Game Banner
 Computing Quiz:
Computer Literacy Quiz

This quiz was created by Professor David Moursund from the University of Oregon. He created the quiz for the first day of his students' 1975 winter term computer concepts course. The average score was 14.75 (random guessing would have produced an average score of 12). The quiz was later published in The Best of Creative Computing Volume 2 (1978), by David Ahl. It is an excellent resource for looking at how much the nature of computer literacy has changed in such a short period of time.


1. All computers understand the language BASIC because, as its name implies, it is the most fundamental of computer languages.

    True

    False

2. For any problem within its capability, a computer can always solve it more quickly and cheaper than can be done manually.

    True

    False

3. Example of random access storage devices include:

    1. core and disk

    2. magnetic tape and punch cars

    3. disk and magnetic tape

    4. paper tape and punch cards

    5. all of the above

4. M.I.C.R. stands for magnetic inkcharacter recognition, and is used on bank checks in the United States.

    True

    False

5. Which of the following does not manufacture and sell computers?

    1. Control Data Corporation

    2. IBM

    3. Digital Equipment

    4. Honeywell

    5. American Telephone and Telegraph Company

6. A typical CAI drill and practice program:

    1. works only when one is teaching elementry arithmetic

    2. asks the student questions and checks his answers

    3. forces all the students to work the same set of problems

    4. allows three incorrect responses before going on to the next problem

7. Although learning a machine language is difficult, once one has mastered it, he can write programs that will be understood by any machine.

    True

    False

8. The best computer programs for playing chess and checkers are based upon having the computer memorize tens of thousands of board positions (i.e. rote memory).

    True

    False

9. It is now possible to manufacture a single large-scale integrated circuit, called a chip, which contains all of the circuitry for a CPU.

    True

    False

10. The concept and use of punched cards was developed:

    1. before 1900

    2. about 1920

    3. about 1940

    4. about 1960

11. PLATO is an educational computer system which uses a gas plasma display terminal.

    True

    False

12. In the early days of computers, all programming was done:

    1. in FORTRAN

    2. in BASIC

    3. in machine language

    4. in UNIVAC

13. The Turing "Imitation Game":

    1. has a computer imitate a business environment to train executives in decision-making.

    2. has a person imitate a computer to find program errors.

    3. has a computer simulate a complex situation providing a detailed study of alternative effects.

    4. has a computer pretend to be human, demonstrating artificial intelligence.

14. The science of control and feedback theory is called cybernetics, and Norbert Weiner contributed a lot to this area.

    True

    False

15. One threat to privacy comes from the willingness of most people to provide information about themselves voluntarily.

    True

    False

16. Which of the following is a characteristic of a problem which is well-suited to solution by the computer?

    1. Problem solution that involves value judgments

    2. All necessary decisions are quanifiable

    3. The problem is ill-defined

    4. The solution to the problem is needed only one time

17. The largest user of computers in the U.S. Govenment is:

    1. The Internal Revenue Service

    2. The Census Bureau

    3. The military

    4. Congress

    5. None of these.

18. When one is buying a computer system, he might purchase hardware and software from two different companies.

    True

    False

19. Magnetic tape is an effective medium in operations requiring frequent access to data on a random basis.

    True

    False

20. Very large computer programs are apt to contain undetected errors even after the programs have been used for several years

    True

    False

21. NCIC is a method whereby checks printed woth a special ink can be machine read.

    True

    False

22. By 1950 about 100 electronic digital computers had been manufactured and placed into service.

    True

    False

23. The fastest core memories have retrieval times of about one millisecond.

    True

    False

24. Using and 8 bit code (such as on a magnetic tape), how many different characters can be represented?

    1. 8

    2. 16

    3. 32

    4. 256

    5. 512

25. A computer's memory can think about and solve a problem much in the same way as a person's brain works on a problem.

    True

    False

26. A major problem with computerized data banks is guarding against erroneous data geting into the system.

    True

    False

27. A disadvantage of punched card machines is that the speed of processing is limited by the movement of the mechanical parts and devices.

    True

    False

28. Which of the following is not an example of the administrative application of computers in education?

    1. Payroll

    2. Scheduling

    3. Student records

    4. Computer-assisted instruction

29. Who do computer scientists write computer programs to play games?

    1. Computer scientists have lots of fun doing this.

    2. To communicate the ability of the computer.

    3. To study the nature of problem solving.

    4. All of the above.

    5. None of the above.

30. Computer costs (measured in terms of computations per dollar) have leveled off in the last five years.

    True

    False

Your Score is:



Back to my computing page