became a pro and his mother says it's his power color. It has worked well for him.

There are seven continents on Earth. Which continent has the most countries?

Africa has the most countries of any continent with 53 recognized countries and several other independent nations. Asia and Europe both have close to 50 countries, but several countries sit on both continents so getting an exact count is difficult.

If you travel 210 miles at 60 mph, how long will it take to reach your destination?

If you're perfectly driving nonstop at 60 mph, you will travel a distance of 60 miles over the course of one hour, and that equates to one mile per minute. It will take 210 minutes to travel 210 miles. Three hours is 180 minutes and if you add 30 minutes (half hour) you get to 210.

The Earth's atmosphere is made of five layers. How many layers is Earth made of?

The Earth consists of four layers: crust, mantle, outer core, inner core. The inner core is about 4,000 miles deep and we have only reached about seven miles deep. We don't know exactly what's in the center of the Earth, but it is estimated to be as hot as the Sun.

The first Academy Awards ceremony took place in 1929. Who was the first woman to win the Best Director category?

Kathryn Bigelow famously beat her ex-husband, James Cameron, in the Best Director category at the 2009 Academy Awards. Her 2008 hit "The Hurt Locker," beat his CGI masterpiece, "Avatar" to take home the award. She was the first woman to ever win the category.

The human eye can distinguish more than 7 million colors. Why is the sky blue?

The Sun sends light to earth, and although it may look white, it is every color of the rainbow. Once this light hits the atmosphere, molecules absorb and scatter the colors. Blue light gets scattered wider because its waves are shorter and choppier than other colors.

Which of these popular rappers was killed in Las Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight?

In September of 1996 Tupac was killed after being shot four times while he sat at a red light in Vegas. The murder came after a Mike Tyson fight earlier in the night, as well as an altercation in a casino lobby where Tupac got into a fight.

It doesn't hurt to know the basic units of measurement in America. How many ounces are in a pound?

There are 16 ounces in a pound and 28 grams in an ounce. The numbers fluctuate when measuring liquids, but about 16 ounces of water will also weigh one pound. If you're outside of America, you'll need to know how to convert pounds into kilograms.

There are thousands of professional athletes across hundreds of teams in North America. What team does Tom Brady play for?

Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has won six Super Bowls and holds countless other records. He is considered the best quarterback in the league and possibly the greatest NFL player of all time.

There are an endless amount of islands peppered around the globe. What is the biggest island in the world?

Greenland is the largest island in the world and only has a population of 50,000. The Indonesian island of Java is home to more than 135 million people and is the most populous island in the world. Antarctica and Australia are categorized as continental landmasses although they're islands.

What is the square root of 16?

The square root is a number that can be multiplied by itself to reach a certain value. In this case 4 x 4 = 16. If you multiplied 16 x 16, it would equal 256, meaning that 16 is the square root of 256.

There are 118 elements on the Periodic Table of Elements. What is the most abundant element in the atmosphere?

The atmosphere is made up of about 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. There are trace amounts of several other elements like xenon, hydrogen and helium. The lightest gasses on Earth are able to escape the atmosphere.

What movie documents the fateful 1912 trip of a luxury ocean liner?

The RMS Titanic sank on its way to New York City in April of 1912, taking more than 1,500 people with it. The 1997 film by James Cameron went on to win 11 Academy Awards and gross more than $2 billion worldwide.

More than 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water. What is the largest ocean in the world?

The oceans are all interconnected, but the space designated as the Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It is also home to the deepest spot in the world, which sits within the Mariana Trench and is close to seven miles deep.

The fastest person in the world is crowned every four years at the Summer Olympics. What country is Usain Bolt from?

There are no shortage of athletes in America, but that doesn't mean the country is always home to the best of the best. Usain Bolt is from Jamaica and has been the fastest person in the world for about a decade.

Because of the metric system, what is the French name for a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese?

Even if you haven't seen Pulp Fiction you may know the answer to this just by going to Europe or simply knowing the metric system. A Quarter Pounder with cheese is known as a Royal Cheese in France. All around Europe you will find McRoyals, Bacon Royals, and Royal Deluxes.

There are eight planets in our solar system. Which of these planets is farthest from Earth?

In 2006 Pluto was downgraded to dwarf planet status so there are now only eight planets in our solar system and Neptune is the outermost planet. It is the planet that is farthest away from Earth and it is about 17 times the size of Earth.

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