Quiz: Try Your Best to Pass This Life Skills Test: HowStuffWorks
Try Your Best to Pass This Life Skills Test
By: Jonnathan Chadwick
7 Min Quiz
Image: Douglas Sacha / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Life skills are the most important skills in life. That's pretty self-explanatory. Can you imagine what a typical day would look like if you didn't possess any life skills? You'd wake up about eight hours after you went to sleep, and then all hell would break loose. Would you know what to wear or how to get dressed? What about showering and breakfast? Are those necessary? Put one pant leg on before the other and then what? Would you even get out of bed?
Just getting ready in the morning takes essential life skills. Knowing how to be presentable in society is a life skill, even if it seems like second nature, and that's the good thing about life skills at this point in life. You've experienced so much that life skills are second nature. If you know who to call in an emergency or how to pull over when driving or how to purify water or cook an edible meal, you possess some of the most valuable life skills on Earth. If you don't know how to do any of those things, it's never too late to learn. Whether learning new skills or brushing up on old ones, put your wits to the test and see if you can pass this basic life skills test.
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Which of these everyday items can be used to treat minor cuts?
If you slice your finger while chopping vegetables, super glue can protect the cut better than a band-aid. The first step to treating any wound is washing it first, but once it's time to cover the cut, super glue is an option that has been used in medical capacities for decades.
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After how many miles should you change your car's oil?
This depends on the make and model of your car, but it's a good rule of thumb to change your car's oil at least every 5,000 miles. Some cars will need a change after just 2,500 miles, and some vehicles can run longer. If you really, really wanted to, you could run your car without oil at all, but it's not a good idea.
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There are 12 months in a year, but do you know which of these months has 31 days?
Months with 31 days are January, March, May, July, August, October and December. February only has 28 days and 29 days in a leap year, and all other months have 30 days.
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One of the easiest things to cook is pasta. How long should pasta boil for?
All living things need to eat, so cooking is one of life's most essential skills for us humans. To cook pasta, just let it sit in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Exact cooking times vary from about 8-12 minutes, but if you drain pasta after boiling it for 10 minutes, you will have cooked edible food.
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What is the first step of the Heimlich maneuver?
The first step in the Heimlich maneuver is actually a series of steps assessing the situation. Who is in trouble? Is 911 en route? If someone is coughing, they may eventually dislodge whatever they're choking on, and the maneuver won't be needed. If it's determined you need to do the Heimlich, the first step is to get the person standing upright.
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When is election day in the United States?
Election Day in America takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of each November. The presidential election only takes place every four years, but there is an election for something every year.
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If you're discarding an old computer, what is the only way to ensure there is no data on the hard drive?
You can destroy a hard drive however you want, and the key is to be safe. A drill or hammer will work fine. Government agencies like the CIA and NSA use specialized machines that cost thousands of dollars to wipe hard drives, and you can find software programs that will "shred" files for you if you plan on re-selling your computer, but data on an intact hard drive can almost always be recovered.
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How often should you change your bed sheets?
Bed sheets should be changed once every two weeks at the very least. If you sweat at night, you should change them more often. Washing a comforter is a hassle, so you should also use a top sheet so that if you do sweat at night, your top sheet gets dirty, not your comforter.
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Where can you find the switch that controls all the electricity for your house?
There may be times when you need to reset or shut down your home's electrical grid, and you'll be able to do that by flipping a switch in the circuit breaker box. The circuit breaker box is usually in your basement but can be anywhere, even outside.
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For how long should you let rice simmer when preparing a pot?
To cook rice, pour some rice into a pot of boiling water, let the water return to near boiling, cover the pot, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes for white rice. If you want to cook full-grain rice, you'll need at least 30 minutes.
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Which of these options would make for the safest Internet password?
All passwords should contain a combination of numbers, symbols, lower case and capital letters, and an excellent trick to creating a complicated password you'll actually remember is spelling with numbers or using systems like the Greek or military alphabets.
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Which of these CPR steps comes first?
The first step in any emergency like this is to call 911. If you perform CPR, the person has to be lying on their back on a firm surface. Then you can begin with chest compressions before moving to rescue breaths and repeating.
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At what angle should your ladder lean against the wall in order to safely climb it?
At 180 degrees, your ladder is lying flat on the ground. At 90 degrees it is lying flat against the wall. At about 70-80 degrees, it is leaning into the wall at the perfect angle. If it was at a 45-degree angle, for example, it would be at risk of sliding down the wall.
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Which of these items is least needed when starting a charcoal grill?
All you need to start a charcoal grill is fire and charcoal. Lighter fluid will make it easier, but you should never use a candle to start your grill. You can add wood chips for flavoring, but all charcoal grills are powered by charcoal.
You've learned how to deep-fry food and now you have a pot of used cooking oil on your stove. How do you get rid of it?
If you pour used cooking oil down any drain, it can clog it because it solidifies. The best way to discard it is to wait until it cools, and then pour it into a resealable bottle or jar and throw it in the trash.
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Should you floss your teeth before or after you brush?
It is recommended that you floss before you brush your teeth. This allows for a deeper brush. It's also recommended that you brush and floss after every time you eat, but if you only choose to do one, you should choose to floss.
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Which of these items can you use to unclog a sink drain?
Bending a wire clothes hanger is probably the most effective way to unclog a drain. You can also buy a drain snake, and the key to whatever you use is its flexibility. Sink drains clog because stuff gets stuck in the pipe's twists and turns.
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How much does a First Class USPS stamp cost in 2019?
The USPS postage rates change all the time and currently sit at $0.55 for a one-ounce envelope, and it will run you an additional $0.15 for every extra ounce your envelope weighs. The stamp goes on the top right corner of the front of the envelope.
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You just received your first paycheck, but before you deposit it, you have to endorse it. What do you have to do?
Before you can deposit a check, you usually need to endorse it, which means you need to sign the back of it. Whether you're handing it over to a teller or depositing it via an image on your phone, you need to endorse it.
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At what temperature should you wash dark colored clothes?
Learning how to do laundry is an American tradition, and there's nothing like turning all your white clothes pink to really set the lesson in stone. The simple rule says to separate whites and colors. Rich colors should be washed in cold water since they can bleed and fade in hot water.
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How many digits are in a United States Social Security number?
A social security number is just a number used to track social security benefits, but it is used as a form of identification in almost every situation. It is nine digits long and is one of the numbers every person in America memorizes.
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How often should you wash your jeans?
The inventor of Levi's jeans has gone on record saying you never need to wash your jeans, and studies have shown that whether you wear them for two weeks or two years without washing them, they'll have the same amount of bacteria. Therefore, you should wash them when they get dirty. Over-washing jeans will ruin their look and feel.
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What is the commercial name for acetaminophen?
Tylenol, Advil and Aspirin all offer pain relief, but it's a good idea to know they all contain different active ingredients. If you have a toothache and Aspirin isn't doing anything, it's because you need ibuprofen, which is the active ingredient in Advil. Mixing them is never a good idea.
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You've stepped up from rice to pasta and now potatoes. How long does it take to bake a potato?
It's going to take about an hour to bake a potato at 350 degrees in the oven, depending on its size. A sweet potato will need to be cooked for even longer or at a higher heat. You can poke the potato with a fork, and if it easily slides in, it's done.
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What should you do if your car starts sliding on snow and ice?
If your car's wheels are sliding on snow, they've lost all traction, and if you jam the brakes, you will never regain traction. You will just continue sliding. To regain traction, turn your wheel and gently tap the gas. Once you feel your tires get a grip, you can steer to safety.
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Which of the following should be used to treat a surface burn?
If you touched a stove burner for a bit too long, you're going to get a burn blister. The first step to treating the area is cooling it down with water or a cool compress. Make sure the water is cool and not cold, as cold water can make things worse.
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By what date must you submit your taxes each year?
Tax Day in the United States is not a holiday and it usually lands on April 15th each year. That's the day all taxes are due. There are a bunch of exceptions, however, and tax filers can also file for extensions if needed.
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What is 15% of $80?
You should always tip at least 15% at American restaurants, and to find 15% of any number, find 10% and then 5% and add them together. So for this situation: 10% of 80 = 8 and 5% = 4. Eight plus four equals 12.
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Which of these clothing items should you always hang and never fold?
If you hang sweaters and t-shirts or any other light or stretchy fabric, it is at risk of stretching out of shape. Clothes hangers can indent shapes into some clothing, but not blazers. Blazers and suit jackets should never be folded, and if you must do so for travel reasons, you should learn how to do so properly.
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How long does it take for milk to spoil?
All milk will spoil five to 10 days after the printed date once it's opened. Lactose-free milk will last longer than whole milk, and if the milk isn't refrigerated, it will spoil even faster. If your milk doesn't spoil after two weeks, it's not milk.
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What is the name of the tax form every salaried employee must submit each year?
All U.S. salaried employees must file a W-2 so the IRS can track how much money they've been paid and how much taxes they've paid. The IRS tracks all sources of income, and whether you're an independent contractor or retired and living off dividends, you'll need to report income via the proper form.
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How much time should you spend brushing your teeth?
The best way to brush your teeth is with an electric toothbrush because it's simply impossible for your hand to mimic the same amount of movement so quickly. Most electric brushes have built-in timers so you will always brush your teeth for the perfect amount of time.
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What's the first thing you should do when greeting someone for the first time?
There is nothing more awkward than someone talking to you while looking in the other direction. Don't be that guy. When meeting someone, make eye contact, shake their hand, smile and say hello. Basic social skills can go a long way.
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When mailing a letter, where does your return address go?
It is not required to add a return address to an envelope, but if you do, it goes on the top left corner. The stamp goes on the top right, and the destination address goes in the middle. If you don't add a return address, your mail won't get returned if it doesn't reach its destination.
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When fixing a flat car tire, should you loosen the tire bolts before or after you lift the car?
You can't loosen your car's tire once it is in the air. You have to loosen the bolts when the car is on the ground. If the wheel is airborne, it will simply spin when you turn the bolt, the bolt won't loosen.
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How many miles over the speed limit can you go before getting a speeding ticket?
You are not allowed to speed at all when driving. If you're doing 66 mph in a 65, you can get a speeding ticket, although it's unlikely. Most officers will let you get away with speeding as long as you only exceed by 10% of the speed limit. So you should be safe up to 72 mph in a 65 mph speed zone.
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Which of these items is safe to put in the microwave?
Although it is technically "safe" to put hot peppers in the microwave (i.e. the microwave shouldn't explode), you will get hit with a cloud of what is essentially pepper spray when you open the microwave door. Aluminum will cause sparks, and Styrofoam will melt.
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If your car's battery is dead and you need to jump start your car, where must you connect the red jumper cable?
You can jump-start a dead car by using another car or a portable jump starter. Either way, you'll have to use jumper cables. The red cable connects the positive terminals between the dead and live battery. Nothing gets attached to the negative terminal on the dead battery.
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Which of these items should you use when placing something hot onto a dinner table?
There's nothing like a steak sizzling on a skillet or fondue bubbling in a pot, but if you're going to set these items onto a dinner table, you need to use a trivet. Placing a skillet or boiling pot directly onto a dining table will likely damage it.
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What is the perfect amount of time for a power nap?
Science says 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to recharge your body, but it takes a lot of practice to master the skill. The best way to power nap is to drink some caffeine and sleep for 20 minutes. The goal is to wake up when the caffeine is kicking in.
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