Review of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" From The TV MegaSite
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"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" Review by Danielle 3/7/07

Logo for "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"

"Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?", a very popular show, airs on the Fox network and is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. The adult contestants are given ten categories, ranging from every school subject at various levels within the 1st-5th grade knowledge base. The goal is to answer every question right, to have a chance at the grand prize final question. For help in answering the questions, the contestant can choose a 5th grader from the small class of five students set up on stage. The student also answers the question by writing the answer on their light pen screen but the answer isn’t shown to the audience or the contestant until after the contestant has chosen either to answer or to use one of their helps.

The contestant has three helps during their time at the podium. One is “peek” where they have the option of peeking at what the student wrote down and then deciding whether or not to use the same answer. The second help is “copy” which means the contestant must use whatever the student wrote down as their answer. The third help is “save” which means that if the student got the answer right but the contestant didn’t, then the contestant is saved and may continue on with the game. However, each student can only be used for help twice and once all helps are exhausted, the contestant cannot use the students at all in answering the questions.

Each of the 10 questions has an increasing dollar amount ranging from $1,000 for the first question to $500,000 for the 10th question. The grand prize question earns the contestant $1 million if answered correctly. At any point, including after the next question is seen, the contestant can choose to “drop out” and leave with whatever amount of money they’ve already banked. If they choose to “drop out” they must face the camera and declare, “I am not smarter than a 5th grader!”

Working in the school system, I have seen the kind of curriculum that is taught at the elementary school level, and I’d say the questions did fit the claim. Jeff Foxworthy is a charismatic host, but this is the first I’ve seen him wear glasses, so I’d question if that was solely to make him look more intelligent or quizzical. As silly as the concept seems, I found it interesting and enjoyed playing along to see if I could get the questions right myself.

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Updated 3/7/07


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