Here’s a Smart Test—and a Devilish Quiz

Reader's Digest first ran these deceptively easy questions in 1970. 
Not one person in a hundred can answer all ten correctly.

Devilish Quiz
Dave Klug for Reader\\\’s Digest

We first ran these deceptively easy questions in 1970. 
Not one person in a hundred can answer all ten correctly.

For the biggest surprise, write down your picks on a sheet of paper before checking the answers.

Ready? Here we go…


1. Land (now known as the
 island of San Salvador) was first sighted by a sailor aboard Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria in 1492. The actual date, as recorded in Columbus’s log, was:

a) October 11

b) October 12

c) October 13

d) November 5


2. The first president of the United States of America was George Washington.

a) True

b) False


3. According to a map of the United States, which city is farthest west?

a) Los Angeles

b) Honolulu

c) Seattle


4. Between which two cities is the shorter distance by air?

a) New York and Chicago

b) New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico


5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to four successive presidential terms.

a) True

b) False


6. According to the latest scientific findings, a given volume of gold weighs less than the identical volume of aluminum.

a) True

b) False


7. The formula E=mc2 was first conceived by the physicist Albert Einstein.

a) True

b) False


8. Henry Ford introduced the first Ford automobile. Henry Kaiser introduced the first Kaiser automobile.

a) True

b) False


9. The first name of the great English playwright Shakespeare was:

a) William

b) John

c) Will


10. If you were born on February 29, 1904, you were legally 64 years old on February 29, 1968.

a) True

b) False



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41 thoughts on “Here’s a Smart Test—and a Devilish Quiz

  1. I got seven correct. The FDR Questions is where I started questioning myself. Until then I was on a roll.

  2. I did not do well at all. When can we anticipate RD’s next challenge?

  3. I got all 10 answers correct! This is due to my reading and learning everything I can and my background of a good school and parents who taught me well on educational knowledge!

  4. Got nine correct. I didn’t think any president had served more than 2 terms. So I missed the one about FDR being elected 4 times.

  5. 7 out of 10, should have been using my brain and would have chosen 8 correctly.

  6. Like No. 10, people always get age questions wrong. If you were born on Jan. 1, 2013, on Dec. 31,2013 you have been alive 365 days= 1 year old. On the first anniversary of your birth, you have been alive 1year plus one day. The question does use the word “legally”, so True is still the correct answer though.

  7. 11 right. I must be really stupid because I don’t see why the Columbus question was so easy.

  8. I beg to differ on #7. Albert Einstein’s formula was E=mc (squared) not E=MC (times 2) as your notation indicates!

    1. Good for you, you saw it too!
      That’s for all you that think you got 10 of 10.

  9. In your question who was the 1st President of the US. The answer is both true & false.
    Washington was the 1st president after the signing of the Constitution, There were 7
    previous presidents prior. Also I got 9 right.

  10. I got 9 of them right. I missed Honolulu because I was picturing The usa going out further then it does. That was fun

  11. Number 7 is written wrong. It should be E=M (C)squared.

    It is written as E=MC times 2.

    And number 10, 1968 – 1904 = 68.
    But you are not 1 year old at birth.

    1. Use your fingers. 10 in 1914, 20 in 1924, 30 in 1934, 40 in 1944, 50 in 1954, 60 in 1964, 64 on Feb 29 1968.

  12. I got 8 out of 10 – I should have gotten No. 8 right as it was so obvious and I thought No. 1 was Oct. 11

  13. I missed #1 (guessed Oct 11 instead of 12) – but after 42 years of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, I think I deserve a pass.

  14. I HAVE SEVEN CORRECT ANSWER,I THOUGHT FDR was only elected three terms…

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