Monday, April 20, 2009

95th Percentile, Duh!

Once upon a time, before I turned 30, Kiwi took an informal survey and posed this question to me:

"What percentage of people are you smarter than?  75%? 80%? 90%?"

I answered without hesitation:

"95%!  That's easy!"

She then told me that the average answer amongst her very smart friends and family was something in the 80% range.  Apparently, you have to be both smart and egotistical to place yourself in the 90's when you are old enough to know better.  I'm no rocket scientist (I do have rocket scientist friends, does that count?) though I do have pretty good logical thinking skills.  But, I'm never going to cure cancer, or stop the glaciers from melting or even come up with a better formula for Pepsi - so clearly, I'm really not smarter than 95% of the population.  

90% maybe....

But in 7th grade, boy, I lead the pack!!  

Its raining and absolutely disgusting outside today, so I thought I would do some filing in the office and get things a bit picked up.  I've had a bag of random stuff in here since Christmas that I needed to go through.

Christmas 2007.

(Have I mentioned that its been a long time since I've done any filing in the office?!)

So, the bag had some random crap in it from middle school because dad was cleaning out the filing cabinet in his house.  And lo and behold - I found my standardized test scores from 1988. I was one smart 7th grader.  And this is where I got that 95% bullshit.  In 7th grade, I was well above average in everything, although a little note at the bottom said I may need some review of solving problems involving integers.  Uh-huh... And remind me what that is exactly?

I was above the 95 percentile for everything except math computation, where I was in the 90th percentile.  Guess long division and I really didn't get along.  But I kicked ass in reading (7th grade was when I read the unabridged version of War and Peace; a delightful 1300 page number.  Apparently, I actually wanted to get my ass kicked).  

So, I opened another file and it had the stuff from elementary school!  Man.  I was little nerd. Apparently, we took those tests every year: and every year, I kicked at least 95% of the asses nationwide.  But I was particularly excellent at language and reading.  This may be why I have chosen to blog in my spare time, rather than prove geometry equations.

I'm torn between throwing it away, and letting it take up valuable space in my office.  I think I'm going to let it take up some valuable space for now.  Not necessarily because of the test scores, which are interesting, but because of the remarks written by my teachers about young Susan, like this one:

"Susan has matured nicely socially..."  - Ms. Williams, February 1983.

Ha! Ha!  If only she could see me now; she'd be so disappointed.

So, what percentage of the population are you smarter than?


Ms Behaviour said...

Eleventy? Although, at work today, it felt more like I was in the 99th percentile.

Unknown said...

Consistently 95th to 99th percentile.

I too was a little nerd.

kristen said...

oh, by the way, standardized tests was one of the ways people determined their intelligence back when i used to ask that question...

if we go with that, i am smarter than 97 - 99% of the people in the world until you factor in spelling, which rarely made it past the 70s...