Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Am NOT Smarter Than a Chinese 10th Grader

Over on the Indianapolis Business Journal's blog, they're promoting (under the extremely, and somewhat inappropriately, clickable headline "Match your wits with an Indian child") local businessman Bob Compton's documentary, "Two Million Minutes." It's a look at the difference in high-school education between the US and India & China.

I'll save you eight bucks: in conclusion, we suck.

Haha, just kidding. (Easy there, don't go renaming your Chinese Freedom Checkers set just yet.) Actually, it's just a different focus: they tend to care more about academics, we tend to add in athletics, activities, and entertainment.

From talking with Renu (my doctor friend from Chennai, India), it was amazing how much effort the entire Weiss family put into preparing Naren for his 10th-grade-to-11th-grade exam. Marathon study sessions over the course of literally months to get ready for the exam, which was the determining factor of where he could continue in school -- college prep school, vocational/trade school, or no school. You don't really see American families rallying around their kids' education in that way, except for on the very, very, very high end. (Or in the Semester household the night before one of Procrastinator Scott's projects was due.)


The IBJ blog links to the Third World Challenge Exam, where you can answer 15-question quizzes in seven areas and compare yourself to the Indian and Chinese 10th-graders who are taking similar exams (although way more than 15 questions) to determine their very future. You should click over and take the sample exams, and then let's compare!

After spending my lunch hour taxing my brain, here are my results:
Biology: 14 out of 15 correct (Excellent)
Chemistry: 10 out of 15 correct (Good)
Physics: 11 out of 15 correct (Good)
Math: 8 out of 15 correct (Average)
English Grammar: 14 out of 15 correct (Excellent)
Geography: 7 out of 15 correct (Average)
History: 8 out of 15 correct (Average)
So, how did you do?


K.T. said...

I am impressed Mr. Semester. I do not have the attention span to take all of these tests in one night. I took 2, and will get back to this later....maybe.

Nat said...

History, Biology, and English came out well in the end. The others...not so hot.