Can You Pass This Learning Measurement Test for 9th Graders?


By: Jonnathan Chadwick

6 Min Quiz

Image: Phil Boorman/ Cultura/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

Ninth grade is a big deal for most Americans. It's the first year of high school and a lot of changes are being made. The first things you need to learn are that recess is gone, and no matter how many seniors tell you there's a pool on the roof, there isn't. The entire school may call you out during the pep rallies, and you probably won't be old enough to drive or be cool or do anything else except adapt to your new surroundings. Once you get your head around all that, you can focus on learning some cool ninth-grade curriculum.

The books get upgraded from "Tuck Everlasting" and "The Bridge to Terabithia" to "1984" and "Oedipus Rex." General science turns into biology. Social studies turns into American history. And general arithmetic turns into algebra and geometry. As long as you paid a bit of attention in middle school, you'll be in the perfect position to continue your higher learning. It's impossible to forget everything over summer break, but some brushing up is probably required. So let's see what you've got.

What do you know about the U.S. presidents? What do you know about the most popular books in the country? Is your vocabulary up to par and do you know the sixth planet from the sun? Put your skills to the test and see if you can pass this ninth-grade learning test.

What is the first step of the scientific method?

The scientific method is more of a general set of guidelines than a strict set of steps, but the first step is always to identify a problem. This step may also be listed as "ask a question" or "make an observation," but they mean the same thing.


When you need to choose between two awful choices, you are stuck in a what?

The producers of Woodstock in 1969 were faced with a dilemma come showtime. They could either build a stage so performers could perform or build a fence so they could charge admission, but they couldn't do both. They ended up putting on a historic free show.


Can you name the story that follows a group of boys who crash on a deserted island and regress into savagery?

"Lord of the Flies" was written in 1954 and follows a group of boys who get trapped on a deserted island. Two movie adaptations have been made and a third is on the way. The book is commonly read in ninth-grade classrooms across the country.


Which of the following is a synonym for illegal?

Elicit is a verb meaning to evoke, and illicit is an adjective meaning illegal. They are pronounced the same way but have completely different meanings. The word "illicit" stems from 16th century French and "elicit" stems from 17th century Latin.


The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787. What year was the Magna Carta written?

The Magna Carta was published in 1215 under King John of England. The charter of rights was one of the first of its kind and laid the groundwork for other charters that followed, including the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution.


Very few presidents leave office without a scandal. What scandal is Richard Nixon known for?

Richard Nixon is the only president to resign from office but he was never impeached. He was going to get impeached and likely be removed from office, so he resigned before all that happened. No president has ever been impeached and removed from office.


The Earth is made of four layers. What is the second layer called?

The top layer of Earth (crust) is about 18 miles thick, but is only a few miles thick under the ocean floor. More than 80% of the Earth is the mantle, which is the second layer and is close to 2,000 miles thick.


What does DNA stand for?

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and is the building block of life. It encodes genetic directions into all living things and is so complex that it's still not fully understood. The DNA molecule consists of two strands that coil to form a double helix.


Jake was ________ to learn he didn't get accepted into his dream school. What word best fits?

The English language is full of tricky words, and this is one of them. The first "a" is commonly mistaken for an "e," but this word has two a's and two e's. Devastate is a verb that means to destroy or cause overwhelming stress.


Can you name the novel that follows George and Lennie as they look for ranch work during the Great Depression?

This novel is one of John Steinbeck's most popular and follows a couple of ranch hands as they try to survive the Great Depression. He wrote "The Grapes of Wrath" about two years later, and it, too, is set during the Great Depression.


A gorilla is a primate. What do you call a member of a fighting group that uses irregular fighting tactics?

Guerrilla is another tricky word to spell, but just remember all consonants are doubled except for the "g." The word doesn't stem from the animal, but instead stems from the Spanish word "guerra," which means war.


Where was the U.S. Constitution debated?

Before Washington, D.C. became the permanent capital of the country, both NYC and Philly served as capital for some time. Philly's Independence Hall was the site where the First and Second Continental Congresses held debate and discussion.


There are three branches of the U.S. government. Which of the following is not a power of the Executive Branch?

The legislative branch of the government creates legislation. The executive branch executes the legislation. And the judicial branch judges the legislation. Each branch has other powers that serve as checks and balances on each branch.


Which of these imaginary lines runs latitudinal instead of longitudinal?

The prime meridian is the imaginary line that splits the globe in half latitudinally. The equator splits the globe in half longitudinally. Unlike the equator, there are several prime meridians because several different methods have been used to find it.


We all need protein, fat and carbohydrates to survive. What is a carbohydrate made out of?

Carbs get a bad rap in the diet world, but they're essential for human life. They generate the fuel we need to metabolize food. There are many types of carbs, and they're broken down into simple and complex carbohydrates.


Olivia didn't listen to the specifics of the speech, but she got the ______ of it. Which word best fits in the sentence?

Gist is a noun that defines the substance of a text. If you understand the gist (soft g) of a story, you understand the main idea or underlying theme of the story. It doesn't mean you leaned the moral of the story.


Do you know the story about firefighters who burn books because books are illegal?

This Ray Bradbury story is set in a dystopian future where books are illegal and firemen go around lighting books on fire. Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit, and that's where Bradbury got the title from.


The boss thought it was ________ that an escaped zoo animal got stuck on the train tracks. Which word best fits the sentence?

Very few things in life are impossible. Implausible means not likely or not reasonable. Impossible means not able to happen in any way. It's implausible to travel 500 mph in a car, but not impossible. It's impossible to travel faster than the speed of light in a car.


Who was the first U.S. president to be impeached?

Andrew Johnson became president after Lincoln was assassinated, and although he was responsible for purchasing Alaska, he's most remembered for being impeached. He didn't want to follow through with Lincoln's wishes upon assuming office and that led to a lot of conflict.


How many elements are on the Periodic Table of Elements?

There are 118 elements on the table and they are listed by atomic number. Hydrogen has atomic No.1 and it's the most abundant element in the universe. A hydrogen atom only has one proton in its nucleus. It's so light it easily escapes gravity unless it bonds to oxygen to form water (H2O).


Which of the following is not one of the layers of the atmosphere?

The five layers of the atmosphere are the troposhpere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The exosphere is closest to space and toposphere is closest to the Earth's crust. The ozone layer is in the stratosphere.


What does RNA stand for?

If you know what DNA stands for, you probably know RNA. It stands for ribonucleic acid, and along with DNA, it's present in all living things. It's an essential acid, but unlike DNA, it isn't a double helix. It is usually a single, folded strand.


Ancient Egyptians used a form of picture writing that resembled today's emojis. What was Ancient Egyptian writing called?

"Hieroglyphics" is an "i before e" word and they are similar to today's emojis. There are close to 3,000 emojis being used regularly and there were about 700 hieroglyphics in the Ancient Egyptian alphabet.


Do you know the Ancient Greek king of Thebes who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother?

The "Oedipus Cycle" consists of three stories written by Sophocles and most Americans are taught the story when they first enter high school. The overall themes of the story are fate and destiny. The books date back to 400 BC.


What is another word for "notorious"?

To be famous means to be known by a lot of people, but to be infamous or notorious means to be famous for a bad reason. A career criminal might be notorious, or an entire city might be notorious for its levels of crime.


Democracy is believed to have started in Athens. Who is considered the "Father of Democracy"?

Cleisthenes is considered the father of democracy, since he instituted democratic ideals in Athens in 508 BC. The move came following the overthrow of a tyrant king. The new democracy promised equality for all citizens.


Which of the following presidents is known for trickle-down economics?

Ronald Reagan was the 40th U.S. president and served two terms from 1981 to 1989. His economic initiative came to be known as Reaganomics. Before becoming president, he was governor of California, and before that he was a Hollywood actor.


The Earth is made of four layers. In what elemental state is the outer core?

The outer core is the only layer of Earth to be in a liquid state. It is about 1,500 miles thick, and made of molten iron and nickel registering up to 7,500 degrees Fahrenheit. When the Earth spins, the liquid outer core is able to flow around the solid inner core.


Which of the following is non-living?

Fire requires oxygen to survive, but that doesn't make it a living thing. Clouds, water and rain are other natural things that are non-living but are sometimes mistaken for living things. A seed is a living thing in a dormant state.


A spiritual teacher is also known as a ________?

A guru is a spiritual teacher, but it can also define any teacher or expert on a subject. A company might hire a sales guru to talk to the sales team one day, or you may travel to India to study Hinduism under a spiritual guru.


War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength in what dystopian novel?

Ninth-grade literature has no shortage of dystopian novels, and this may be the most famous of them all. George Orwell's classic was published in 1949 and eerily predicted many of the privacy, data and language issues of today.


The mouse in the house did everything it could to ________ the cat. What word best fits?

To elude means to avoid something by use of cleverness. It can be interchanged with the word "avoid," but you don't need to use trickery to avoid anything, you just have to ignore it, so the words are slightly different. To allude means to mention something indirectly.


Which of the following is not protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the main law that separates America from many other world powers, and it's probably the country's most powerful law. Freedom of choice is not defined in the amendment.


Who was president when the White House was burned down in 1814?

During the War of 1812, British forces sacked Washington, D.C. and burned everything they could. President Madison fled and instructed his wife (who later instructed her slaves) to save valuables from the White House before it burnt.


True or false: The order of planets from the sun is: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

If you want to remember the order of the planets, you should create an acronym. The correct acronym is: MVEMJSUN. You can make that mean whatever you want. A common one is: "My very excellent mom just served us noodles."


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