Smarter Than a 5th-Grader?

See how much you really know. Take our 5th-grade health quiz, a takeoff on the popular new TV show.

From the WebMD Archives

The television show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? pits adult contestants against fifth-grade students to see how much adults really know about the subject matter covered in that grade.

The students on the show can help the adult contestants when they're stumped on the answers and their quest to win the top prize of a million dollars. Adult contestants can make use of three features: peek, in which they can look at the student's answer and decide if they will use it; copy, in which they have to use the child's answer; and save, in which the contestant's answer is incorrect and the student's is correct and the student saves the day.

Here is WebMD's version called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader in Health?" We talked to teachers, skimmed fifth-grade health texts, and peeked online at fifth-grade curricula to put together our quiz.

See how you fare. Answers are at the bottom. Test anxiety? Relax. You get one "save," but sorry, no "peeks" or "copies" in this online version of the game.

1. Your brain has three major sections -- the cerebrum (which controls speech, thought, and emotions), the cerebellum (which controls balance), and another part, attached to the spinal cord. This last part is called:

a. The brain stem

b. The limbic stem

c. The brain glioma

2. You have four types of teeth, each with specific functions. These include incisors to cut food, canines to cut and tear food, molars to grind food, and one other type that both grinds and crushes. This last type is called:

a. Major incisors

b. Bicuspids

c. Wisdom teeth

3. Protecting your hearing depends on avoiding decibel levels considered excessive. Normal conversation is about 60 decibels. To protect your hearing, you should avoid exposure to sounds louder than:

a. 85 decibels

b. 65 decibels

c. 80 decibels

4. Strep throat is a bacterial infection. If it is not treated medically, it can cause

a. Permanent heart damage

b. Influenza

c. Ongoing migraine headaches

5. Our sleep is divided into states called rapid eye movement sleep, or REM, in which we dream, and:


a. Nonrapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep, which includes stages ranging from drowsiness to deep sleep

b. Presleep, in which we are just drowsy

c. Post-sleep, in which we slowly wake up

6. People who have diabetes, in which the body does not produce insulin or enough insulin or doesn't use it efficiently, are also at higher risk for:

a. Tension headaches

b. Kidney disease, heart disease, and blindness

c. Migraine headache and rheumatoid arthritis

7. Foods in the dairy products group, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are important sources of minerals to build and preserve bones and teeth. These minerals are:

a. Calcium and phosphorus

b. Calcium and magnesium

c. Iron and thiamine

8. Every child grows and develops at his or her own pace, but in general, usually begins to develop secondary sexual characteristics (facial hair in boys, underarm and pubic hair in both) at about ages:

a. 11 to 14

b. 10

c. 18 and older

9. When a girl starts to menstruate, the average period length ranges from:

a. 4 to 5 days

b. 1 to 2 days

c. 3 to 7 days

10. At different stages of life, different amounts of sleep are considered ideal. Babies need about 16 hours a day, and most adults need seven or eight hours. Fifth-graders need about:

a. 8 hours

b. 10 hours

c. 13 hours

The Million Dollar Question: If you eat just one candy bar a day in excess of your calorie needs, in a year you will put on:

a. 15 pounds

b. 26 pounds

c. 52 pounds












Million Dollar Question: b


For one of your incorrect answers, give yourself one "save"-- a smart fifth-grader got it right and you didn't, but you can borrow the answer.

Then add up your score:

11 correct: You win an imaginary million dollars and can proceed to sixth grade right away.

9 to 10 correct: You're on the honor roll.

7 to 8 correct -- B. You're still on the honor roll, but barely.


5 to 6 correct -- C. What kind of example are you for a fifth-grader?

1 to 4 -- Better ask to borrow a fifth-grader's health education book.

Published April 10, 2007.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on April 10, 2007


SOURCES: Connie Moore, RN, director of nursing, Los Angeles Unified School District. Meeks, L. and Heit, P. Health & Wellness California, MacMillan/McGraw-Hill, 2006. Los Angeles Unified School District Instructional Media Services. Frank Wojtech, health and physical education specialist, Utah State Department of Education. Utah Education Network.

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