How Sharp Is Your Pencil?

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This one-of-a-kind quiz book provides dozens of real-life qualifying job tests anyone can take. Collected from corporations, colleges, and professional schools from around the world, these head-scratching questions will reveal hidden aptitudes and challenge even the most casual quiz fan. What does it takes to be an FAA-certified pilot? Or a taxi driver in New York City? Or a ballroom dance instructor at the Fred Astaire School of Dance? Each test is the real professional ...
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Overview

This one-of-a-kind quiz book provides dozens of real-life qualifying job tests anyone can take. Collected from corporations, colleges, and professional schools from around the world, these head-scratching questions will reveal hidden aptitudes and challenge even the most casual quiz fan. What does it takes to be an FAA-certified pilot? Or a taxi driver in New York City? Or a ballroom dance instructor at the Fred Astaire School of Dance? Each test is the real professional qualifying exam, and includes the answers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916410643
  • Publisher: Bragdon, Allen D. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/15/1999
  • Pages: 421
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


HISTORY STUDENT, U. S.


The New York Times


The Korean and Vietnam wars were similar in all of the following respects EXCEPT

(A) warnings were voiced by some respected military leaders against the United States becoming bogged down in a land war in Asia
(B) domestic support of the war declined, as the possibility of a quick and decisive United States military victory grew remote
(C) United States troops were engaged against an essentially guerilla enemy
(D) the war remained limited rather than leading to war directly between, or among, the major powers

This question, no. 38, was answered incorrectly by more college students than any of the others in this exam. Only 16 percent answered it correctly. Question no. 16 was the one the most students answered correctly.


In 1975 The New York Times solicited the expertise of some of the country's most respected historians to select a list of topics that are basic to an understanding of American history. The Educational Testing Service was commissioned to write a test that could be used to measure the level of historical knowledge of an important segment of the population: the college freshmen who might be the future national leaders.

    In 1976, year of the U.S. Bicentennial, a carefully selected statistical cross section of 1,856 college freshmen on 194 American campuses were given the test. When the results were in, it turned out that the students had scored an average ofonly 50 percent -56 percent on the group of basic questions and 42 percent on the more detailed group.

    The results showed that, while the students generally knew the high points of U.S. history, they had limited knowledge of details and of the, context surrounding major events. Most of the students knew the contents of the Bill of Rights (question 5) and recognized the Louisiana Purchase (question 8), for example, but few had an accurate conception of the origins of religious tolerance (question 2) and the nature of Reconstruction (question 13).

    In 1943 college freshmen took a similar test that demanded much more detailed factual knowledge. They scored about the same, from which one might infer that today's yuppies know less than their parents about U.S. history. In the 1976 survey, incidentally, the characteristic of our heritage selected by the most students from a variety including "democracy" and "immorality" was the word "materialism." Ninety-two percent thought that quality was either "very" or "somewhat" characteristic of our past.

    The Times also gave the first 24 questions from the test to 20 prominent citizens, including Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. They scored an average of 81 percent—versus the 56 percent the college freshmen scored on those particular questions. Only one, Mt. Holyoke College President David B. Truman, got all 24 correct.

    Forty of the forty-two questions in the original test appear on the following pages. Two had to be dropped from the collection for technical reasons of reproduction. The answers to all the questions include figures representing the percentage of students who selected each of the possible answers, along with interpretations of the significance of the way the students responded to each question.


1. English colonization differed from Spanish and French colonization in that the English

(A) were the first to understand and act upon the economic potential of New World colonies
(B) came to the New World mainly as settlers rather than soldiers, missionaries, and trappers
(C) controlled vaster lands and larger populations
(D) established better relations with the Indians and blacks


2. Which of the following contributed most to the development of religious toleration in the British colonies?

(A) The stand of Roger Williams in defense of liberty of conscience
(B) The Puritan guarantee of religious freedom to settlers in the Massachusetts Bay colony
(C) The common interest of each of the numerous sects in preventing domination of any of the others
(D) The attitude of religious indifference that permeated the colonial aristocracy


3. The preamble (introductory section) of the Declaration of Independence appeals to which of the following principles?

(A) Governments founded in popular consent
(B) Strict majoritarian rule
(C) The right of all men to protection of their property
(D) The right of all citizens to vote


4. The federal Constitution explicitly authorized the

(A) creation of presidential nominating conventions
(B) power of federal courts to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional
(C) creation of the cabinet
(D) power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce


5. The Bill of Rights explicitly provides for all of the following EXCEPT

(A) freedom of speech and of the press
(B) freedom of enterprise
(C) freedom of assembly and of petition
(D) the right of trial by jury


6. The aim of the Monroe Doctrine, as it was proclaimed in 1823, was to

(A) prevent the outbreak of democratic revolutions in Latin America
(B) guarantee preferential trading rights to the United States in Latin America
(C) secure a territorial outlet for American slavery in Latin America
(D) ensure that the United States rather than Europe would be the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere


7. All of the following characterized the Jacksonian Democrats EXCEPT

(A) hostility toward the institution of slavery
(B) support for freedom of economic opportunity
(C) opposition to special privilege and large business corporations
(D) opposition to internal improvements at federal expense


Questions 8-11 refer to the shaded areas shown on the maps below.


    Territorial Growth of the United States


8. Which areas did the United States acquire by purchase?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


9. Which areas did the United States acquire by annexation?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


10. Which areas did the United States acquire by war or the threat of seizure?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


11. Which areas did the United States acquire by negotiated settlement of boundary disputes?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


12. In the politics of the decade before the Civil War the issue of slavery focused on whether

(A) racial equality should be the foremost national priority
(B) slavery should be permitted to exist in the territories
(C) slavery should be eliminated where it already existed in the states
(D) the foreign slave trade should be reopened


13. Republican policies toward the South during the post-Civil War Reconstruction can be described most accurately as

(A) aiming consistently to protect the interests of postwar big business at the expense of the newly freed slaves
(B) leading to unparalleled corruption among the entrenched carpetbagger governors and their allies in the black dominated legislatures of the defeated states
(C) leading to significant but only partially implemented constitutional changes on the state level in the South and also on the national level
(D) leading to an effective program of land redistribution that gave to large numbers of newly freed slaves "forty acres and a mule"


Questions 14-16 refer to the following business leaders.

(A) John D. Rockefeller
(B) Andrew Carnegie
(C) J. Pierpont Morgan
(D) Henry Ford


14. Which business leader adapted the trust as a device for large-scale industrial organization?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


15. Which business leader mobilized the power of the banks to curb industrial competition and to facilitate corporate mergers and reorganizations?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


16. Which business leader pioneered the mass-production assembly line?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


Questions 17-20 refer to the following groups,


(A) Northern and Western Europeans (e.g., Germans and Irish)
(B) Southern and Eastern Europeans (e.g., Italians and Russians)
(C) African slaves
(D) Mexicans


17. For which group were the peak years of entry into the United States 1700-1800?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


18. For which group were the peak years of entry into the United States 1840-1880?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


19. For which group were the peak years of entry into the United States 1885-1915?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


20. For which group were the peak years of entry into the United States 1910-1930?

(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)


21. The defeat of the Versailles Treaty in the Senate after the First World War was due to the

(A) growing conviction in the United States that the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war posed a better alternative for the future conduct of foreign affairs
(B) widespread view in the United States that proposed neutrality legislation to prohibit citizens from traveling on belligerent ships except at their own risk would suffice to keep the United States out of future European wars
(C) inability of President Wilson and his political opponents to reach a compromise on the issue of United States participation in the collective security arrangements of the League of Nations
(D) widespread view in the United States that the League of Nations had been tainted by its admission of the Soviet Union to membership


22. Which of the following best describes the domestic changes brought about by the New Deal?

(A) The enactment of a number of new economic regulations, joined with new relief and welfare measures
(B) A vast increase in governmental ownership of business
(C) A major redistribution of income and wealth in favor of the poorest segment of the population
(D) The restoration of a free market as a result of effective antitrust action


23. In the years immediately after the Second World War, the United States assumed

(A) the dominant role in an alliance of Western nations for the purpose of containing Soviet power
(B) its traditional policy of noninvolvement in world affairs
(C) the burden of arming friendly democratic nations with atomic weapons
(D) the leadership of Third World countries seeking independence from their colonial rulers


24. Before the Supreme Court's decision in 1954 that racial segregation in the public schools was unconstitutional, the Court had

(A) refused to consider cases about racial segregation
(B) justified racial segregation in public facilities by the "separate-but-equal" doctrine
(C) been prevented from considering cases about racial segregation by Southern filibusters in Congress
(D) required desegregation of public facilities "with all deliberate speed," but stopped short of ordering the President to enforce the decision


25. Even in areas where the right to vote was widespread, voters in the British colonies consistently returned a relatively small number of wealthy and prominent men to office. This indicates that

(A) the British government suppressed the idea of democracy in the colonies until just before the American Revolution
(B) the colonists generally did not regard deference to one's "betters" as being incompatible with political liberty
(C) the wealthy and prominent controlled the colonial electorate
(D) apathy was the prevailing characteristic of colonial politics


26. From 1763 to 1776, the chief aim of colonial resistance to British policies was to

(A) bring about a long-suppressed social revolution against the colonial aristocracy
(B) achieve in America the ideals proclaimed in the French Revolution
(C) ensure that the colonists were represented in Parliament
(D) restore what the colonists perceived to be the rights of Englishmen


27. All of the following contributed to Great Britain's defeat in the American Revolution EXCEPT

(A) an initial tendency to underestimate the scope and intensity of the rebellion
(B) the rapid defection of loyalists to the patriot cause after the battle of Bunker Hill
(C) the indecisiveness of General Howe in exploiting colonial military weaknesses
(D) the French decisions to provide money, supplies, and military and diplomatic support to the colonists


28. The Articles of Confederation were most severely criticized in the 1780s for their lack of

(A) a plan for the admission of new states
(B) equal representation of the states in Congress
(C) a bill of rights
(D) a national taxing power


29. In the decade after the ratification of the Constitution, the American political party system developed from all of the following EXCEPT

(A) the belief of the founding fathers that a two-party system was crucial to the maintenance of a stable political order
(B) the conflict engendered by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton's proposed economic policies
(C) the conflict engendered by the foreign policies of George Washington's administration in relation to Great Britain and France
(D) ideological differences between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson over the nature of republican government


30. The feminist movement, which originated in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, succeeded in accomplishing all of the following before the Civil War EXCEPT

(A) broadening the right of married women to hold property in their own names
(B) gaining the right of women to vote in national elections
(C) expanding the opportunity for women to receive a college education
(D) improving the job opportunities for women in the teaching profession at the elementary level


31. The strategy of the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War was based on all of the following assumptions EXCEPT

(A) cutting the North in two by seizing Washington and thrusting northward into Maryland and Pennsylvania would force the North to sue for peace
(B) the dependence of Great Britain and France on Southern cotton would lead them to grant diplomatic recognition and give military aid to the Confederacy
(C) arming the slaves would help the South to offset superior Northern manpower
(D) Southern control of the port of New Orleans would induce the states in the upper Mississippi Valley to join the Confederacy


32. Federal policy toward Indians between the 1880s and the 1930s was based mainly on the assumption that

(A) the Indians should be assimilated into white society
(B) Indian culture and tribal organization should be nurtured
(C) interference with Indian culture and tribal organization should not be permitted
(D) the Indians should be removed from their homeland areas and relocated in Indian Territory


33. The aim of the Open Door policy of 1900 was to

(A) guarantee American industry a supply of cheap labor from China
(B) protect American commercial interests against discrimination in China
(C) establish China as a buffer against Russian and Japanese expansion
(D) encourage the forces of liberalism in China to throw off the yoke of European domination


34. In the first decade of the twentieth century, black leaders debated the issues of direct political action to obtain civil rights and the type of training or education blacks should seek. The chief figures in these debates were

(A) Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass
(B) Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
(C) Marcus Garvey and Father Divine
(D) A. Philip Randolph and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


35. A major issue debated among progressives during the first two decades of the twentieth century was whether

(A) labor unions should be organized by craft or by industry
(B) the federal government should establish a social security system
(C) the federal government should permit the free coinage of silver
(D) the federal government should abolish economic monopolies or permit them to exist under regulation


36. Collective bargaining between labor and management became widespread in American industry after

(A) the voluntary acquiescence of large industries that had suffered major strikes in the late nineteenth century
(B) a Supreme Court decision written by Justice Holmes in the early twentieth century
(C) legislation enacted during the administration of President Wilson before the First World War
(D) legislation enacted during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s


37. President Harry S. Truman's decision to have the atomic bomb dropped on Japan was influenced by all of the following considerations EXCEPT the

(A) desire to counter Republican charges that the Democrats were the party of appeasement and defeat
(B) desire to avoid the large number of casualties that would occur in a United States invasion of Japan
(C) desire to prod the Soviet Union to be more cooperative as it began to formulate its postwar plans
(D) difficulty of devising a test demonstration of the atomic bomb that would unfailingly impress the Japanese government


38. The Korean and Vietnam wars were similar in all of the following respects EXCEPT

(A) warnings were voiced by some respected military leaders against the United States becoming bogged down in a land war in Asia
(B) Domestic support of the war declined, as the possibility of a quick and decisive United States military victory grew remote
(C) United States troops were engaged against an essentially guerilla enemy force
(D) the war remained limited rather than leading to war directly between, or among, the major powers


39. The diversity of local manufacturing shown in the census above for a small town in Ohio in the early nineteenth century was characteristic of an area that had yet to

(A) adopt the system of rectangular land surveys and establish credit facilities for persons buying land at public auction
(B) make the transition from a barter to a cash economy
(C) accumulate an adequate supply of skilled labor to facilitate industrial growth
(D) be made accessible as a market for Eastern manufacturers by the construction of canals and railroads through the Appalachian barrier


40. In the first half of the twentieth century, the best evidence of social mobility in the United States as a whole is found in the increase in the

(A) number of new millionaires from decade to decade
(B) average per capita income from decade to decade
(C) percentage of white-collar workers whose fathers worked at blue-collar industrial jobs
(D) percentage of agricultural workers who migrated to the cities
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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION 1
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER/Federal Aviation Administration 2
ARCHITECT/Georgia Institute of Technology 14
AUTO MECHANICS/Natl. Inst. For Automotive Service Excellence 22
BALLROOM DANCING INSTRUCTOR/Fred Astaire Dance Studios 30
BASEBALL UMPIRE/Joe Brinkman Umpire School 42
BIBLE SCHOLAR/Presbyteries' Cooperative Committee 52
BOOKKEEPER & ACCOUNTANT/N.Y. State Board of Regents 66
BROADCASTING/Columbia School of Broadcasting 74
BUILDING CONTRACTOR/American Schools 80
BUSINESS ETHICS MBA Students vs. Prison Inmates 92
CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES/U. S. Department of Immigration
& Naturalization 102
Sidebar: Voter Literacy 105
COLLECTOR, DEALER, DECORATOR/The American Folk Art Institute 110
COMPUTER COMPETENCY/Microsoft Certification 120
COPYEDITOR & PROOFREADER/Professional Freelancer's Test 130
Sidebar: Writing Competency 144
CPA/American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 146
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER/Texas State Board of Education 158
Sidebar: Sunday School Teacher 165
ENGINEER/Engineer-in-Training &Professional Engineer 172
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/Katharine Gibbs School 186
FIREFIGHTING/Mental and Physical Requirements 194
Sidebar: Physical Ability 206
GRAPHOLOGY/Handwriting Analysis 208
HISTORY STUDENT, U.S./The New York Times 220
Sidebar: U.S. History at Harvard 233
Sidebar: U.S. History in the U.S.S.R 242
INTERIOR DECORATING/Academy of Art College 246
JAPANESE UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS/Kyotsu Ichiji 258
KITCHEN MASTER/California Culinary Academy 268
LAWYER/New York Bar 274
MARITIME CAPTAIN/U.S. Coast Guard 284
MASSAGE THERAPY/Atlanta School of Massage 298
NURSE/National Council of Registered Nurses 306
PILOT/Federal Aviation Administration 316
PSYCHOLOGY, ABNORMAL/Hassett & Herman-Sissons 330
REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON/Florida Real Estate Commission 344
RESTAURATEUR, HOTELIER/American College of Hotel and
Restaurant Management 356
SECURITIES/Securities Training Corporation 364
STATE TROOPER & RANGER/State Civil Service Commissions 374
Sidebar: Physical Skills Performance 379
STUDENT vs. TEACHER CHALLENGE/Rutgers New Jersey Bowl 382
TAXI DRIVER/New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission 390
TRAVEL AGENT/American College of Travel 400
WINE MASTER/The Institute of Masters of Wine, London 410
SOURCES 422
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