The Nerdity Test
5 December, 1993
All rights reserved
Hello, and welcome to the nerdity test. This test is designed to help
you determine your nerdity quotient. In the past, someone may have
watched you, or listened to something you said and then exclaimed,
"You geek! What do you think you are doing?" Or maybe it's just us.
In any event, we here at the nerdity testing lab were prompted to ask
"just what is a nerd?" In response, we came up with this test. By
taking it, you will determine your current nerdity quotient (from 0%
to 100%), with 100% roughly corresponding to a pile of sludge unable
to communicate with anything human except through a device that is a
miracle of modern medicine and engineering, and whose only connection
to the outside world is through the computer internet system.
As this test is being distributed primarily in places of high
concentrations of known nerds, and nerds in turn tend to have nerd
friends, that someone who has never heard of or seen the nerdity test
is assumed to be 0% nerd. However, once such knowledge comes to them,
they are immediately placed in the 100% nerdity category. This is
done because it is also assumed that only a true geek would utter
something to the effect of: "Nerdity test?!? What a stupid concept!
I'm too cool to take something as dumb as that." The values in
between are determined by taking the test and scoring it as
For each question below for which you can answer "yes" or "true", take
one point. At the end of the test, divide the total number of points
you scored by the total number of questions in the test. Treat this
number as a percentage that represents your nerdity quotient.
Some of the questions will have parentheticals at the end of them.
What is contained within the parentheticals is a short list of
examples relating to the given question. The list is not to be taken
as all inclusive but merely as suggestions that might apply.
All technicalities count - after all, being technical is half of what
being a nerd is all about.
Recommendations and Hints
It is felt that for maximum enjoyment, you should respond out loud
with your answers. You should treat each "yes" that you say as a
personal catharsis of what you are doing wrong (or right depending on
your opinion of nerdity) and each "no" may then be disputed by your
peers. In this way, errors due to lying or personal oversight are
avoided and the test also has a therapeutic effect for the closet
nerd. As an aside, information gleaned about others should be treated
confidentially. Each of us has a dork-side that we don't want others
to know about.
Experiment shows that nerdity CAN be cured! With effort and personal
sacrifice... The nerdity quotient is a cross between proclivity
toward as well as actual current status in nerddom. Some questions
are "have you ever..." while others are "do you now...". The former
register the fact that you have a propensity toward nerdity, while the
later acknowledge the fact that you are currently geeking. Obviously,
as your answers toward the "do you now" type questions change, so will
your nerd quotient.
Please use only a number two pencil. Mark all answers in your blue
book. Shake well before using. Lather. Rinse. Repeat as desired.
Show all work. Refrigerate after opening. No partial credit will be
given. A table of useful formulas is included at the end. You may
Please put your pencils down. That's it, hope you enjoyed.
Section 1: Education and Schooling
- Have you ever taken a "higher" math course? (Trig, Calculus)
- ...at the college level?
- ...and received an A (3.7 grade point)?
- Are you still capable of doing what you learned in the course of #1?
- Have you ever taken a science course? (Biology, Physics, Chemistry)
- ...at the college level?
- ...and received an A (3.7 grade point)?
- Are you still capable of doing what you learned in the course of #5?
- Have you ever majored in the "hard sciences"? (engineering, physics
chemistry, etc. but excluding psychology, economics, etc.)
- Have you ever taken Latin?
- Have you ever asked a question in lecture?
- Have you ever answered a question asked in lecture?
- Have you ever corrected a professor in lecture?
- Have you ever answered a rhetorical question?
- Have you ever given a lecture?
- Do you sit in the front row more than 20% of the time?
- Have you ever had a "perfect attendance record"?
- Have you ever verified an equation in a science text on your own?
(i.e. experimental proof)
- Have you ever derived an equation you found in a science text?
- ...when you didn't have to?
- ...using other principles? (starting from a different equation
than the text did)
- Do you take notes in more than one color?
- Do you use other props when taking notes? (ruler, compass, protractor)
- Have you ever tutored someone else?
- Have you ever done homework on a Friday night?
- Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?
- Have you taken any classes pass/fail just to preserve your GPA?
- Have you ever known more about the subject material than the lecturer?
- ...but continued in the class because you "needed the grade?"
- ...and had the lecturer admit this fact to you?
- Have you ever had an argument with a professor?
- Did you win?
- Has a lecturer ever referred someone to you as being more
- Did you apply to any college merely for the sake of "seeing if I
would get in"?
- Was your SAT math more than 300 above your verbal?
- Did you score higher than 1200 combined on the SAT?
Section 2: Knowledge
- Can you count in binary? (up to decimal 10)
- Can you count in hexadecimal? (up to decimal 20)
- Can you count in Roman numerals?
- Do you know Maxwell's equations? (integral or differential form)
- Do you know Schroedinger's Equation?
- Have you ever solved Schroedinger's Equation?
- ...for fun?
- Do you know the difference between a scalar and a vector?
- Do you know the difference between a vector and a tensor?
- Do you know the right-hand-rule for cross-products?
- Do you know the Latin name (genus and species) for anything?
(fruit fly, human being)
- Can you understand the owner's manual for electronic equipment?
- Can you understand the electronic schematic for electronic equipment?
- Do you know what a "reverse polish notation" calculator is?
- Can you name the first nine elements of the periodic table in order?
- Can you translate more than half the chemical symbols into the
name of the element they represent?
- Do you know the wavelengths in the visible spectrum?
- Are you bilingual?
- ...and not an immigrant or child of an immigrant?
- Can you briefly outline the biological process that occur due to
alcohol when it is consumed by a human?
- ...while drunk?
- Do you know how your car's engine works?
- Have you ever interpolated?
- Have you ever extrapolated?
- Do you know the difference between interpolation and extrapolation?
- Have you ever integrated numerically?
- ...and known the result ahead of time?
- ...and complained about how slow the computer was?
- Have you ever seen or utilized the spherical harmonic functions?
- ...and found them aesthetically pleasing?
- Do you know most of the words to "The Lumberjack Song" by Monty Python?
- Do you own an encyclopedia?
- Have you ever read an encyclopedia entry that you weren't researching?
- Have you ever wanted to know something for no apparent reason?
- Have you ever been laughed at for wanting to know something?
- Can you program the time on a VCR?
- Has anyone ever asked you to program their VCR time for them?
- Have you ever used the word "asymptotic"?
- Have you ever referred to something as an L.E.D.?
- Have you ever referred to a ruler as a "straight-edge"?
- Have you ever said "quartz crystal"?
- Have you ever called something a "print out" or "hard copy"?
- Have you ever referred to a curve/object as hyperbolic, parabolic, etc.?
- Do you feel your vocabulary is larger than most people's?
- Is your IQ greater than your weight?
Answer YES if you know what the following acronyms stand for.
Note: it may be useful to actually state out loud what you think the
acronym stands for as your interpretation may be wrong or not the
nerdy one being sought after.
- Did you not know one of the above, but took a wild guess at in anyway?
- Have you ever created an acronym in order to simplify your writing?
The next few questions deal with physical constants. Mark yes for any
that you can give the value (2 or more significant digits) for.
Knowledge of the units attached is NOT necessary, just the numeric
- gravitational constant? (G)
- earth's gravity near the surface? (g)
- mass of an electron?
- charge of an electron?
- speed of light in vacuum?
- speed of sound at STP?
- Planck's constant? (h or h-bar)
- permittivity of free space? (epsilon naught)
- permeability of free space? (mu naught)
- Avogadro's number?
- molar gas constant?
- pi? (exception: must know more than 3 digits)
- Mark this true if you are presently the person knowing the most digits
of pi in the room.
- e? (exception: must know more than 3 digits)
Can you give the conversion factor between... (2 or more sig. digits)
- ...centimeters and inches?
- ...kilometers and miles?
- ...joules and electron-volts?
- ...atomic mass units and kilograms?
- ...Celsius and Kelvin?
- ...Celsius and Fahrenheit?
- ...meters and Astronomical Units (AU)?
- ...AU and light years?
- ...light years and parsecs?
- If, while answering any question in this section, you said someone
else's answer was wrong and were right, mark this question true.
(e.g. "you nob! Pi isn't 3.1425. It's 3.1415!")
- If while answering any question in this section, you checked a reference
book to find out the correct answer, mark this question true.
(e.g. "AARRGGH! What's that last R in radar stand for?")
Section 3: Computers
- Have you ever used a computer?
- ...for more than 4 hours continuously?
- ...for more than 8 hours continuously?
- ...past 4 a.m.?
- ...as a source of income?
- ...on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend?
- ...with someone you were physically attracted toward?
- ...for money?
- ...in the last 24 hours?
- ...in the last half hour?
- ...as a source of entertainment? (computer game)
- ...in the last three months?
- ...in the last three weeks?
- Have you ever programmed a computer?
- ...to write a computer game?
- ...to write a computer virus?
- ...to write a shell script?
- Do you still own any computer with less than 512k of RAM?
(e.g. Commodore 64, Apple II +/e/c, TRS 80, ad infinitum)
- ...that is still in working condition?
- ...and still buy software for it?
- Do you own more than one computer with at least a megabyte of RAM?
- Do you own any computer which would be classified as a work station?
- Have you ever taken your computer on vacation with you?
- Have you ever lost sleep over a computer game?
Have you ever used a ...
- hard disk drive?
- computer with a touch sensitive monitor?
- ...for something other than a video game?
- Devorak keyboard? (as opposed to QWERTY)
- Have you ever seen a magnetic tape reel?
- Have you ever mounted a magnetic tape reel?
- Have you ever seen a computer punch card?
- Have you ever programmed using punch cards?
- Are you still capable of programming with punch cards?
- Do you have any "pirated" software? (i.e. second-hand copywritten)
- Do you have any "public-domain" software?
- Do you have any "shareware"? (i.e. software author requests a fee
be sent to them for its use)
- Do you currently own a modem capable of 14.4kbs or faster?
- Do you still own any modem whose top speed is 300 baud or less?
- Have you ever telnet'ed from one computer system to another?
- ...to gain access to a system you had no authorization on?
- ...to call a government computer? (NASA, FBI, NORAD, etc.)
- ...to call a research institution? (CERN, JPL, etc.)
- ...where the other machine was outside of your native country?
- Do you have an electronic mail address?
- ...more than one e-mail address?
- Have you ever sent e-mail?
- ...to yourself?
- ...to someone who was in the same room as you at the time?
- ...with a .sig file appended to the end of it?
- ...in the last week?
- Have you ever set up and run a mailing list for e-mail?
- Do you receive more e-mail than you send?
- Have you ever FTP'd?
- Have you ever uploaded?
- Have you ever downloaded?
- Have you ever multi-tasked? (ran 2+ applications concurrently)
- Have you ever set up a kill file?
- ...that does more than simply 'kill'?
- Do you have a .plan or similar file for when people finger you?
- Have you set up a login.com or similar file for auto-execution on
logging unto a computer system? (autoexec.bat, login.com...)
- Do you use alias/batch commands to standardize your OS?
(e.g. alias dir ls)
- Have you ever read the postings on USENET?
- ...in the last week?
- Have you posted to USENET?
- ...and gotten a response?
- ...from someone you knew outside of the net?
- ...and gotten a "flame"?
Have you ever posted to...
- ...a science fiction news group? (rec.arts.sf)
- ...a sex news group? (alt.sex)
- ...a sci. or science-related news group?
- Have you ever written a FAQ for a USENET news group?
- Have you ever run a vote for a USENET news group?
- Have you ever moderated a USENET news group?
- Have you played any MUD's, MUSH's or other multi-user games?
- ...in the last week?
- Do you consistently play more than one MUD, MUSH, etc.?
- Are you a "wizard/implementor/immortal" on any MUD's, MUSH's, etc.?
- Do you have GIF files as wallpaper?
- Is part of your desk space devoted to your computer?
- Have you ever built a computer?
- ...from chips?
- Do you have a favorite computer language?
- ...that you've had to defend in verbal debate?
Which of the following computer languages do you know...
- ...assembly language?
- Have you ever forgotten a person's name but not their e-mail address?
- Do you know more computer addresses than street addresses?
- Do you tend to remember the IP numbers instead of the alpha address
for computer sites? (184.108.40.206 vs. crux3.cit.cornell.edu)
- Do you find that you type more often than you write longhand?
- Have you ever forgotten how to write longhand?
- Have you ever used computer symbology elsewhere? (goto, *, etc.)
- Have you ever spoken internet-ese? (btw, imho, :), brb, afk)
- Have you ever blown off doing something you were supposed to do in order
to work on the computer?
- Have you ever felt jealous of someone merely because they owned a better
computer system than you?
Section 4: Possessions
- Do you frequently find yourself with more plugs than outlets?
- Do you currently own a can of WD-40?
- Do you currently own a can of compressed air?
- Do you have a personal copy of any version of the nerdity test?
- ...in space allocated to you on a computer system?
- Have you ever owned a light saber (Star Wars)?
- ...that wasn't made of plastic?
- Do you own an 8-track tape player or any 8-track tapes?
- Do you own an almanac? (World, Farmer's)
- Do you own an atlas?
- Do you own a globe?
- ...and have it on display? (on a desk, bookshelf...)
- ...that has bumps corresponding to mountain ranges?
- ...that lights up?
- Do you own any "maps of the ancient world"?
- ...and have them on display?
- Do you have any "mathematical" artwork? (Escher, fractals)
- Have you ever faxed something?
- Have you ever received a fax?
- Do you own a cellular phone? (car phone)
- Do you own a non-standard calculator? (scientific, programmable)
- Do you own a "reverse polish notation" calculator?
- Do you own a slide rule?
- ...and know how to use it?
- Other than a thermometer, do you own any meteorological equipment?
- Do you own any orienteering equipment? (compass, sextant, etc.)
- Do you own a pencil case?
- Do you own any mechanical pencil?
- ...and have refills for it?
- Do you own an electric pencil sharpener?
- Do you own a laboratory notebook?
- Do you own any graph paper? (quad-ruled)
- Do you own any log or semi-log paper?
- Do you own a table of integrals?
- Have you ever stolen scientific (radiation, biohazard) warnings for
Section 5: Leisure Time
- Have you ever taken something apart?
- ...and put it back together correctly?
- ...without worrying about voiding the warranty?
- Do friends and/or family ask you to fix things?
- Do friends and/or family ask to borrow your tools?
- ...because you are the only person they know who OWNS that tool?
- Have you ever put something together without reference to the assembly
- Have you ever bought something primarily for the pleasure of taking it
apart to "see how it works"?
- Have you ever rewired something?
- Have you ever played a non-sexual role-playing game? (D&D)
- ...since leaving high school?
- Have you ever been to a RPG convention? (GenCON, etc.)
- ...in the last six months?
- Have you ever taken a "self help" test?
- Do you derive perverse pleasure from self-help tests?
- Do you ever lord your scores on such tests over people around you?
- Have you ever dissected something?
- ...while not involved in a biology class?
- Do you play chess?
- Were you ever on a chess team?
- ...on a math team?
- ...on a debate team?
- ...on a "trivia" team? (college bowl, JEOPARDY)
- ...the captain for any of the teams listed above?
- ...the coach for any of the teams listed above?
- Did you ever join one of the above teams for the purpose of picking
up members of the opposite sex?
- Were you ever in a science fair?
- ...that you placed in the top three?
- Are you a member of Mensa?
- Have you ever made a technical joke?
- ...in the last week?
- ...that no one around you understood?
- ...and you found yourself trying to explain it?
- ...that everyone around you understood?
- ...but their reason for laughing was not yours?
Section 6: Leisure Time - Nerd Toys
- Have you ever bought something from Radio Shack?
- Do you know what an oscilloscope does?
- Have you ever used an oscilloscope?
- Do you own an oscilloscope?
- Have you ever used a microscope?
- Do you own a microscope?
- Have you ever used a telescope?
- ...not for peering through someone's bedroom window?
- Do you own a voltmeter?
- Do you own any remote controlled vehicles?
- Do you own a CB radio?
- Have you ever had an amateur radio license?
- Do you still have an amateur radio license?
- Have you ever had an extra-class amateur radio license?
- Have you ever used a chemistry set?
- ...since the age of 13?
- Have you ever used a rare earth element?
- Do you own a slinky?
- Does a slinky make you think about oscillations?
- Do you own a Rubik's cube?
- Are you able to solve Rubik's Cube?
- ...without using the book?
- ...in less than two minutes?
- Have you ever tried to calculate the number of possible permutations
a Rubik's Cube can have?
Section 7: Leisure Time - TV and Movies
- Do you watch more than 4 hours of TV on any given day of the week?
- Can you name more than 5 shows on PBS? (inc.:A&E, Discovery Channel)
- Have you ever watched a PBS documentary?
- ...in the last three weeks?
- Have you ever watched C-Span for more than 5 minutes?
Have you ever watched a complete episode of...
- ...Dr. Who?
- ...Battlestar Galactica?
- ...Space: 1999?
- ...Starblazers? (cartoon about the WWII carrier flying through space)
Can you whistle, hum, sing or snap the theme songs to...
- ...Gilligan's Island?
- ...The Brady Bunch?
- ...The Jetson's?
- ...The Addam's Family?
- ...Dobbie Gillis?
- ...I Dream of Genie?
- Have you ever seen any of the "Revenge of The Nerd" movies more than
- Have you seen all of the Star Wars movies?
- ...in one 24 hour period?
- Have you ever watched something and stated "that's physically
impossible" (due to Newton's laws, etc.)?
Section 8: Leisure Time - Books and Magazines
Have you ever read anything by...
- ...Douglas Adams?
- ...Isaac Asimov?
- ...Arthur C. Clarke?
- ...Robert H. Heinlein?
- ...Piers Anthony?
- ...J.R.R. Tolkein?
- ...TSR Hobbies? (i.e. a novel published by the D&D people)
- ...Richard Feynman? (e.g. his lectures, etc.)
- ...Stephen Hawkings?
- ...Carl Sagan?
- Have you ever read -Cultural-Literacy- or any other book on "what you,
as an intelligent person, should know"?
- Have you ever read -Innumeracy- or any other book about mathematics
- Do you read books on a daily basis?
- Have you finished a book in the last week?
- Have you finished more than one book in the last week?
- Have you ever bought a book of crossword puzzles/logic problems?
- Do you read archaic computer manuals for pleasure?
Do you have magazine subscriptions to...
- ...Popular Mechanics?
- ...Popular Science?
- ...Scientific America?
- ...any computer oriented magazine? (MacWorld, PCWorld, etc.)
- ...Computer Gaming World or other "video game" magazine?
- ...any medical journals? (New England Journal of Medicine)
- ...any science periodicals?
- ...National Geographic?
- ...any comic book or "graphic novel"? (X-Men, Superman, Heavy Metal)
Section 9: Star Trek
- Can you name or discuss the plots of more than 10 Star Trek episodes?
- Have you seen all of the Star Trek films?
- ...in one 48 hour period?
- Do you refer to the various "Treks" as "TOS" (The Original Series),
"TNG" (The Next Generation) and "DS9" (Deep Space 9) or similar?
- Have you ever argued with someone over which "Trek" is better?
- Have you ever argued over who was a better commander of the Enterprise?
- Have you ever felt the urge to learn the Klingon language?
- Have you ever been to a trek convention?
- ...in the last six months?
- Have you ever owned a pair of Spock ears (Star Trek)?
- ...and worn them in public?
Section 10: Clothing and Apparel
- Are your socks unmatched?
- Do you own a digital watch?
- ...that plays music?
- ...that's currently set to chime on the hour?
- ...that has a calculator built in?
- Do you own a pocket protector?
- ...and are you wearing it?
- Do you have acne?
- Do you have greasy hair?
- ...without realizing it?
- Do you own any clothing with scientific knowledge printed on it?
(e.g. t-shirts with Maxwell's equations)
- ...which you still wear from time to time?
- Have you ever worn a radiation film badge?
- ...while not in the laboratory?
- ...and described what it was to someone, who then backed away
- Are your pants too short?
- Does your underwear have your name in it?
- Is your outfit uncoordinated? (have someone else evaluate this)
- Have you ever worn a button-down shirt and left the tails hanging out?
- Have you ever bought similar looking shirts/pants in order to save
time when dressing because "everything goes together"?
- Do you wear glasses?
- ...held together by adhesives? (tape, glue, boogers)
- Is your vision worse than 20/40? (in either eye)
- Is your vision worse than 20/80? (in either eye)
- Are you legally blind? (in either eye)
(strange, I don't recall writing a braile edition...)
Section 11: Personality and Lifestyle
- Have you ever slept an inverted day? (sleep at dawn, wake at dusk)
- ...for more than one day in a row?
- Have you ever slept round the clock? (24 continuous hours in bed)
Which of the following have you used to prevent sleep...
- ...something you made in chem. lab?
- ...something you found in chem. lab?
- Have you worked for an engineering or manufacturing firm?
- ...in the last 3 months?
- ...and gotten credit at a school for doing so?
- Have you worked in a research lab?
- ...and been more interested in the work than the pay?
- Have you ever visited a power plant? (Hoover Dam, nuclear plant, etc.)
- ...and not been bored?
- Are you socially inept?
- Was the last naked person you saw a hi-res computer scan?
- Do you talk to yourself?
- ...when other people are around?
- Do you talk to imaginary people?
- ...do they talk back?
- ...do they seem to be more/less intelligent than you?
- Do you have a tough time remembering people's names?
- ...but no trouble with their numeric data? (phone#, SS#)
- Have you ever played mathematical games with other numbers you see
to pass the time? (square/cube root, prime factors of phone#)
- Do you see everyday situations as representing mathematical concepts?
- Do you look at quantitative factors when participating in social events?
(ex: choosing drinks by % alcohol rather than taste)
- Mark this true if you did NOT go to your senior prom.
- Did you go stag to your Senior Prom?
- Have you ever found a grammatical error in a published book?
- Have you ever quoted a piece of literature from memory? (poem, quote)
- Have you ever eaten pizza cold?
- ...do you like it that way?
- ...because you're too lazy to reheat it?
- Have you ever gotten pizza delivered to the lab/office/science building?
- Is any leftover delivery food currently residing in your refrigerator?
- ...that's been there so long, you can't remember ordering it?
- ...that's been there so long, it's become mobile/sentient?
- Is any food in your refrigerator moldy?
- Have you ever commented on the lack of intellectual ability found in
a "JEOPARDY" contestant?
- Have you ever contemplated the meaning of life/existence of God?
- ...while not drunk?
- ...while alone?
- Have you ever thought about extra dimensions/parallel universes?
- ...and discussed their possibilities with others?
- Have you come to any conclusions about UFO's/life on other planets?
- ...and used Time-Life's "Mysteries of the Unknown" series as
a factual reference to support your claim?
- Have you ever commented: "If I drive fast enough at the red light,
it'll appear green."
- Have you ever found yourself discussing one of the popular scientific
theories of the day with someone you just met? (cold fusion)
- ...did they bring it up because they thought you incapable of
talking about non-technical topics?
- Have you ever taken part in an experiment to prove/disprove one of the
popular scientific theories of the day? (cold fusion, big bang)
- Have you ever thought about reviving the dead? (Frankenstein)
- ...for sexual purposes?
- ...and had some degree of success?
- ...but been laughed at by a leading medical institution?
- Have you ever given an inanimate object a name? (inc.: stuffed animal)
- Was the object something electronic or mechanical?
- Did the object also have a "personality"?
- Have you ever compared and contrasted two scientists?
(Einstein vs. Newton, etc.)
- Have you ever argued with someone else over which of two scientists was
- Have you ever argued with someone over which of two computer types/OS's
is better? (Macintosh vs. IBM, UNIX vs. VMS)
- Have you ever laughed out loud at a joke written in a serious
scientific paper? (Feynman's lectures, textbook)
- Has anyone ever called you a geek/nerd?
- ...in the last two weeks?
- ...for doing/saying something you knew to be geeky?
- Have you ever intentionally done something that you consider geeky?
- ...in the last month?
Section 12: The Nerd Test
- Are you taking this test alone?
- Are you currently reading this test on a computer screen?
- Are you planning to double-check your answers to this test?
- Do you feel the need (or are you currently using) a calculator to
score the test?
- Are you computing your score in scientific notation?
- Have you contemplated writing a computer program that would ask and/or
tabulate questions found on this test?
- Are you currently scoring this test in reverse? (i.e. Assuming 100%
nerd and deducting for each 'no'?)
- Have you come across copies of this test from two separate sources?
- If you are still reading this test, do you really need a test score
to prove you are a nerd?
- Is your nerdity test score higher than your purity test score?
- Did you feel offended by any of the questions on this test?
- Did you resort to lying in order to raise your score?
- Did you resort to lying in order to lower your score?
- Are you currently competing with someone else for the highest score on
this test (or were contemplating it)?
- ...did you come up second best and challenge them to a rematch?
- Have you asked for a technical clarification of anything on this test?
- Have you ever thought of a question that belongs on this test?
***Please send it to: email@example.com
To analyze your Nerdity Quotient, divide your total number of "yes/true"
responses by the total number of questions and compare to this list.
This version compiled by yours truly: J. Bennett, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY.
Any questions or comments? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 0 - 20 Nerd-wannabe
- 21 - 30 Nerd-in-Training
- 31 - 35 Closet nerd
- 36 - 40 You dress like people in Walmart ads
- 41 - 45 You refuse to live anywhere without pizza delivery service
- 46 - 50 Your social life needs some serious help
- 51 - 55 YOU need some serious help
- 56 - 60 You are on first name basis with Radio Shack employees
- 61 - 65 Your best friend is a microchip
- 66 - 70 Bill Gates and E. Gary Gygax are your heroes
- 71 - 75 You own more surge protectors than cooking utensils
- 76 - 80 "Revenge of the Nerds" poster-child
- 81 - 85 Hoping to invent Warp Field Theory or transporter technology
- 86 - 90 Desperately seeking cybernetic interface implanted in your brain
- 91 - 99 Move over, Einstein
- 100 Hail, O Nerd Master, virgin sliderulers I sacrifice unto you
(a.k.a. The "you-think-I'm-gonna-take-all-the-blame" department)
A special big thanks to the following (in no particular order):
Matt Warren :email@example.com for multiple watching
of "Revenge of the Nerds", underwear with name in it as well as the
question on Jeopardy contestants being stupid.
Rebecca Crowley :firstname.lastname@example.org for pointing out that a
nerd not only HAS arguments with his/her professor, but WINS them too!
Laura Sachi :email@example.com for pointing out the
nerd tendency to simplify the situation, and merely count the
questions on the test based on the one's they can answer 'no' to.
Eric Klis :firstname.lastname@example.org for verifying equations
in textbooks, using a calculator to tabulate score, being offended by
questions found on the test, and lying in order to get a different
score. (well, the questions pertaining to those activities anyway, I
don't know that he has done any of them)
Carl Oppendahl: email@example.com for reminding me of the
"dark ages" of computers when programmers used punch cards, offering
the category of ham radio as a potential nerd hobby, and questioning
the speed of a nerd's modem.
Michael Fitch: firstname.lastname@example.org who felt obligated
to raise the scores of "those physics geeks" who have used radiation
film badges, stolen radiation warning stickers for use on their
notebooks, discussed cold fusion with passing strangers (and been
involved in cold fusion testing), integrated numerically, and been
placated by a well drawn spherical harmonic.
anonymous : for competing for the highest score on the test
and for challenging to a rematch when done.
email@example.com : knowledge of reverse polish
notation calculators and favorite computing language (as well as
defending it in argument).
Kevin MacCuish: firstname.lastname@example.org : Thanks for sending a
whole lot of potential questions including the self-help tests,
reading computer manuals for fun, jealousy toward someone due to their
computer, 8-track nerds, and everyday situations as mathematical
T.K. Baltimore: email@example.com : IBM vs. Mac and
the arguments over which is better.
Jennifer C. Ginfrida : Jentrpt@bach.udl.edu : for reminding me
of my childhood days spent watching Starblazers. Japanimation was
great, but I suspect that you may be the only person known to exist
who can still sing the themesong to that particular show.
Josh Wojcik: Wojcik@umr.edu : for solving Schroedinger's eqn.
"for fun". Hey, if you've got the time and there's nothing better to
do, why not?
Jennifer Deiros : firstname.lastname@example.org : she's not the only one
who still owns a commodore 64 and still buys software for it.
Peter White : Peter.White@analog.com : standardizing his OS's
through the use of alias and batch commands, gif file wallpaper and
drinking by % alcohol rather than by taste.
Mike Owsiany : Mowsiany@ecs.umass.edu : applying to colleges
just to see if you can get in.
Rnewell@pomona.claremont.edu : "TNG" vs. "TOS" for the trekker
Gary P. Chimes : email@example.com : who scores the
test in scientific notation, argues over who was better - Einstein or
Feynman and isn't afraid to laugh out loud while reading Feynman's
Peter Rabinas : firstname.lastname@example.org : for pointing out
that only a nerd would spend time taking a test to see if he was a
Harry Surden : Has2@cornell.edu : who not only has the dubious
distinction of being the first person from my own site unknown to me
to offer input, but has also lost sleep over computer games,
subscribes to Computer Gaming World. Naked people and hi-res computer
scan is also one of his (all of which should lead you to conclude that
Ithaca really needs a better social environment).
I'd like to continue to thank these people for contributing to
the older versions of the nerdity test (see lower version numbers for
- Rahul Verma: RV0Semail@example.com,
- Thomas Marlowe: KYRIE@coos.dartmouth.edu,
- Kiet H Tran: KHT@kepler.unh.edu,
- Cynthia Pettit: Pettit@CS.unc.edu,
- Andrew: CS1122@snowhite.cis.uoguelph.ca,
- Susan Schneck: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Hal J. Burch: HBURCH@sleepy.ossm.edu,
- Carl Mueller: email@example.com,
- Andrew Bell: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- ...And a big thanks to the "Post-Prelim/Problem Set Beer and Wine Crew"
Thank you all!!!
For additional information or a copy of the current version, send me
e-mail to the above address. IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
please send me the questions you feel appropriate (please, just the
questions, NOT the entire test) as well as how you'd like to be
referred to in the credits.
-In the beginning there was a large, dense ball of matter at
the center of the universe. For reasons unknown and beyond the scope
of this course, this mass exploded, spewing matter outward.
Eventually (derivation skipped, but shown explicitly in the
recommended readings) everything cooled down, life developed and
someone, somewhere created...
no version number : containing the original 100 questions from
which the following is all derived. Origin unknown. Format rough and
crude and showing obvious derivation from the purity test.
version 2.0 : fabled and never seen by this author.
version 2.1 : the first such version 2.1 (the two were created
independently) - no data available and may be mere rumor.
version 2.1.pi^2 : Rumored to exist somewhere. This author
saw a copy of it once, but has since lost it somewhere on his
desktop... Some of its was utilized in the creation of version 3.1415
version 2.1 : (3-12-92) Prequel to the current edition.
Essentially the 100 question version reformatted, made user-friendly
and expanded to 200 questions.
version 3.1415 : (2-8-93) a further evolution of V.2.1. It
contains 300 questions and was somewhat reworked and rewritten.
version 4.thirds.pi.r.cubed (3-21-93) Originally this was
supposed to be the 3.1415 version with 100 ("have you done it
recently") questions added in order to normalize the test. Some
testing revealed this to be largely unnecessary and so much exterior
input was received that a 400 question version based on existing
questions allowed this version to be released.
version 5.x.cubed.minus.3.x.all.divided.by.2 (12-5-93) 100
new questions, most of which came from people's comments to earlier
versions of the test now in circulation long enough to generate
sizable response. Notable changes include reformatting and
reorganizing the questions into more categories as well as the
addition of the "ranking" section. Some attempts were made at
steering the question wording away from the "serious" and toward the
"humorous". For those wondering about the version number, it
represents the third Legendre polynomial - sorry, but there just
aren't all that many nerdy numbers starting with 5.
-in two years of compiling this in the remoteness of upstate
New York, responses have come from as far east as the UK and as far
west as Singapore. If you are interested, both non-North Americans
state that the test isn't universal. They both complained that many
questions were culturally biased and others just didn't apply. If I
were writing this for sociological impact rather than for fun I
suppose I would be upset by this news. :)
Roughly 2/3 of the responses I get are from educational institutions.
I assume distribution correlates roughly along those lines too, but
have no way of knowing for sure. I get roughly 3 or 4 responses a
The highest reported score is 83% and lowest is 15%. My own score
when last I checked was roughly 81% but of course I'm obviously skewed
(in more ways than one). If you can beat one of the high scores, let
me know and I'll FTP you a year's supply of Turtle Wax brand
screen-cleaner (Lemon Scent!) as well as all the adhesive, colored
disk labels you can eat.