During World War I, many US military recruits had to take a group-administered test as a systematic way to evaluate their mental and intellectual capabilities. This would be used to send them to the correct job classification and give them accurate roles. The test, introduced in 1917, is known as the Army Alpha.
100 to 200 men were grouped together to take the test at once, receiving gradings from very superior to very inferior. The test questioned the recruit’s ability in recognizing patterns, solving mathematical equations, vocabulary, and even common sense. The questions included working out the measurements of a bin based on its volume, figuring out why airplanes failed for many years, knowing what the subsequent numbers are based on a pattern, and knowing what words like “maroon” mean.
See if you would have passed this test if you were part of the US Army in 1920. Take this quiz and see how well you can do!