Army Literacy Test: Used on recruits in WWI

How literate are you by 1918 standards? Here is one version of the Devens Literacy Test, used on Army recruits during World War. The test was designed by psychologist E.A. Shaw and named after Camp Devens, in Ayer, Mass., where it was developed. It begins with simple queries meant to be answerable by people with minimal education, moving forward into more and more difficult questions targeted at soldiers who had been to college.


How to score the Devens Test:

Subtract the number of wrong answers (or—in this case—questions that you find unanswerable) from the ones you think you got right. Score below 6: Illiterate; 6-20: Primary literacy; 21-25: Grammar school literacy; 26-30: Junior high school; 31-35: Senior high school; 36-42: College level.

The publication doesn’t contain a key (perhaps assuming that the readers of the Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences would find the answers obvious), so we have to guess at the “correct” answers.

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One thought on “Army Literacy Test: Used on recruits in WWI

  • November 3, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Grasis Pep per les teves paraules.He vist el teu bloc i pareix molt interesant, ja he fet la subscripció amb Google Reader :). Noltros també hem afegit el teu enllaç al nostre bloc.Un poema preciós, felicitats.Salutacions,Tomeu 00


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