Find out more about what general knowledge questions people find difficult and what people get right. Warning : This page will give you the answers to a few of the questions you may find on the quiz.
Since we published this information, may people have expressed interest in the questions statistics. As a result, we have started to put together some more detailed quiz question data which some readers may be interested in.
The current version of the general knowledge quiz has been taken over 2.5 million times which means that over 62 million general knowledge questions have been answered. Which is a lot. Every now and then we put together some stats to find out which questions people get right and which questions people get wrong.
When we set the answers for the questions, we now try and provide four answers. Some of the earlier questions had more than four answers and we are gradually reducing these down to four. We have found that four answers tends to easily distinguish between the people that know the answer and the ones that are guessing.
The general technique for new questions that are added is that we provide one answer that is correct, two answers that might be a possibility and then one answer that is very unlikely. That doesn't mean that the answer that is unlikely doesn't get chosen in many instances but with a little thought, most questions can be pushed to just three answers. We know that in some cases the most unlikely answer can seem tempting.
Being a general knowledge quiz, we'd expect reasonable results and on average, people get the questions 78% correct. In other words, most people who take this test will get three quarters of the questions correct. Remember that this is a timed quiz, so just getting the answers correct doesn't guarantee a high score.
Statistically, there are four questions that regularly top the list and one of these is answered correctly 98% of the time : 'The Titanic sank because ?'. The answer, of course, being that she hit an iceberg. Interestingly, only 89% of people get the year the Titanic sank correctly (1912).
The other highly ranked questions are "Who said 'Please Sir, may I have some more ?' which people correctly answer as Oliver Twist 97% of the time. 'Which is the fastest land animal?', which is correctly answered as a 'Cheetah' 97% of the time. And also 'What is the name for Islam's month of fasting?' which 97% of the time people correctly answer as 'Ramadam'.
We'd say that apart from the Titanic question, these aren't obviously that easy but these questions regularly top the stats.
There's quite a few that languish around the bottom with quite a number of questions getting around 50-60% correct answers. Two of these regularly show up at the bottom : 'The lowest of the Earth's altitude regions is ?' which only gets answered 51% of the time correctly ('Troposphere') and 'Which year saw the re-unification of East and West Germany ?' which comes in at 52% (1990).
You can often tell by the answer statistics which questions are guessed and which aren't by how evenly the answers are spread when they are wrong. It's not always like that (see notes below) but answer 'spread' is common in a number of questions. For example, 'How many Olympic Games were cancelled for World War 2 ?' is only answered correctly 53% of the time (4 times), but 'none', 'one' and 'two' all get over 10%.
Plenty in this category. For examply, 7% of answers for 'The Model T car was made by which manufacturer ?' went to Audi. 7% of answers to 'What temperature, in degrees centigrade, does water boil ?' went to 68 degrees (with 2% of answers going to zero!). Finally, 3% of the answers for 'What is the first book of the bible?' went to the 'Introduction'. Fortunately, 89% also answered 'Genesis'.
Two things are important when looking at stats. Firstly, what other answers were available. Sometimes, the other answers are not always likely which will push the answer towards the correct one. In other instances, being a General Knowledge Quiz, we tend to come up with answers that could all be _possible_, which can make the choice very difficult. The second instance is regional variation. We try and make the quiz as global as possible but clearly, some questions will suit certain areas more than others.
For the 1% of people that answered that a 'nasty cold' killed Goliath - keep trying.. !