Are you brighter than a Baby Boomer? Try this fun (if tricky!) school-exam quiz
PUBLISHED: 18:10 28 September 2018
Are today’s exams easier than those taken by pupils in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s? Have a go and discover if you’re a superstar student of yesteryear!
“Exams are getting easier!” It’s something we hear almost every summer, when the GCSE and A-level results come out. Critics who took their tests decades ago cry that today’s students have a cushy time in comparison.
Is there any truth in it? “Draw your own conclusion on this thorny issue by inhabiting the mind of a student of the 1950s and 1960s, when we’d never had it so good and The Beatles were just an unknown pop combo from Liverpool,” says author Gordon Kerr.
He’s pulled together dozens of genuine questions from mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning exams for his quiz book Are You Smarter Than A Baby Boomer? so we can see what pupils had to contend with and pit our wits against the examiners of the past.
What’s a Baby Boomer? Most researchers and demographers describe it as someone born in the years from the end of the Second World War (when the return of military personnel led to a rise in births) up to the early 1960s.
The consensus seems to be about 1946 to 1964 – though life was very different at the start of that era than the end.
The arguments about the relative difficulty of exams then and now will likely rage forever. So the only thing left to say is: “You may turn over your paper and begin.”
Are You Smarter Than A Baby Boomer? is published by Palazzo Editions at £8.99. These adapted questions are drawn from the book. And, by the way, the answers are the official ones given at the time.