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. What does Terman believe will be true of individuals with high IQ scores?

2. Through what age range are the school children tracked?

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

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

5. Where does Langan end up living?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What experiment does Lewis Terman carry out beginning in the 1920s?

3. What does Gladwell assert about intelligence and what analogy does he use?

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

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

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

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

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

9. Who is Chris Langan?

10. What does Anders Ericcson learn in a study he makes of musicians?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Gladwell writes his opinions on education in the public schools as opposed to pilot schools or Asian schools. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss and analyze three major ideas Gladwell has about education.

2. How are Gladwell's ideas about education supported by his research? Or not? Discuss with examples.

3. Discuss what a school would be like that uses all of Gladwell's ideas about education. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Hostile takeovers become more and more common and Flom and others receive more and more work. Finally, the white shoe firms come around and start to take on the work, but by this time Flom has so much more experience at it that he is able to command a large part of the business and surpass many of the established firms. Had he not been excluded for being Jewish when he first started, he would have lost the advantage, Gladwell explains.

1. Explain irony in the context of Joe Flom's success. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think the way the circumstances changed in the law profession might have made the white Christian lawyers decide prejudice was not in their best interest? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers and your own life to support your answer.

3. Make up an example of how a minority in your school might be successful at an endeavor because of prejudice. Use examples from Outliers and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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