Are You Smarter Than a 12-Year-Old?

By: Ashley Palkovics
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Are You Smarter Than a 12-Year-Old?
Image: Django/ E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Many adults do not remember middle school fondly. Some of us might not even remember it at all! In some places of the United States (and the world) Middle School wasn't established until later in the 20th century. So for some of you stumbling upon this quiz, perhaps you remember your 7th grade as the end of Elementary school. Either way, we can guarantee you were a pubescent hot mess with a lot on your plate emotionally, mentally and physically.

Despite it only being three years, middle school is considered one of the most influential parts of a child's life. Does the actual educational knowledge stick around as well? We're here to test your 7th-grade self and see what you can remember from the days of adolescence. We're looking for what you know in Grammar, Social Studies and Science. It's time to bring back out the Scientific Method, the flashcards for memorizing the battles of the Civil War, and the correct uses of their, there and they're. Some of these things you might even want to use in your daily life now. If not, you get the bragging rights of knowing that you're just a bit smarter than a 12-year-old. Think you can pass this class?

2. pencil
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Fill in the blank: I can't _______ my pencil.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You currently cannot do the action; therefore, you cannot "find" the pencil. The word "find" is a transitive verb, but can also be switched out as a noun in instances such as "Wow, what a good find!" The item is now "find," giving it the properties of a noun instead of the action of a verb.

13. fossil
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What is the study of Paleontology for?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Fossils have allowed scientists and archaeologists to discover thousands of species that no longer walk among the earth. In Classic Latin, "fossil" literally means "obtained by digging."

14. sleep
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Fill in the blank: Many animals go to sleep when the temperature starts to _______.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Humans also have a tendency to fall asleep when the temperature is cooler. "Fall" is used as a verb in this context, but the word itself can be used interchangeably in a noun form (such as the season, fall).


17. test
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Fill in the blank: Finishing my entire take-home test in the next 20 minutes is _______________.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This word is used as an adjective in order to describe the situation at hand. "Im-" is a prefix used in a variety of words in the English language; it indicates the opposite of the root word.

29. dinner
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Fill in the blank: I went to ________ house for dinner.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This form of the word "they" is used in the possessive form, needed over the subject of "house" for the sentence used. Since "they" is the subject possessing the object, "their" is used.

26. sister
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Fill in the blank: How old is ______ sister?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

However old your sister is, I'm sure she'll appreciate you knowing how to spell "your" correctly. This word is used as a possessive and can be placed in sentences in which the person being spoken to takes ownership of the object.


18. confederate
Wikicommons by Nicola Marschall (1829-1917) (Vector graphics by Ariane Schmidt)
What did the southern states of the U.S. call themselves during the Civil War?
The Confederacy
The Tories
The Texans
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Confederacy led the southern states against what was considered "The Union" during the American Civil War. Ultimately, the Southern States lost the war and rejoined to make up the United States of America once more.

8. trip
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Fill in the blank: The weather was nice, so our trip was ______.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The other options could explain the day, but it doesn't explain why the weather is a factor. "Pleasant" is used as an adjective in this sentence. Synonyms for this word would be "agreeable," "darling," "delightful," and so on.

21. war
Wikicommons by J. Walker : gravure expressément faite pour le Tuttle's Illustrated History of the Dominion, 1877
Which occurred in the Ohio Valley?
The French & Indian War took place there.
The Civil War started there.
The Declaration of Independence was signed there.
The first president was from there.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The French & Indian War was a brutal battle between French settlers and Native Americans that ended in bloodshed and ultimately contributed to the removal of the natives.


19. xy
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What combination of chromosomes makes a male?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While males have an XY chromosome, females have XX. This genetic substance is found in DNA, which holds the makeup of our existence. DNA's full name is deoxyribonucleic acid.

11. sunny
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Fill in the blank: Yesterday the weather was bright and _____.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This sentence called for the word in adjective form, as it was describing the weather of that day. This adjective is interesting because it can be used as both a descriptor of the weather or a complimentary word.

33. delaware
Wikicommons by TUBS
What state was the first to join the Union?
New York
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Did you know that the Constitution was ratified in Delaware? It was admitted to the Union on December 7th of 1787, and enjoys the title of "The First State." However, it has since fallen to 45th in state population and is ranked 18th in median household income.


24. con
leezsnow/ E+ / Getty Images
What is the name of the collection of documents that describes the functions of the United States government?
The Bible
The Consitution
The Declaration of Independence
The Federalist Papers
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Constitutions for any country are normally an outline of how that government will function as a body, as well as separate pieces (Federal, Judicial, etc.). The document used by the U.S. was ratified in 1788 and took effect on March 4th, 1789.

31. light
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What does light do when it bends?
It damages our eyes.
It causes tricks on our brain.
It causes tricks in the air.
It causes tricks on our eyes.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Have you ever thought you saw something that just wasn't there? Odds are, it was just the light. When light falls on certain things or on our eyes in a certain way, it causes things that don't exist to appear in our vision. This is due to our own capacity of light in our eyes, as well as a combination of the medium we're receiving the light through.

6. constitution
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What term is used to describe something that is against the rules set forth in a Constitution?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Some states may have a law that you abide by, but it may go against the wishes of the Constitution, so the state can be sued. Other countries, such as Britain, have a more difficult process of suing the government from a citizen's perspective.


12. battle
Wikicommons by Godefroy, François, 1743?-1819
What was the name of the first battle fought in the American Revolution?
Battle of Boston
Battle of Lexington & Concord
Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Buffalo
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

On April 16th 1775, Americans of the Massachusetts Bay fought against the British soldiers in the first battle of independence for the soon-to-be country. This was the first win for the Americans and began the American Revolution.

3. debt
Daniel Grizelj/ DigitalVision / Getty Images
What do you call the total amount of money the United States Government owes?
The National Treasury
The National Debt
The Poll Tax
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It is simply called the National Debt, and many countries have a large sum of it owed to other governments. As of 2019, the United States' debt was totaled at 22.03 trillion dollars. This country also has the highest debt of any other country in the world.

9. middle
Wikicommons by Triangular_trade.png: SémhurWorld_map_low_resolution.svg: Al MacDonald [1]/ twitter account @F1LT3R derivative work:Jon C (talk)
Several Africans in the Triangle Trade died in which part of the passage?
The Civil War
The Final Passage
The First Passage
The Middle Passage
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The slaves of Colonial slavery were taken from Africa and placed in the triangle trade route. This ran from Africa to America and finally to Europe. Most passengers died in what is referred to as the Middle Passage.


34. habitat
© Marco Bottigelli/ Moment / Getty Images
Which are two correct examples of a habitat?
Grass and fire
Water and air
Forests and flowers
Streams and caves
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A habitat is simply a type of natural environment for an organism to dwell in. While there are several substances in these environments, such as water and deserts, the actual environment itself can be further defined by the actual structure in which something lives.

5. dish
Fill in the blank: The dishes will break very ________.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This sentence requires an adverb, as it describes an action taking place: the plates breaking. Adverbs can be used in sentences where the verb (action word) requires more description (adjective).

4. wind
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What phenomenon causes the wind to blow?
Moon phase changing
Traveling motion from highways
Change in distance between the Earth & Sun
Uneven heating of the Earth
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The wind is caused by a difference in temperature, and is essentially the travel of gases in the air. Did you know that there's wind in space, too? It's called solar wind, and it's caused by gasses or charged particles from the sun!


7. morning
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Morning dew takes place during which part of the water cycle?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dew is just the condensation of the water in the air into droplets. You see the water when it's cold in the morning because cold air cannot hold as much water. When it gets to a certain point, this water can freeze and is then referred to as "frost."

25. science
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What is scientific testing?
Investigating whether a change will occur
Investigation of whether there is a change
Investigation of whether the real world acts in accordance with a hypothesis
Investigation of the reason for a hypothesis to begin with
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In order to see if a hypothesis will hold up, you'll have to test it. This usually involves a large amount of observation above experimentation. The steps for the Scientific Method are hypothesis, testing, replication and review.

32. sentence
Carmen Martínez Torrón/ Moment / Getty Images
Which of the following is a complex sentence?
Jessica's high skill levels come from practice.
Jessica had to invest a high level of hours into practice and then she could achieve her skills.
Jessica had to invest a large number of hours into practice to achieve a high level of skill.
Jessica did not enjoy the many hours of practice.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A complex sentence is a sentence with a dependent clause and an independent clause. In the sentence chosen, the first part of the sentence is independent. "Jessica had to invest a large number of hours into practice" can stand alone. The dependent "To achieve a high level of skill" cannot exist without other words.


16. cats
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Rats eat grain, and cats eat rats. What do you expect will happen if there is an influx of grain?
The rat population will decrease
The cat population will increase
The cat population will decrease
The cat population will remain unchanged
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If there is more grain, there are more rats for the cats to eat. Therefore, the population will increase. This kind of word problem is often used in computing English competency standards and a person's wit.

27. slavery
Andrew_Howe/ E+ / Getty Images
Which Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.?
14th Amendment
13th Amendment
9th Amendment
18th Amendment
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This amendment was ratified in December of 1865. This is one of the most important documents of the modern era of civil rights. The 13th Amendment was also further used to allowed Congress to pass laws against human trafficking.

35. 27
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How many times has the United States' Consitution been amended?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While 33 different amendments have been proposed, only 27 have actually taken effect and have been ratified. The most recent failed amendment had its proposed ratification in 1985. This would have classified Washington D.C. as a state as far as voting and congressional representation goes.


30. thomas
Federica Grassi/ Moment / Getty Images
Which historical figure is associated with the Louisiana Purchase?
Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Thomas Jefferson purchased the land on behalf of the United States from the French for $15 million. France was actually working under the rule of Napoleon during this time, while Thomas Jefferson was the President of the United States. However, the actual delegates of this purchase were James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston.

1. acid
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What do acids taste like? Some examples of acidic things would be vinegar, soft drinks and pineapples.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A compound in Chemistry will either be an acid or a base. These are essentially classifications of certain substances, but they're very important to be able to identify. Other examples of acidic substances would be lemon juice, milk (lactic acid) and mangoes.

10. plant
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What substance do plants make via photosynthesis?
Carbon Dioxide
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Another word for this substance would be "dextrose." This carbohydrate is considered a simple sugar, and is often needed to be monitored by diabetics and others with glucose disabilities.


23. comma
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Which sentence uses the commas correctly?
The cat is very, fluffy.
We took food, drinks, and sparklers, with us.
Whatever you bought, must've been a bargain.
I really wish, Michelle, that you'd come to visit.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Commas are actually intensely debated in the English writing community, more specifically in formatting. In further English education, there are three commonly-used formats of writing that have different rules for commas. These are MLA, AP & Chicago style.

20. sentence
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Which sentence contains a prepositional phrase?
There was a dark stain on my robe.
Only the best teams make the tri-wizard tournament.
Whenever we get peckish, we also get agitated.
I don't know where they went.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Many, but not all, sentences will contain a prepositional phrase, but 7th graders need to know the difference. The focal point of these sentences is the preposition and the object functions as an adverb or adjective.

28. gall
ZU_09/ E+ / Getty Images
Who is the father of modern physics?
Galileo Galilei
Benjamin Franklin
Issac Newton
Thomas Edison
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This historical figure was an Italian physicist & astronomer from the 15-1600s. He studied at the University of Pisa and is the known inventor of the military compass and the original thermostat.


15. turnpike
Monty Rakusen/ Cultura / Getty Images
Where are tolls collected?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Turnpikes are often found near big cities and any other metropolitan area with large numbers of trucks going through. These funds are used to rebuild the roads when potholes form and other damage is done.

22. hypo
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How do you define a hypothesis?
A conjecture
A suggestion
A theory
A point of view
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The hypothesis is simply the proposed explanation for an otherwise non-explainable phenomenon. For it to be scientific, it must be able to be tested, and a conclusion, positive or negative, will be found.

You Got:
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