Are You Smarter Than A 12th Grader?

U.S. News & World Report posted an excellent six-question financial literacy quiz that most 12th graders can pass. Can you?

The quiz is produced by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and asks several surprisingly complex questions about credit, savings, and loans.

There’s no shame in missing a question. U.S. News & World Report’s very own Alpha Consumer missed one, and in the interests of fairness and besmirching our own (good?) name on the internet, we had to guess (correctly!) on one or two ourselves.

Share your results in the comments.

Quiz: Are You Smarter Than a 12th Grader? [U.S. News & World Report]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. boomerang86 says:

    6/6 right here. That wasn’t hard at all!

  2. weave says:

    w00t. Got me a six. The rest of you n00bs need to l2p. :)

  3. ptkdude says:

    How did you have to guess at 2 of them? It seemed like the “quiz” was common sense to me.

  4. weave says:

    I hate taking tests usually though. Asking questions that look for the affirmative, then another that asks for a negative, makes one have to shift their brain’s gear 180 and if you’re not careful you can make a stupid mistake. Double negatives are the worse.

    Much worse if the test has a time limit that makes you want to rush through it.

  5. nyaz says:

    6/6 That was supposed to be hard?

  6. Smashville says:

    The 12th graders in that picture have obviously been doing everything that stunts your growth.

  7. blkhwk86 says:

    6/6. Most of it *should* be common sense. I’m sure most of America would fail this and show how we need to improve education, because this is the kind of stuff that gets us into a ‘credit crunch’ or the ‘housing crisis.’

  8. 6 of 6

  9. richcreamerybutter says:

    I’m an idiot in this area and I still got 5/6. My last one was only wrong because I thought it was a trick question…even though technically stocks earn more, there’s still more to lose.

  10. Umisaurus says:

    5/6. I’ll be honest, though — I don’t know crap about personal finance. I can see how, even though this is common sense, you could miss one or two. I mean, #2 would be a guesser if you’re not too familiar with the financial stuff.

  11. richcreamerybutter says:

    For instance:
    6. Kelly and Pete just squeezed out another kid. Blah blah blah blah. Which of the following tends to have the highest growth over periods of time as long as 18 years?

    1. A U.S. government savings bond
    2. A savings account
    3. A checking account
    4. Blockbuster stocks

    But hey I guess I overthink these things, which is why I’m not in a financial-related occupation to begin with.

  12. mr.tank says:

    Question 1 is quite bullshit in my option. I don’t know any public high school that teaches 12 grade students about credit and financing…

    Also the test in general proves nothing when the current state of Americas educated is the lowest in history with mass drop outs and just plain morons.

  13. katra says:

    Is it wrong that I’m doubtful about most 12th graders knowing this? Or is it only after they graduate and go off to college that any common sense regarding finances is lost?

  14. humphrmi says:

    Here’s a crib sheet in case you’re having any trouble with these questions:

    1. Nobody can take a foreign vacation for $6,000. Matt is obviously running drugs.

    2. Your stock in Bear Stearns.

    3. (2004 answer): Your credit history is irrelevant, as long as you take a loan with a teaser rate.

    4. For $12,000, Doug will get a degree in making Krabby Patties and never be able to repay the loan anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.

    5. If your savings is in a passbook saving account, the rate you earn is already less than inflation and you’re an idiot. You should invest in Matt’s drug-running business.

    6. Unfortunately Pete was Matt’s mule and he and Kelly got shot at Miami international airport. Their baby was put in a foster home.

  15. blkhwk86 says:

    @humphrmi: Just have to say that is great. Good job on bringing it back to reality.

  16. bluewyvern says:

    5/6. I took a dive on the last one, too, though I really knew better. Oh, well.

    The article said the average score was 52, which is failing in my book. It doesn’t seem likely that “most” twelfth-graders passed. I’d be a little surprised if they did.

    Also, I must be getting old, ’cause those twelfth-graders look awful young to me!

  17. Copper says:

    I agree with everyone else that most 12th graders wouldn’t pass this.

  18. matto says:

    @humphrmi: I assure you that all details of my international import/export business are legitimate. Would you mind taking a moment to discuss the matter out back with my assistant?

  19. aprestia says:

    I do take issue with the 6th question. I know that reading it literally stocks SHOULD be the answer, in general… but in reality that’s not necessarily a definite thing.

    I also take issue with the idea that most 12th graders can pass this, as well – I graduated from high school summa cum laude and I wouldn’t have gotten half that right before my stint as a bank teller last summer. Not to mention the only time anyone tried to teach me anything about finances before college was middle school home ec, in which I learned: make sure when you write a check that the written amount is correct, because the number amount doesn’t count. (Interestingly there were tellers I worked with that apparently missed that lesson.)

  20. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I got a 6, no problem, but I don’t feel that #2 was as important. There are almost always disclaimers about what is and isn’t insured when you are purchasing these investments, and I would imagine most state issued debt is relatively safe.

    I don’t like bonds, I would rather have my money at risk in stocks because I am more afraid of the market leaving me behind and inflation than investment loss. I don’t have hard fact to base my fears in.

  21. proptart says:

    My high school was a very good school and we didn’t learn anything about personal finance and the like. I got 6/6, but I credit that to my parents.

  22. nequam says:

    @aprestia: For any 10 year period, stocks have grown in value. That’s the reality — and it is the motivation for long-term investors.

    You can test it out, I swear.

  23. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    Those are some young looking 12th graders. At leat I am not picture illiterate.

  24. Scuba Steve says:

    Our entire banking and finance industry is one of serveral industries artificially propped up by two things and realistically propped up by one:

    1. Lingo, Jargon, and double speak. Make everything hard to understand and you’ll have people lining up to pay you money to handle it for them. All of a sudden simple interest becomes compound, APY, API, and Zero % introductory with Adjustable rates.

    2. Money. Those with the money loan it out. Those without the money pay more back. I don’t mind the practice, it’s a simple form of contracts and promises that merely provides great incentives for those with Lots of money to invest in their fellow man. But I definitely think there’s a better way than paying bankers 100,000 a year for the privilege.

    3. The Real Reason: Math IS hard to understand. Even simple math. And all the transactions, borrowing, and payments must be kept track of. This shouldn’t cost nearly as much as it does, and of course the real reason banks and bankers came about in the first place is to liquidate our capital into something that could transcend time and place. I guess us “capitalists” don’t like anything that’s not making someone rich.

  25. richcreamerybutter says:

    @nequam: You’re probably right, though I remember a sad little 401k (IRA?) from my first job powered mainly by stocks that dwindled into nothing (based on advice given to me from the in-house advisor). Stocks just make me nervous, and for as foolish and reckless I can be in other areas of my life, you’d think I’d wear pursed lips and Victorian collars by how conservatively I invest.

  26. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    Scored a 5 but I highly doubt a 12 grader has a clue about interest rates and finance chargers. This test is bogus.

  27. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @Scuba Steve: You sound like a hater. Poor people are usually poor because they dont take any risks and the make bad decisions.

    Lending oney is a risk that you might never get back. JUst take a look at the current morgage industry failure. Who’s losing more money home owners who bit off more than they can afford or all billions of dollars of loans written off globally.

    Just one bank example “UBS announced a $10 billion (5 billion pound) write-down and a massive injection of funds from Singapore and the Middle East, making it the biggest subprime crisis casualty to date among major European banks.”

    You paint of poor as victims is an appeal to emotion and a fallacy.

  28. Carencey says:

    yes, the article says an average score of 52%, not 52% passing. I got a 6/6 on financial sense, and a 0/6 on common sense since I scribbled all the answers on a sheet of paper and then had to go back and click the radio buttons.

  29. RobinB says:

    I agree with Aprestia– the last question is not a definite.

  30. sriver says:

    I’m a 12th grader… 1/6. Goes to show what AP micro/macro economics and gov teaches you… I’m excited for college :P UTexas! HOOK’EM

  31. Angryrider says:

    I scored 3/6 on the first try, then I cheated. Questions are kinda confusing…
    Didn’t know interest can be taxed as income.

  32. chucklebuck says:

    I got a 5 – missed the college loan question, but I’m long since out of school and have no kids, so I don’t really feel too bad about that one.

  33. john42 says:

    6/6, and there is no way they teach all of this to 12th graders. It would be a “waste” of time as it is not on any standardized testing.

  34. heavylee-again says:

    I got all 7 questions right; I’m good at the New Math.

  35. seraphicstar says:

    none of that i learned in high school.
    i didn’t even get the opportunity to take an economics class in high school… go private education!

  36. Ragman says:

    I got 5/6. I haven’t had to borrow for college.
    “Doug must borrow $12,000 to complete his college education. Which of the following would NOT be likely to reduce the finance charge rate?”
    I thought it would be the parents taking out a second mortgage, but then I was thinking about the increased financial risk with having the two loans.

    When I was in high school, we had Adult Responsibilities and Consumer Math as electives. Of course, the college bound tended not to take them b/c they were taking college prep courses.

  37. nequam says:

    @richcreamerybutter: You’re right. The 10-year thingy applies to the market as a whole. It does not apply to every individual stock. If there wasn’t high risk, there would not be high returns.

  38. ClayS says:

    Same here, except that I did take one economics class in college. I’m not sure I would have 6/6 when I was in 12th grade.

    I would say that “alpha consumer” isn’t too sharp.

  39. Superawesomerad says:

    Now, I’m pretty bad at eyeballing age, but I don’t think the kids in that photo are 12th graders.

  40. Mr.Purple says:

    I just showed this test to a 7th grader (who learned about this stuff recently) and they got 5 out of 6 (they got the college one wrong).

  41. ClayS says:

    That’s impressive. It’s good to hear they are teaching some basic finance to kids. My daughter is in 6th grade and I’m sure she has been taught none of this.

  42. CatOnMyHead says:

    6/6. Back in the day (early 80s Oregon), we had to take a semester of personal finance as a graduation requirement, and this made me think of the tests we took for that.

    Of course, there was also the week on How To Keep Your Checkbook Register, complete with damp purple mimeographs. Ah, good times with school-provided inhalant abuse.

  43. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    6/6. I had to guess at most of the questions, though.

  44. brent_w says:


    I missed the college loan question.

  45. geoelectric says:

    6/6, but I wouldn’t have learned any of that in high school; as far as I know, there was no course that covered personal finances. I hope that’s changed.

    In fairness, I took an educated guess on 2) (I know a certificate of deposit is insured, and I assumed the federal stuff was too). I also took a bit of a guess on 6) due to the instability of the stock market over short periods of time.

    4) was also a bit of a guess, again based on the fact that the other choices should have lowered in the interest rate.

  46. weave says:

    @sriver: Props on the honesty. *chortle* :()

  47. TMurphy says:

    My high school had a “Consumer Education” class, though I tested out of it. While they do go over loans and insurance and why you don’t want to rack up credit card debt, I don’t know how much of it actually sinks into the students.

    So, yes, there are schools that cover this kind of stuff, but the question is, does it make a difference?

  48. char says:

    The college one was also kind of poor, because a private college
    will generally have higher prices, which would translate into higher
    finance charges. They should have specified a public and private
    school, costing the same.

    I got 6/6 but 2 was an educated guess.

  49. Joafu says:


    I wouldn’t get very many right back in 12th grade, and I’d say that the majority of my graduating class would do poorly even today. Then again, the majority of them don’t read consumerist. 12th graders are dumb, and their parents usually do the financial stuff for them. What a crock. I’m guessing that the next “culture shocker” is how 6th-graders can alphabetically arrange the cranial nerves, yet the working American cannot even arrange their kitchen spices.

  50. TPS Reporter says:

    6/6 but I know I didn’t have any classes about this in high school. College yes. But most of it I’ve learned after I was out of school. Of course, some of them were pretty easy. I wasn’t positive though about the State bonds question on being Federally insured.

  51. superbureaucrat says:

    God… If 8th graders (me) can pass this, then 12th graders should be able to…

  52. jeblis says:


    Suck it twelfth graders.

  53. 6/6. I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean S-M-A-R-T.

    @bluewyvern: Most 12th graders didn’t pass. Carey made that up. Someone needs at least 5/6 to pass in my book (one gimme, no more).

    @sriver: Gig ’em.

  54. johnva says:

    @char: But it said “rate”, which isn’t affected (in theory) by the amount of money you’re borrowing. So while the finance charges might be higher, the percentage rate is not.

    Also, to everyone who says the stocks thing is “not definite”, that’s why they qualified it with “tends to”. The questions aren’t great, but there’s generally an obviously correct answer if you read the questions carefully.

  55. haimtime says:

    Got me a 6/6. I think the people reading consumerist are smart enough to get this right. Let’s put it on as a facebook app and see.

  56. SOhp101 says:

    6/6 easily. I don’t see how people could get confused over #6 since all the other choices either barely keep up with inflation or give virtually no interest at all.

  57. kenblakely says:

    @humphrmi: OMFGROTFLMFAO! That was funny!

  58. forgottenpassword says:

    5 out of 6 correct for me!

    I missed the fourth question (the college loan question).

    Not bad eh? ;)

  59. blkhwk86 says:

    @all those people who think that 12th grades can’t pass this:

    You are right. I have a natural affinity for numbers and can see risk all the time. When I was in high school(3 years ago). I remember the normal economics class was a joke and the teacher was only trying to get the kids to pass so they can graduate. It’s not something easy and intuitive for someone who is not apt at math. As a result of my affinity for math and numbers, I have become the quintessential ‘money bitch’ so whenever someone needs to work numbers on their money, they always gimme a ring a ding ding and ask away. I remember doing a budget but then there was no guidelines of where to go in terms of what is and what isn’t too much.

    I believe the problem lies with parents not interacting with their kids when it comes to their education, specifically math. My brother teaches in a lower income school in a nice suburb of San Francisco. Unfortunately it is math that he teaches and realized at the first day that these high schoolers who he should teach geometry and algebra cannot even do multiplication correctly or addition(no 5×0 is not 5). A parent just passes the kid off and it is sad that the teachers have to do the same.

  60. A quick Google search netted the full 30-question quiz, which is totally 5 times the fun!

    I got 28/30. I’m taking a mulligan on one of the wrong answers, so I really got 29/30. (Of course I knew the answer to #1. It was just a brain fart.)

  61. ColoradoShark says:

    6/6. Question 4 was worded horribly.

  62. fizzyg says:

    Eep…I got 3/6. In my defense, though, I tend to research things before I do them, and I’ve never borrowed for a car or a vacation, and don’t have anything invested beyond my 403b and a high-yield savings because I just recently started my career job.

  63. strangeffect says:

    (For the record, the one that got me was question No. 5, on earning interest on savings accounts.)

    She missed THAT one? Has she ever filed a tax return?

  64. FromThisSoil says:

    6 out of 6, although the last one almost got me.

    Stocks also have the most risk. What’s better to know in 18 years? That you’re definitely going to have a return (CD Savings account or bonds) or that you might have a return (stocks)?

  65. Islandkiwi says:

    6/6…I was thinking there would be more generalized questions, for some reason.

  66. johnva says:

    @FromThisSoil: As I said above, that’s why it said “tends to” and didn’t make an absolute statement. Risk and return are generally related…you have to take higher risk to get a higher return, and if you’re not getting the higher return you shouldn’t take the higher risk. So low risk things are going to have a lower return over time. There are of course ways to manage risk while investing in stocks, mainly by diversifying your investments.

  67. MykalBloom says:

    I wonder how many of these six out of sixes really got six out of six. As a freshman in college, I got 5. So, no I’m not smarter than a 12th Grader. And while my high school was top in it’s area, we didn’t learn a thing about credit and personal finance, and I took AP Micro and Macro economics.

  68. heavylee-again says:

    Just because this material may not be taught in High School, doesn’t mean that 12th graders shouldn’t be expect to know the basics of personal finance and credit. Where is the parental responsibility in preparing their children for real world issues?

  69. Coles_Law says:

    The questions on the quiz were taken from a larger test on money matters. The 52% represents the average score on the larger test.

  70. @MykalBloom: I wonder how many of these six out of sixes really got six out of six.

    My guess is all 20 of them, since posting here is a self-selected group of at least 7,000 viewers. I suspect the readers who got scores lower than 5 are not reporting (except for the alleged t-sip above).

  71. @FromThisSoil: What’s better to know in 18 years? That you’re definitely going to have a return (CD Savings account or bonds) or that you might have a return (stocks)?

    If you invest in an index fund, it’d be unlikely that you’d invest in 18-year span where stocks didn’t beat savings. You’d pretty much have to invest during an 18-year period that includes the great depression. Even so, the best is to diversify.

    Information is provided ‘as is’ and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and may be delayed.

  72. pirate_panda says:

    6/6, that was pretty easy… though I did just do my taxes, which probably helped.

  73. raleel says:

    5/6, and I missed the third one due to misreading. I felt good that I got some of the others right, because frankly, I’m still a financial idiot :)

  74. Mike626 says:

    6/6. I think the last question regarding stock return was fair. In general terms, 18 years is a long enough timeline to mitigate the risk of investing in, say, an index fund.

    Of course, that is not the same as a guaranty of a return. However, the only conceivable scenario where that would not be the case is if some economic disaster occurred. In the face of a correction that large, it would matter very little where you placed the money– the investment would be impacted. Even in the most stalwart savings institution, a correction that would wipe out a significant chunk of 18 years of market gains, would negate the 0.25% – 1.5% that you might earn annually from a statement savings account.

  75. Me - now with more humidity says:

    6 of 6… why does your photo show 6th graders?

  76. BlondeGrlz says:

    I’m so bad at math, I can’t even tell you how many I got right. Now that’s a liberal arts education. Just kidding, I got 5/6, but if I had known that stuff about college loans maybe I wouldn’t have gone to a better school.

  77. GTB says:


    I know nothing about college loans.

    I missed the stock one too, for the same reason as everyone else. I figured risk would be a factor in the correct answer.

  78. The Instructor says:

    4/6 and I teach college!

  79. microbreak says:


    BUT, I think number one should have another option. Most credit cards offer a promo rate of 0% for 6-15 months, and if the person plans on paying it off within that time period they would pay no finance charges (however they would likely face foreign currency conversion fees if they used the card overseas).

  80. jhuang says:

    Embarrassing, but 3/6. Finishing up my first year of college. Though I did go to a newly-established public hs, in which all I did in Econ was watch documentaries.

  81. mattbrown says:

    6/6 and that really wasn’t hard.

    @jhuang: stop making excuses. lmaoz

  82. mattbrown says:

    @The Instructor: obviously not finance, or english. (couldn’t let it pass)

  83. NereusRen says:

    The “college loan” question isn’t actually about college, it’s about collateral. Three of the options mean the loan is now backed by something more than just the borrower’s promise. It’s a cop-out to complain about that one just because it’s college-related :)

    Still, don’t feel bad. 1, 4, 5 and 6 were among the hardest questions of the original 30. A 3/6 on this quiz would definitely put you ahead of them.

    Also fascinating is the breakdown of average scores by various other questions. The single best predictor of the students’ score was their answer to the following question:

    What do you think happens to older people when they retire if they haven’t saved much money and don’t have a good pension from their former jobs?

    a) They live pretty well on Social Security.

    b) They get by on Social Security by keeping their expenses down.

    c) They find it tough to live on Social Security.

    Just behind it was household income, and then race (which is probably just correlated with income).

    Check the complete breakdown here: []

  84. camille_javal says:

    @richcreamerybutter: same reason I got a 5/6 – I think stocks and I think of people jumping out of windows because the market crashed. This is why, when I start making real money, I’m putting my paycheck between my teeth and running to a reputable advisor.

  85. @BlondeGrlz: I only got three out of six, but then it’s late, I’m tired, and I never do well on pop quizzes.

  86. yagisencho says:

    6/6 correct. Can I have Alpha Consumer’s job? (On the other hand, would I want it?)

  87. littlemoose says:

    6/6 yay! Guess that college paid off.

  88. TheHeartless says:

    Wow that’s awesome, I got 2…and in my defense we never covered anything even remotely close to that in high school. I mean, that’s no excuse for not knowing it but the assertion that 12th graders know that stuff…no, it was never apart of any required curriculum. The very closest thing would be calculating interest in math class. That test only serves to remind me how ill-prepared I am for this adult world full of credit and loans and things. Thanks, Ohio Department of Education.

  89. Katorok says:

    5/6 and I’m in 11th grade, a lot of this really was common sense.. Though, I was surprised by number 2…

  90. GOKOR says:

    @mr.tank: Mine did.

    Anyway, I’ve also taken two Accounting courses in college and a course in finance, so 6/6 was easy…and I am an awful test taker.

  91. deserthiker says:

    There ain’t no one smarter than a twelth grader. Just ask one.

    BTW, I, uh, skipped twelth grade and still got 6:6. I guess I learned those things in the real world where I’ve run a business, gotten loans, purchased stocks and paid taxes.

  92. sunwukong says:

    5/6 — Not bad for a non-American, I’d say.

  93. PryncessLayah says:

    I agree.. it’s like trickery. “Asking questions that look for the affirmative, then another that asks for a negative, makes one have to shift their brain’s gear 180 and if you’re not careful you can make a stupid mistake.” If there were a time limit it may have been a little harder.

    It’s kinda funny how everyone is patting themelves on the back because they got questions right that when in high school they probably would have gotten them wrong. I wish they would teach a full semester in high school “financial preperation for the real world” as well as a refresher course in the first year of college when those dirtbags are trying to sign fresh 18 yr olds up with a credit card on campus. tsk tsk.

  94. Buckus says:


  95. Ragman says:

    @PryncessLayah: “those dirtbags are trying to sign fresh 18 yr olds up with a credit card on campus.”
    I had no income while in school, but they didn’t mind. They got so annoying that I started avoiding the student union my last semester of school. Two months after graduating and getting a salaried job, one of those idiot companies had the nerve to deny my credit application. I sent them a letter pointing out their hypocrisy, and got my freaking credit card.

  96. Erwos says:

    6/6. But I have a degree in economics.

    I’d be stunned if 12th graders really got those questions right on a regular basis.

  97. kyle4 says:

    I got 3/6. It must matter though that I a) Just graduated grade 12 last year and b) am Canadian, so these questions aren’t really directed towards me.

  98. bonzombiekitty says:

    5 out of 6, I got the college loan one wrong. In my defense I never thought about going to a state college and my parents arranged the loans and stuff for college, so I’m not familiar with the regulations behind it all.

  99. NcSchu says:

    I graduated high school last year, and really didn’t know the answer to any of those questions. We just weren’t taught it.

  100. stinerman says:


    #6 is rather misleading, though.

    Stocks have the best average rate of return but the worst “worst-case” rate of return. You aren’t insured against any losses like you are with savings/checking accounts and bonds, but you’re guaranteed to get at least whatever money you put into the bank/bond, usually up to $100,000 for the bank accounts and a practically infinite amount for the bond (unless the government repudiates its debt).

  101. stinerman says:


    The page said that the average score was about 52% for 12th graders.

  102. bonzombiekitty says:

    I got all 30 questions right on the full quiz.

  103. Floobtronics says:

    5/6 here — I lost out on the student loan question. I have no clue about them, never having had them… Of course, I went to school in a time when I paid $2000 a semester for a full course load…

    Thankfully, I’ve got about 15 more years until I have to be ready to act on student loans, and that’s only maybe..

    Maybe my son will want to be an electrician or plumber. Then he’ll be able to charge people $100 to walk through the front door. :)

  104. Gev says:

    5/6. Got the last one about savings wrong.

  105. aikoto says:

    Question 1 is bogus because it doesn’t tell you how they borrowed the money. You can’t assume that the car is collateral if they both took the money from a line of credit for example.

  106. B1663R says:

    oh man, 2 out of 6. :(

    but in my defense the quiz is bias against Canadians so i think i did pretty well,

  107. balthisar says:

    Apparently I’m at least as smart as a 12th grader. I got me my score, and it was six out of six.

  108. savvy9999 says:

    6/6 here, although I guessed a little at the bond question. Just wasn’t 100% sure if a CD at a bank is covered by FDIC.

  109. bdsakx says:

    5 out of 6

    I got all of them but the last one. I figured a stock is risky enough to have be unwise of a choice. I went with a US Savings Bond.

  110. Coelacanth says:

    My high school was excellent, but they didn’t teach any of these issues. Only through personal curiosity and experience did I learn anything about personal finance.

    I highly doubt most high school kids know the answer to these questions. I doubt many high school kids even know what “collateral” is.

    (Score: 6/6)

  111. GrandGouda says:

    5/6 for me, missed #4.

    For those of you complaining about #6, I’d like to challenge you to point out any single 18-year span in history where stocks underperformed any of the other three choices. Remember, this is for an 18-year period. Yeah, in the short term, stocks may get out-performed when the market has a bad year or two, but over an 18-year period, as the question asks, “stocks” is the easy answer.

  112. chrisbacke says:

    6 of 6 in like 2 minutes, tops. Where’s the next one?

  113. cerbie says:

    Missed #4. So, um, have they started teaching this stuff everywhere, now? ’cause beyond the stock market game in freshman econ, I don’t think there’s much going on.

    #1 I learned first from Clark Howard.
    #2 I reasoned, since it said federal, and I wasn’t sure about CDs and state bonds.
    #3 Is all over this website, TV, radio, etc..
    #4 I just kind of guessed. I knew two it wasn’t, and that’s it. I guessed wrong.
    #5 I reasoned, since I know mine isn’t taxed (all 1.25% of it), but it doesn’t seem like the guv mint would let that slip as a source of some revenue.
    #6 Is common knowledge, though we also know stocks are much more risky (mutual funds or ETFs, then? :)). I mean, wouldn’t you have loved to have had some Enron or SCO stock? Right now, maybe Sears? Averages v. when you actually want to take it out, hmmm…

  114. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    Many of you are smarter than me-I am a 12th grader and only got 2/6 right. My school boasts about being a ‘college prep’ academy, but I’ve never been taught about these things. Man, I need to learn more about finance.

  115. gamin says:

    I sucked ass I got 1 :(

  116. anatak says:

    Today: 5/6
    as a 12-grader: 1/6

    I’m pretty sure that #6 is the only one I would have had a clue on back then.

    The college loan one got me too, but then again, I didn’t have any of those, so I’m not sure how I could have known or even should have known. Oh well, looks like we’ll have to stick to paying for our kids’ education in cash. Drat!

  117. mduser says:

    I blew it on number 4, didn’t read the question correctly.

  118. frink84 says:

    100%, glad business school payed off so well!

  119. milk says:

    If I was supposed to have learned this in Economics, I certainly don’t recall. It was, however, the only class I completely cheated my way through because I hated it so much. I’m surprised I got them all right, though. It just takes a little logic.

  120. scarletvirtue says:

    4 of 6 for me.

    I missed the questions about Financial Aid/College Loans and the investments for the newborn.

    Ah well … at least I’m s-m-r-t smart otherwise.

  121. ekasbury says:

    I got six sixths! Now I can feel smug all day. Right on!

  122. MercuryPDX says:

    4 out of 6. Coincidentally, I missed questions #4 and #6. In my defense I don’t have or want kids, and busted my ass to get through college loan free.

  123. MercuryPDX says:

    @bdsakx: Me too. Must be a different era now.

  124. milknhoney55 says:

    5/6, got #2 wrong, didn’t have any idea and almost went with the right one, but changed it at the last moment. Not too bad!!

  125. Japheaux says:

    Working in the education sector, I must say I take these negative findings very seriously. Oh wait, is that bad grammar? I guess I skipped that day.

  126. Optimus says:

    0h, ya! I B Smurt!

    Antics aside, I did have to narrow down the college loan one. Ah, the benefits of multiple guess.

  127. synergy says:

    I learned nothing about personal finance in high school OR college. Which is why I ended up with $15,000+ in credit card debt.

  128. onesix18 says:

    The U.S. public education system needs needs to develop more focus on giving kids a working knowledge of basic personal finance prior to graduation. We already have too many consumers who misuse credit cards and can’t keep a budget.