Outliers: The Story of Success Test | Final 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 many people are killed in the crash of flight 801?

2. What does Gladwell call the culture of many people who settle in Kentucky?

3. Who are the Borgenichts?

4. How often does the rice farmer have to tend to the rice paddies?

5. What do the pilot and co-pilot of a Colombian airplane that crashes fail to effectively communicate?

Short Essay Questions

1. What evidence is there that summer vacations may be hindering the success of many students?

2. What is entailed in growing rice?

3. Why is Flom willing to work proxy wars?

4. Where is Harlan, and who settled it?

5. How does the crash of Flight 801 fit a pattern for Korean Airlines?

6. What are proxy wars?

7. What is Gladwell's general premise about the connection between growing rice and the success of Asian peoples?

8. What is the second lesson of Joe Flom?

9. How does PDI explain the crash of the Colombian airliner?

10. What experiment do Dov Cohen and Richard Nisbett conduct in the 1990s?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Outliers is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Wolf concludes that there is something about the town itself that keeps its residents free from heart disease. He discovers that the town has a very high sense of community. People are very social and several generations of families live together. There are many clubs and other organizations and people are involved with their community. These seem to be contributing conditions to the relative good health of the residents of Roseto. It is not who they are as individuals, but where they are from that keeps them healthy.

1. Why do you think being a member of a close-knit community might make a person healthier? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think a group of individuals from the same area who are more unhealthy than the average American could be unhealthy because of where they live? Why or why not? Make up an example of why this might be true. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Discuss what makes a community close-knit and how a small town that does not have a close-knit community might be able to promote one. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell cites the results of a study by a math professor named Alan Schoenfeld who looks at the way people learn math. Schoenfeld discovers that it takes time for most students to grasp a mathematical concept. Many western students simply give up on difficult math problems or concepts rather than take the time to fully grasp the concept. Students who are willing and able to put in more work are going to gain a more meaningful and deep grasp of math.

1. Do you agree with Alan Schoenfeld's assessment of Asians and math, that they spent more time learning it or do you think they just have brains that work better in a mathematical manner? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

2. Do you think children in America should attend school more hours and have more homework? Why or why not? Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

3. Give an example of a skill you wish to learn that you would be willing to spend a great deal of time on and discuss a plan of how you would improve your skill. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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