Countries in the News: How Well Do You Know Them? Take This Test and See.


A recent Washington Post poll showed that only 1 out of every 6 Americans can locate Ukraine on the map(see above).  The median respondent was about 1800 miles off. How well do you know your world geopraphy? Take the following quiz and find out.

Listed below, in alphabetical order,  are 18 countries mentioned in the front section of today’s Chicago Tribune. Identify the country—or body of water in two instances—that doe” not” border each of the countries  on the list. Good luck!   A score above 14 qualifies you as geographically literate.  Otherwise it’s time to check National Geographic’s Collegiate Atlas of the World as I did in constructing the quiz.


1. Brazil: Ecuador or Paraguay?

2. Brunei: Sarawak or Borneo?

3. Cambodia: Burma or Thailand?

4. Cameroon  Congo or Sudan?

5. Canada:  Maine or Pennsylvania?

6. China:  Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan?

7. Egypt: Libya or Ethiopia?

8. Libya: Chad or Mali?

9. Malaysia: Thailand or Cambodia?

10. Philippines: Sulu Sea or Andaman Sea?

11. Russia: Latvia or Slovania?

12. South Africa: Botswana or Angola?

13. Syria: Iraq or Saudi Arabia?

14. Taiwan:  Yellow Sea or South China Sea?

15. Thailand: Laos or Vietnam?

16. Ukraine: Poland or Bulgaria?

17. Vietnam: China or Malaysia?

18. Yemen: Oman or United Arab Emirates


Answers: 1. Ecuador 2. Borneo 3. Burma 4. Sudan 5. Pennsylvania 6. Turkmenistan 7. Ethiopia 8. Mali 9. Cambodia 10. Andaman Sea 11. Lithuania 12. Angola 13. Saudi Arabia 14. Yellow Sea 15. Vietnam 16. Bulgaria 17. Malaysia 18. United Arab Emirates





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  • First I started with do instead of "doe not," which didn't help.

    Second, this isn't totally correct. Lithuania may be distinguishable from Latvia in that Byelorus is to the east of Lithuania, but Kalinograd is to the west of Lithuania, and essentially the old East Prussia belongs to Russia Google Map.

    Third, for people our age there are about 60 more countries than there were. I remember the Saturday Night Live line about the countries of "Chad" and "Debbie." Nobody can keep the --istans straight, including their rulers.

  • Thanks, Jack, for the edit. Once again you've demonstrated your polymath mind. I made the change. "To err is human,"... you know the rest.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Now I had to look up polymath.

    I thought it had to do with the slogan "Niles, where people count," as opposed to North Aurora (home of IMSA), where they do advanced calculus.

  • In reply to jack:

    LOL. Chicago Ridge around me as the same slogan. Calculus? I have a goal to learn it, but still a work in progress.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    The only thing I remember about it was that TAs teaching it and statistics in college made sure that I didn't understand either one. That, and whatever chemical wouldn't change from green to purple were about the end of pursuing physical sciences.

    The only takeaways I got were (a) derivatives were the slope under a line and integrals were the space under it, (b) somehow it explained how acceleration was mph(squared),and (c) one, to look intelligent had to buy some CRC book that had all the formulas.

    From there I went into economics, and one thing I certainly remember is that while Milton Friedman said there is no free lunch, he certainly ate a lot of free dinners. Also, something about the feudal system and money supply.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, you are one funny guy. Thanks for the wonderful comment.

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