Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Malcolm Gladwell
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does this band get their start playing?

2. What time period is the first example of an outlier from?

3. What does Gladwell think that being taller than another basketball player will do for a basketball player?

4. To whom does Gladwell compare Oppenheimer?

5. What band does Gladwell examine in this chapter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does having a high IQ give a person?

2. What does Gladwell say Langan does not seem to be able to do?

3. How does Joy and some of his fellow students make it possible to use the computers more than is allowed and what is the result?

4. Describe Chris Langan's childhood and college years.

5. Why is the local physician's claim unusual, and what does Wolf decide to do?

6. What is the 10,000-Hour Rule?

7. What does Gladwell write about the rock group called The Beatles?

8. What did the experiment track and what are the results?

9. What are the unusual circumstances in the timing of Bill Joy's career in computer programming?

10. What table of data does Gladwell insert in his book at this point?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The suggestion Gladwell takes from these numbers is that while efforts are being made to reduce class size and improve school facilities, the facts point to a simpler solution for children who are falling behind in school. They need more of it.

This is part of the philosophy behind the KIPP Academy. Students are at school until 5 o'clock in the evening. They attend class on Saturdays, and go for an extra three weeks in the summer. They spend on average fifty percent more time in class than students in the regular schools.

1. Discuss, in depth, why educators believe smaller class size would help students. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Explain why you would or would not be willing to attend KIPP. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Do you think education is the most important part of a child's life or do you think it is secondary to other areas? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Outliers. Questions that Gladwell most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Gladwell' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Gladwell' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Gladwell and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Malcolm Gladwell.

2. What in Gladwell's background may have helped him in writing Outliers? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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