There are plenty of stories written in the American media about how little Americans know about the world and how few can identify various countries on a world map. Certainly such knowledge is important to have and as of late, quite a bit has been going on in the North Africa – Middle East – Central Asia area. So it was with interest that I received an email forwarded by my father that linked to a map quiz from the RethinkingSchools.org website. The results were interesting.
First off, the quiz (which is located here) is an easy drag-and-drop style quiz where you simply drag the name of the country to the corresponding space on the map. If you are correct, the name sticks and the country color fills in. If you are incorrect, a red “X” appears. There is no timer and no score is given so there is no external pressure.
“Interesting,” I thought, resolving to try the quiz. I consider myself a bit more knowledgable about the world than the average American, although the primary arc of the Muslim world is not the corner of the globe with which I am most familiar.
I started dragging names to places, beginning with the ones with which I was most familiar and then filling in around them based on the spacial relationships I know exist. Of the 35 countries I was able to fill in 24 before I began to second guess myself.
I’ll add a few blank lines and you can scroll down if you want to see which ones I knew. Warning: If you plan on taking the test yourself, you should do so before you scroll down. No cheating!
This was how far I made it. The next two countries I guessed – Chad and Niger – I got correct. But after that it was a bit of hunting and pecking.
The complete results are here. A good exercise to reinforce that we rarely know as much about the world as we think we do and can always benefit from some more learning.
Yup, I uber failed. Looks like I need to brush up on my geography.
this was pretty tough. i had trouble as it extended out north of pakistan and west of turkey.
Haha not well at all.
I am ashamed of my results.
I’m a geography/map nerd, so I got ’em all right. Well, except the first time I dragged Uzbekistan, I missed it. And that’s one of two countries (Turkey being the other) that I have ACTUALLY been to. Oops.
I got a majority of them correct. I forgot how small Kuwait really is. Fun quiz, thank you for sharing. I think the reason Americans do so badly on tests as such is because I think Americans travel less than people in other countries do and because of the education system. I know I memorized this map in high school for a test. Once the test is over, I think most students just put it from their minds.
@ThePrince – That was the corner I had the most trouble with. I know those countries are all up there, but don’t know exactly where.
I had a problem figuring out which of the former Russian Republics were in relations to the map, specifically the ones north of Afghanistan.
sub-sahara countries did me in, hehe
I took that quiz before and was miserable (especially all those *stans)
Funny, you and I stumbled with almost the same countries! I was a little better with the sub-Saharan countries though… I knew Niger and Chad without having to guess. I also knew a few of the former Soviet countries exactly, but had to play around with the rest.
I failed – failed. I need a course in geography.
Geography seems an ignored subject in grade school now even though as the world shrinks (via electronic communication) it’s all the more impotant.
Much more difficult than I thought… I had all the little islands mixed up! I might have my husband take this for snicks and giggles – he is a geo nut.
All the ‘Stans confuse me and I didn’t get the “second row” in Africa except for Sudan and Mauritania. I should really be able to do better.
did brilliantly – one wrong – blessed Qatar which I’m always insulting by placing it where Bahrain is
hahah i’m so bad at this… i used to know all this geography in high school, but i forget it. i do remember that the “stan republics” (as my geography teacher called them) were a nightmare to memorize and keep track of! it’s funny, i got stuck a few times, but sometimes if i happened to get one right it would trigger off a chain reaction of “oh, and this one is next to it!”
Hehe…I know my geography! I did have a few miss though but after a few tries I got all of it. 🙂 May God/Allah bless this region.
I’m pretty good with Geography. My only confusions were with Mauritania/western sahara and the less well known ‘stans.
I didn’t even give the test a shot knowing that I didn’t have knowledge of much of the area. You’ve convinced me to look at a map some more. The sad thing is, I don’t know all the US States, nor the provinces of China. 😦
@AzureRecollections – I certainly don’t know all the provinces of China. The question is, do I know all the provinces of Canada? Thankfully, there aren’t that many of them. Whew!@NikBv – @TheCheshireGrins – @Fatcat723 – @ElusiveWords – @Dezinerdreams – @Francois – The ‘stans seem to be a tough point for all of us!@oxyGENE_08 – Sometimes I think that despite any blessings God/Allah or anyone else may bestow on the region, the leaders of countries there will still tear the place apart. Let’s hope I’m wrong.@kunhuo42 – That type of spatial memory is what enabled me to get as many right as I did. That seems to be how my mind works, especially with maps. I’m quite good with directions because I build an image in my mind of how things fit together and one I remember one part I can pretty easily move to the next.@AppsScraps – @mike august – Kudos to the two of you, then, for a fine performance.@murisopsis – I’m curious how he does with it.@ItsWhatEyeKnow – In the whole recent discussion over whether the government should fund public broadcasting, one of the points that most caught my attention is how much more international news PBS and NPR provide compared with the traditional commercial media. In this day and age, can we afford to be even more ignorant of the world? I think not.@stevew918 – That’s where you’ll travel next then, right?@yang1815 – @Roadlesstaken – @beowulf222 – Getting you all globes for Christmas. Ha ha…
@christao408 – Yeah and that’s what happening right now. Feel bad for all our overseas workers in the mideast though.
The African countries got me too. Oh I feel like I’m back in Grade 7 or something.
@AzureRecollections – I’m like that with China too. I’ve stared at the map before but it just doesn’t sink in.
Dad got 2; I didn’t count, but probably accurately placed a dozen names. Did a lot of guessing. Some I got close. Interesting…need to brush up.
ah i only beat you by one before i started second guessing myself. all of the former soviet republics gets me all confused even though i learned them all.