How Does Your Web IQ Measure Up?

March 12, 2015 Rieva Lesonsky

web iq

How does your knowledge of the Web compare with that of the general public? As a small business owner, you might expect to be more Web-savvy than the average Joe or Josephine. Before you read any further, find out by taking this interactive Web IQ quiz created by the Pew Research Center. (We’ll wait while you finish it.)

How’d you do? Here’s what Pew found in giving the Web IQ quiz, which includes questions about the meaning and usage of common online terms, famous technology figures, the history of major technological advances, and the underlying structure of the Internet to over 1,000 American Internet users who fall into a wide range of age groups and educational levels.

Overall, the study found, Americans are pretty Web-savvy. About three-quarters know that a megabyte is bigger than a kilobyte, about 70 percent can correctly identify pictures of a “captcha,” and two-thirds know what a “wiki” is. In addition, just about everyone can identify a picture of Bill Gates. And even though the vast majority of Americans don’t actually use Twitter, almost everyone knows what a hashtag is and 60 percent know the character limit of a Tweet. In addition, more than six out of 10 knew what Net Neutrality refers to.

When it comes to the more historical and technical aspects of the Internet, however, the majority of users were far less knowledgeable. Relatively few people could correctly answer a multiple choice question about Moore’s Law, fewer than half knew what university first adopted Facebook on campus, and almost no one knew what the first widely popular graphical Web browser was.

College graduates were significantly more likely to answer more questions correctly—which Pew notes makes sense since they are also more likely to use the Internet and social media and to do so more often. However, somewhat surprisingly, age didn’t necessarily determine one’s Internet savvy. Internet users over 65 were actually more likely than users aged 18 to 29 to correctly define what a privacy policy is and to know who Sheryl Sandberg is.

If you still haven’t taken the Web IQ test, I hope I didn’t give any answers away! Try taking the online Web IQ test yourself.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

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