Wednesday, July 13, 2016


So you've probably seen people post a test site display flash page announcing some large but meaningless number boasting of their English vocabulary score. I won't annoy you by posting mine, but I will say it took some looking to find the test site. If you haven't taken it, you might like to know that it consists of multiple choices questions for the synonym or antonym of some given word. The hard aspect of the test is not the words - there was only one word on the 50-word test I didn't know - but paying attention to which questions want a synonym and which want an antonym. So it's more a test of alertness than of vocabulary.

I tried some of their other tests. A geography test showed outlines of countries and asked you to identify them from a list which did not include any tough choices. (For instance, the one of Slovenia didn't include Slovakia as a possible answer.) So easy it was boring; Sporcle does this sort of test much better. For a test of emotional intelligence, I tried to answer with what I'd be most likely actually to do, because I wouldn't know how to do the other things, and did predictably badly. A test to pick the movie that audio clips came from was advertised as extremely tough, but while I had no idea which of four gangster movies a quote came from, or which of four Batman movies, most of them were dead easy even if you hadn't seen the film ("Rosebud" "I'll be back"), even leaving aside the ones that actually included the title of the movie. I got 40 out of 50, considered a high score. A test to pick the city in the U.S. that was best for you consisted mostly of questions about outdoor activities, to all of which I picked the "no, thanks" answer, and gave me Indianapolis. Indianapolis? And be invaded by fans of noisy auto races every year? No, thanks.

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