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. What do the men have to do after performing the task asked of them?

2. Where is the school that Gladwell focuses on in "Marita's Bargan"?

3. What do the ask some college-aged men to do?

4. What do farmers of the Middle Ages do in the summer in Europe?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How is a work ethic related to growing rice?

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

3. Where is Harlan, and who settled it?

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

5. What is the third lesson of Joe Flom?

6. What does Gladwell say about early American educational theorists?

7. Explain the term "Power Distance Index" and who coins the term.

8. How do the students at KIPP Academy differ from those of other public schools?

9. How does Harlan gain notoriety in its early days?

10. What is entailed in growing rice?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Gladwell in writing about Joe Flom cites anti-Semitism as part of the reason for Joe's success. Discuss one of the following:

1. Define anti-Semitism and give examples of it from both Outliers and other sources.

2. Do you think anti-Semitism still exists in the United States? Explain.

3. Discuss the ways in which racism influenced Malcolm Gladwell's family. Use examples from Outliers to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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