Only eight per cent of the UK are as smart as a 12-year-old

One in three incorrectly answer question designed for year three students

Adults of the UK are struggling to answer maths and English questions for primary school aged children according to a new quiz by Explore Learning. 

Over 3,000 Families Online readers in the UK, took part in the quiz and only eight per cent managed to correctly answer a series of nine questions, despite them being designed for children as young as four years old.

Participants in the quiz were asked a range of questions which progressed in difficulty based on what UK children answer in class. Question one was aimed at reception level children, all the way through to question nine which would normally be aimed at year eight children. Despite the questions being aimed at children ranging between four and 12 years old, respondents to the survey found themselves in some difficulty!

As you’d expect, things started smoothly – for questions one to three, the success rate was 94 per cent and above. However many encountered difficulty when asked to think at a year three standard in question four. One in three of the UK fell at this hurdle by failing to identify four as the answer to the following problem:

A dessert is one scoop of ice cream and some sprinkles. If there are two flavours of ice cream and two types of sprinkles, how many different desserts can you make?

Only 14 per cent were incorrect at question five, designed for students in year four. However question six, a literacy question aimed at children aged nine or 10, saw the greatest number of incorrect answers. When asked to identify the ‘modal verb’ in the below sentence, only 34 per cent of the UK correctly identified ‘Should’.

“I should not have eaten all that chocolate last night.”

Question eight, aimed at 11 to 12 year olds, generated a 50:50 success rate, with half of the country failing to identify six as the lowest common denominator of 2/3 and 5/6!

When all of these incorrect answers are taken into account, only eight per cent of the UK had a 100% record.

All of this exposes the difficulties parents can face when assisting children with their education, be it offering advice or guiding children through homework.

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning, says: “The results of this survey come as no surprise! The level the youngest generations are working at are more advanced than a lot of people expect and there is no shame in admitting when assistance is needed to support children with their school work. At Explore Learning we have open sessions with parents to give guidance on how to support children with the exams and show them what they can do at home.”

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