How Sharp Are You?

Published: Jan 24, 2019
Modified: Mar 24, 2020


Find out how sharp you are. Instructions:Allow yourself no more than 5 minutes to answer the following 10 questions. Have fun—and keep an open mind. (Tip: you may not want to write down your first response.) Most important, don’t stress: no one is expected to get all 10 right.

How Sharp Are You?

1. Being very tired, a child went to bed at 7 p.m. The child had a morning piano lesson, and therefore set the alarm to ring at 8:45. How many hours and minutes of sleep did the child get?

2. Some months (like October) have 31 days. Only February has precisely 28 days (except in a leap year). How many months have 30 days?

3. A farmer has 18 pigs, and all but 7 died. How many were left?

4. Divide 50 by 1/3, and add 7. What is the answer?

5. What is the minimum number of active baseball players on the playing field during any part of an inning? What is the maximum?

6. What four words appear on every denomination of U.S. currency?

7. If a physician gave you five pills and told you to take one every half-hour, how long would your supply last?

8. If you had only one match and entered a cold, dimly lit room where there was a kerosene lamp, an oil heater, and a wood-burning stove, which would you light first?

9. Two women play checkers. They play 5 games without a draw game, and each woman wins the same number of games. How can this be?

10. What word is mispelled in this test?

Answer Key
1. 1 hour, 45 minutes
2. 11 months (all but February)
3. 7 pigs lived
4. 157 (3x50, 7)
5. 10 is the minimum, 13 the maximum (i.e., 9 fielders 1 batter 3 base runners).  Add 1 if you count the on-deck batter.
6. “In God We Trust” or “United States of America”
7. Two hours (You would take 1 immediately, then 1 per 4 half-hours)
8. The match
9. They aren’t playing each other.
10. “Mispelled” is misspelled.

Source: Edward E. Scannell and John W. Newstrom, Even More Games Trainers Play (McGraw-Hill, 1994). Used with permission of the publisher.   Used in AMA’s seminar Get Sharp: Smarter Decision Making and Critical Thinking for Administrative Professionals.

©American Management Association. All rights reserved.


Did these brain teasers stump you? Associate yourself with the best of the best with this free AMA webcast.