Graphic; Pew Research Center.
Introductory Essay By Betsy L. Angert | Originally Published at EmpathyEducates. February 5, 2013

This is a test! Do you feel the sweat? Are you prepared? Did you study? Oh, the stress. Perhaps, unlike me you feel the need to “achieve.” “A Test”, you say, I will do my best. If testing for you is a breeze, an examination is but another opportunity to put a notch in your belt that says, ‘I am a success.’ Regardless of how you might respond to the statement, likely the thought alone evokes some sort of emotion. “Am I up for this? What if you fail? “Will I be punished?” Should I excel …what would that mean? I am the greatest or just the latest to score well.

Once you realize the exam is online, will you think what a relief? ‘I can cheat!‘ But will I? Do you really want to see? Perhaps you are as I am, curious. For all of my life I loathed being tested. The mere mention of an examination and I felt as if I was on trial. I forever knew as I do today – the results in advance; these are anxiety and stress. Nonetheless, seeing this Pew Research test, I plunged on in. That alone was an experience, one unlike me. I run from comparisons; competitions, I believe, tear us to pieces. Winners and losers, I reject the notion.

I crave endeavors that further growth. Did I tell myself that this test would provide me with the information I needed to assess myself? It would serve as biofeedback for me; I doubt it. As I waded through the questions, it was affirmed. I am an awful test-taker. I think, as others have said, “too much” or perhaps too little. As I slogged through each question, I found myself impatient. Why am I taking this long to complete a test I have already failed?

After quizzing myself for more than a minute, I decided it was time to just run through the rest. I than checked my score. What was I to think? I did more than well, and was it not for ultimately moving quickly…I wanted to smack myself. I would have had a perfect score were it not for the moment I stumbled, or just ran to an answer too swiftly.

Then there was the greater trial and tribulation. This might be titled the ‘days of conversations I had with myself.’ What did the score say about me; more accurately what did I tell myself. Is it better to be the tortoise than hare? The analysis is dated. Will I do as well in a day or two? Might I remember what I knew then, when I took the test? Did I really know the answers or am I a good guesser. Then there is the veracity that came with greater attention. I read the report and other people’s ratings and now I have a question. Do the exams say more about me or about society as a whole, neither, either, each or nothing at all? Is an exam just a snapshot? And what does that tell us about ourselves? We spend billions of dollars and invest tons of time for…what?! To gratify our egos and/or to fill our pockets with earning based on a perceived success?

References and Resources for Introductory Essay…

What the Public Knows – In Words, Pictures, Maps and Graphs

Originally Published at Pew Research Center February 5, 2013

Test your knowledge of prominent people and major events in the news by taking our short 13-question quiz. Then see how you did in comparison with 1,052 randomly sampled adults asked the same questions in a national survey conducted online August 7-14 by the Pew Research Center. The new survey includes a mixture of multiple-choice questions using photographs, maps, charts, and text.

When you finish, you will be able to compare your News IQ with the average American, as well as with the scores of college graduates and those who didn’t attend college; with men and women; and with people your age as well as other ages.

Begin the News IQ Quiz