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Walter Shakespeare?! How only one in 20 Brits score top marks in kids' tests!!


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Walter Shakespeare?! How only one in 20 Brits score top marks in tests designed for seven-year-olds


By Sarah Harris

Last updated at 3:35 AM on 30th June 2008


The questions, you might think, are child's play.


But the number of adults who struggled with the answers paints a disturbing picture of a nation of dunces.


In a test carried out for an information website, many were unable to answer questions aimed at children as young as seven.


And some were guilty of the most appalling howlers, including giving Shakespeare's first name as Walter, the capital of Sweden as Oslo, and the cube of 2 as 24.



article-1030400-01CA634B00000578-869_468x653.jpg Twelve per cent of adults did not know Shakespeare's first name

More than 2,000 adults were asked ten questions based on the Key Stage Two curriculum, which is studied by children aged seven to 11. Only 5 per cent answered all ten questions correctly and 3 per cent scored a dismal one out of ten.

Critics will cite the findings as an indictment of the education system, which has been accused of failing to adequately teach schoolleavers important facts and figures.


The average score was just six questions right. In the South East and South West the average was seven, dropping to three in the North West.


Seventy-seven per cent could not spell the word 'skilful', 35 per cent did not know that a heptagon has seven sides and 58 per cent incorrectly named the capital of Sweden, with some thinking it was Gothenburg or even the Finnish capital Helsinki.


Twelve per cent suggested that the Bard's first name was Walter and 7 per cent believed that Henry VIII was on the throne in 1900.



Enlarge article-1030400-01CA639A00000578-594_468x221.jpg Can you answer these?

In all, 39 per cent could not name Queen Victoria as the reigning monarch at the start of the 20th century.


The dates of the Second World War, the medical term for the skull and the name of the planet nearest the sun also caused problems.


The test was sat only by adults but based around questions that children aged seven to 11 would be expected to be able to answer.


Andy Salmon, founder of thinkalink.co.uk, which undertook the nationwide general knowledge test, said: 'Considering that these questions could be answered by at least a seven-year-old, you might say the test was easy and so an average score of six out of ten is pretty weak.


'Of course, it's not that any of the questions were particularly difficult, we have all been taught the information, it is retaining the knowledge that is the hard bit.'


Mr Salmon's website advises people to remember facts and figures by linking the answer to a memorable phrase.

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