I’ve Got to Stop Just Reading the Headlines

The Wall Street Journal posted a 2016 news quiz to its web site today, and since I read, and tweet, the WSJ every day, and often reference stories from the Journal in my classes, I thought this is the type of quiz that should be right up my alley.

Well things started off pretty well; it was a 30 question, multiple choice quiz, and I got the first 11 correct. Then I fell apart; my final score was a pathetic 19 out of 30, or 63%. In my line of work, that’s a “D”.

The results made me reflect on how I read the Journal, and I realized a lot of my reading consists of just reading the headline, and then the first paragraph of the story. I assumed by doing so I was getting the overall gist of the story.

That may be true to some extent, but clearly I was missing the details of the stories; what else could explain such a poor score?

There were also some questions on topics that I would have had no interest in reading about, so I was reduced to just guessing what the correct answer might be. (Where were all the questions on the Olympics and people’s workout regimens; I think I would have nailed those.)

The results also provided me with a New Year’s Resolution; don’t be in such a rush to get through the paper just so I can post some tweets, but to be more mindful about my reading and to read for comprehension.

Hopefully the quiz will be back next year, and I’ll be able to measure if I’ve become a more informed reader.

Hopefully I can become at least a “C” student…

Here’s the link if you’d like to take the quiz.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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