We usually think of ourselves as being pretty smart.  In fact a recent survey found that 83% of the population felt they were in the top 50%.  As you can see we already have a problem.

Here is an interesting test to give to people.  Average score . . . 1 out of 5 correct.

Here we go:

1.  A rooster is sitting on top of a barn at the apex and lays an egg.  The barn roof slants east and west.  The wind is blowing gently from the Northwest.  The rooster is facing south.  Which side will the egg roll off.

2.  If the doctor gives you four pills and tells you to take one every half hour.  How many minutes will the pills last?

3.  If there are 13 apples in a basket and Bob takes away 7, you take away 2, and Maria takes 1 and a half.  How many do you have?

4.  A rope ladder hangs over the side of a boat.  There are 6 inches between each rung.  Currently, eight full rungs are showing.  If the tide comes in at 3 inches every half hour, how many rungs will be visible in 3 hours?

5.  A farmer has 17 sheep.  All but 9 die.  How many are left?


SheepThis seemed simple enough…yet if you really look at the questions you will find that they are not as straight forward as you might think.  Here are the answers:

1.  Roosters don’t lay eggs, so the question is moot.

2.  90 minutes.  You take the first on immediately and then one every 30 minutes.  So you take the first one at zero minutes, the second one at 30 minutes, the third one at 6o minute, and the last one at 90 minutes.

3.  Two!  Read the sentence again.  You take Two Apples.

4.  Eight Rungs.  The boat rises with the tide.  It doesn’t sink when more water comes.

5.  Nine!  Read the sentence again.  It says “all but nine died“, not “nine died“.

What makes this a fun test is that the questions are structured in a way that takes advantage of our assumptions of how questions are normally asked.