Planning to play the Canadian edition of Trivial Pursuit? Don’t pick a Conestoga student as a partner, as a recent survey revealed that only six out of 72 students were able to correctly answer all five questions about basic Canadian trivia.
The trivia questionnaire (see trivia box) focused on general Canadian history and facts that most people would consider common knowledge. Each student was given a trivia sheet to fill out to the best of their ability; they weren’t forced to answer a question if they didn’t know the answer so some students neglected to answer questions that they weren’t confident in.
Seventy-two students were surveyed, 27 were male and 45 were female. Males on average answered questions correctly more often (65 per cent of the time) compared to females (58 per cent of the time), though that may be related to the smaller sample size.
Had you seen the students filling these out, you likely would have seen them using their fingers to count the provinces and shouting out things such as “oh god, I don’t know any of this,” “I didn’t come here to take history,” or the ever popular “how is this common knowledge?” when I reassured them that it wasn’t that hard.
Though the results do seem rather disappointing, not all was bad. Though all but six failed to answer all of the questions correctly, many were able to provide the right answer to a good proportion of them. And the big question that stumped most of the students (regarding when Canada became a country), was only partially answered incorrectly with most students getting the day right but the year wrong.
Notable mess-ups include; two people managing to incorrectly say that Toronto and Quebec were Canada’s capital city, along with several July 4s for when Canada was declared a country (apparently thinking that they were American).
Apparently, the disappointing results started to wear on me while I was handing out the questionnaire as Conestoga student Kelsey Clary playfully wrote me a letter on the back of the paper saying, “Don’t become discouraged when you write your article. P.S. You suck (just kidding).” Hopefully by Canada Day next year these students will have learned a bit more about their country.