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. How are Oppenheimer's social skills?

2. Who is Chris Langan?

3. What is Oppenheimer able to do even though he has some disadvantages?

4. What is the Stanford-Binet test?

5. What does Gladwell say Roseto, Pennsylvania is an example of?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Robert Oppenheimer and what does he accomplish?

2. What does Wolf finally decide is the reason for the low number of heart disease-related deaths?

3. Describe Canada's system of amateur hockey leagues.

4. What makes Roseto an "outlier" town and how does this fact come to light?

5. What is Langan working on and when does he expect to publish it?

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

7. To what does Gladwell attribute the difference between Langan and Oppenheimer?

8. How are students in the hockey leagues grouped and what is the way the children move into other leagues?

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

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

Essay 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

Gladwell opens his book with a dictionary definition of the word "outlier." It is "something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body," and also "a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from others of the sample." His first example of an outlier is the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania in the first half of the 20th century.

1. In your own words, give a definition of an outlier. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Discuss the reasons you think outliers are valuable for research purposes. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Explain, in your own words, why the town of Roseto, Pa. is an outlier and make-up another example of a town that would be an outlier. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell has cited a number of people in this book. Discuss he following:

1. Choose three people whom Gladwell mentions positively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Choose three people whom Gladwell mentions negatively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Judging what Gladwell says about different people in his text, how would you characterize him as a friend? As a colleague? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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