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The King William’s College quiz December 30, 2007

Posted by Peter Hornby in Uncategorized.

Every year since 1904, the pupils of King William’s College, on the Isle of Man, have been set a “General Knowledge Paper”. The pupils take the test twice, once before the Christmas holidays, unseen, and once on their return after the break, with a couple of weeks of intensive research under their belts. I have to say, it’s hard to conceive of a more challenging test. There are eighteen themed sections, each with ten seemingly impossible questions. Even worse, most of the themes aren’t provided, so you have to work out what they are by answering a couple of the questions. If I can answer five questions out of the 180 on a first pass, I think I’m doing well.

Since 1951, the Guardian has published the quiz, maybe to make its readers realise that they aren’t as smart as they think they are. The 2007 quiz is in this week’s edition of the Guardian Weekly, and you can get it from the school’s website.

Oh, one more thing. Dr Pat Cullen, who has been setting the quiz since 1997, checks the questions against Google, and will reword them as necessary to ensure that this isn’t just a search engine exercise.

So, “17.6 Which establishment, in the interests of political rectitude, discarded its Bavarian name for that of a Gaelic province?”

Best of luck.



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