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For information related to a version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? airing in a specific country, see International versions below.

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is a television game show format based on asking grade-school level questions to adults, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. The show first aired on Fox in the United States on February 27, 2007, and grew to be so popular that a half-hour syndicated series was developed. The show has since been replicated in several countries; some under the same title, and some under modified titles. The first season of the show ranked 28th in the Nielsen ratings, with an average of 12.7 million viewers per episode.[1] The status of the Fox network series beyond the summer is unknown, but the syndicated series debuted in late-September 2009. Episodes from this series will also air on MyNetwork TV one night a week, and on Country Music Television (CMT) it will air weeknights.



Each game is played by a single contestant who earns money incrementally based on a payout ladder by answering simple trivia questions, with the game themed as a school quiz. The game relies on the premise that an adult would not know the information generally taught in elementary grade school, because it is rarely used in adult life by the type of person chosen to be a contestant;[1] therefore, the show is essentially a test to see how much an adult has retained since graduating elementary school. The show also derives its humor by occasionally displaying the contestant's educational attainment, implying that in spite of that, they struggle to answer some questions.

The contestant is presented and chooses from a set of ten subjects and grade level question topics. The question is then revealed. Some questions are multiple choice or true/false; others require the contestant to answer without any options.

Each correct answer moves the contestant up a payout ladder, with a final bonus fifth grade question moving the contestant up one more step to the top prize of $1,000,000. At any point up to the final question, the contestant may quit the game after seeing the question, and keep all money earned up to that point. For the final question, the contestant must decide whether to continue quit (and keep earned money) after seeing only the subject; if he or she chooses to see the question, he or she must then answer it and risk losing the money earned. The contestant is not guaranteed any winnings until after the fifth question is answered correctly, at which point $25,000 is guaranteed.

Only two contestants have attempted to answer the final question and done so correctly:

Many celebrities have competed for various charities. Legendary rock star Gene Simmons of the band KISS dropped out with $500,000 for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, making him one of the highest winning celebrities to appear on the show. The subject of the Million Dollar Question was 'Science;' the question was "What element is represented by the letter 'K' on the periodic table?" Simmons would have answered Krypton; the correct answer is Potassium.

The (then) 20-year old Mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and the youngest mayor in the United States John Tyler Hammons appeared on October 24, 2008, winning $25,000 for his charity after missing the question "What's the name of the first American woman to travel to outer space?". Unsure of the correct answer, he "copied" the 5th grader's answer, which was wrong.

Ken Jennings could have become the second person to win the million dollars but he decided not to go for the Social Studies MDQ. Upon seeing the question after dropping out of school, he answered it correctly. However, his winnings of $500,000 were enough to regain the all-time game show winnings record from Brad Rutter, who had defeated him in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions to claim it. Seven other contestants have also dropped out at the million-dollar question.

Correct Answer Value (original U.S. version)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bonus (11)
$1,000 $2,000 $5,000 $10,000 $25,000 $50,000 $100,000 $175,000 $300,000 $500,000 $1,000,000

There are five "classmates" in the game of approximately fifth-grade age who also answer each question in secret by writing their answers. These answers are sometimes used to create tension when the classmates' answers do not correlate with the contestant's. Additionally, the contestant selects one of the classmates at the beginning of the game to help them during the game. Each classmate can only help for two questions, and then a new classmate must be selected.

The selected classmate provides the contestant with two "cheats," each of which may only be used once. The contestant may choose to "peek" at the classmate's paper, which allows them to see the classmate's answer before they give their own (once the peek is used the contestant must answer the question); the contestant may "copy" the classmate, which automatically locks the classmate's answer in as their own. In addition, the contestant has one "save," which comes into play after the contestant gives their first wrong answer. If the classmate has written the correct answer, he saves the contestant; otherwise, the game ends and the contestant loses the game and wins nothing, unless he correctly answers five questions, at which point he is guaranteed the fifth level of the payout ladder. The cheats are not available on the final question;[2] Additionally, once all three cheats are used, the chosen classmate returns to the group and no new classmate is selected. The classmates continue to write answers for the questions, however, to be used for tension.

The classmates are generally the same throughout the season, and are given a "study guide" of possible question topics before the start of the season[3]. Since the classmates are not in an adversarial role with the contestants, this only serves to help the contestants if they use the "cheats." It does, however, give a misleading impression of the knowledge level of actual fifth-graders, since the classmates on the show rarely miss the questions, having been given study material in advance. In fact, the show's title is something of a misnomer, since contestants do not actually compete against the classmates, and the classmates' performance on the show is enhanced by study materials, although they still occasionally miss a question. The title was selected to make the show more interesting, specifically making adults look stupid and then exploiting the supposed "stupidity," which is an irony because adults are supposed to teach children.

Upon leaving the game either by quitting ("DROP OUT"), or answering incorrectly ("FLUNK OUT"), the contestant must profess to the camera, "I am not smarter than a fifth grader." However, if the million dollar question is answered correctly (which has only happened twice), the contestant has the opportunity to claim, "I am smarter than a fifth grader."

In the first syndicated season, child actress Madison Pettis appears as one of the classmates.


Commonly-employed strategies

Like any other intellect-based game show, contestants have created strategies to help them answer questions correctly.

  • If a contestant is faced with a true or false question (or some other question with two possible answers) and still has both their "Peek" and "Save" cheats, they may first use their "Peek" and, immediately after seeing their classmate's answer, will take the other possible answer. If the classmate is incorrect, then the contestant is correct. If the classmate is correct, he or she will save the contestant. In either case the contestant is guaranteed to get the question right - although they risk using two cheats in the process.
  • Many contestants will start at the bottom and work their way up. In other words, they will use both First Grade questions on the $1,000 and $2,000 questions, and then use the two Second Grade questions, saving the Fifth Grade questions (the hardest ones) for the $300,000 and $500,000 questions. Jeff has stated numerous times that he likes this strategy, however in theory it may be easier to begin with the hardest level ($1,000 and $2,000 questions) through the First Grade questions for $300,000 and $500,000. Such a strategy may be looked down upon; however, daring contestants may attempt this strategy - at the risk of flunking-out prior to the $25,000 question and leaving with nothing at all.

International versions

The show has spawned many versions around the world:

Country Name Host Channel Premiere Language
 Argentina ¿Sabés más que un chico de 5to grado? Andrea Frigerio and Pablo Granados América (Channel 2) July 9, 2007 Spanish
 Australia Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[4] Rove McManus Network Ten September 26, 2007 English
 Austria Dreizehn Christian Clerici ORF1 September 27, 2007 German
 Belgium Slimmer Dan Een Kind Van 10? Goedele Liekens VT4 September 6, 2007 Dutch
Êtes-vous plus malin qu'un enfant de primaire ? Alain Simons RTL-TVI September 6, 2007 French
 Brazil Você é Mais Esperto Que um Aluno da Quinta Série?[5] Silvio Santos SBT September 23, 2007 Portuguese
 Bulgaria Това го знае всяко хлапе![6] Dimitar & Deo bTV September 15, 2007 (cancelled on February 20, 2009) Bulgarian
 Canada Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader?[7] Colin Mochrie Global October 25, 2007 English
La classe de 5e[8] Charles Lafortune TVA Fall 2008[9] French
 Cambodia Are You Smarter Than a Khmer kid? Unknown NKTV July 3, 2009 Khmer
 Chile ¿Sabes más que un niño de 5º Básico? José Miguel Viñuela MEGA April 2, 2008 Spanish
 China 五年级救助队[10] Wang Han HNETV May 1, 2007 Putonghua
幸运52 Li Yong CCTV-2 November, 1998[11]
(June 1, 2007 for Lucky Classroom)
谁比谁聪明[12] Liu Ming-ming SZTV June 1, 2007[13] Putonghua
你能毕业吗?[14] Duan Lei
Jia Ning
TJTV June 2, 2007 Putonghua
不考不知道[15] Xu Rui SXTVS June 30, 2007[16] Putonghua
五年级插班生 He Hao-peng Guangdong TV August 10, 2007[17] Cantonese
 Colombia ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Jose Gabriel Ortiz Caracol TV February 20, 2008 Spanish
 Czech Republic Jsi chytřejší než páťák? Michal Suchánek & Richard Genzer TV Nova 2007 Czech
 Denmark Er Du Klogere End En 10-Årig? Jan Gintberg TV3 September 22, 2007 Danish
 Estonia Targem kui 5B Indrek Tarand TV3 September 13, 2008 Estonian
 Finland Fiksumpi kuin koululainen Nicke Lignell MTV3 November 6, 2008 Finnish
 France Êtes-vous plus fort qu’un élève de 10 ans ? Roland Magdane M6 September 3, 2007 French
 Germany Das weiß doch jedes Kind![18] Cordula Stratmann Sat.1 July 6, 2007 German
 Greece Είσαι πιο έξυπνος από ένα δεκάχρονο;[19] Sophia Aliberti ANT1 January 19, 2008 Greek
 Hong Kong 係咪小兒科[20] Leo Ku TVB October 25, 2008 Cantonese
 Hungary Okosabb vagy mint egy 5-es? Attila Till TV2 August 24, 2007 Hungarian
 Iceland Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki? Gunnar Hansson Skjár 1 October 21, 2007 Icelandic
 India Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?[21] Shahrukh Khan STAR Plus April 25, 2008 Hindi
 Indonesia Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Indonesia Nico Siahaan Global TV April 4, 2009 Indonesian
 Israel ?'האם אתה חכם יותר מתלמיד כיתה ו Eyal Kitzis Channel 2 July 2007 Hebrew
 Italy Sei più bravo di un ragazzino di 5ª? Massimiliano Ossini Sky Vivo October 6, 2008 Italian
 Latvia Vai tu esi gudrāks par piektklasnieku? Māris Olte TV3 September 8, 2007 Latvian
 Lithuania Penktokų iššūkis Andrius Rožickas TV3 September 2, 2007 Lithuanian
 Mexico Todo el mundo cree que sabe Marco Antonio Regil Televisa June 13, 2009 Spanish
 Netherlands Ben je slimmer dan een kind? Erik van der Hoff Net 5 September 2, 2007 Dutch
 New Zealand Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?[22] Dominic Bowden TV2 September 9, 2007 English
 Norway Er du smartere enn en 10-åring TV3 Norwegian
 Philippines Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5? Janno Gibbs GMA Network October 27, 2007 Filipino and English
 Poland Czy jesteś mądrzejszy od 5-klasisty? Robert Korólczyk / Marzena Rogalska TV Puls October 29, 2007, 3am Polish
 Portugal Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos? Jorge Gabriel RTP1 September 17, 2007 (1st edition)

June 30, 2008 (2nd edition)

 Romania Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a? Virgil Iantu Prima TV Unknown Romanian
 Russia Кто умнее 5-классника? Alexandr Pushnoy STS December 9, 2007 Russian
 Serbia Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka? Voja Nedeljković Fox televizija September 2007 Serbian
 Slovakia Ste chytrejší ako piatak? Peter Marcin TV Markiza 2007 Slovak
 Slovenia Ste pametnejši od petošolca? TBA POP TV TBA Slovene
 South Africa Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[23] Soli Philander M-Net January 27, 2008 English
 Spain ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Ramón García Telemadrid July 2007 Spanish
 Sri Lanka Punchi Pahe Man Vijaya Nandasiri Sirasa TV 2008 Sinhala
 Taiwan 百萬小學堂 Zhang Xiao-yan TTV October 3, 2008 Mandarin
 Thailand ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ เด็ก(ประถม)! Kanit Sarasin Thai TV 3 October 1, 2007 (1st edition)
October 13, 2008 (2nd edition)
 Turkey 5'e Gidenden Akıllı Mısın? Tolga Gariboğlu STAR TV June 2007 Turkish
 United Kingdom Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?[24] Noel Edmonds
Damian Williams
Sky One October 7, 2007
November 12, 2007
 United States Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox Primetime) Jeff Foxworthy Fox February 27, 2007 English
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (20th Television daily version) Jeff Foxworthy Syndicated by 20th Television September 21, 2009 English
 Vietnam Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5?[25] Tạ Minh Tâm
Thanh Bạch
HTV2 June 19, 2009 Vietnamese

Video game

On October 20, 2008, developer THQ released the first Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? video game, titled Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?: Make the Grade, for the PC, PS2, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox Live Arcade.

A sequel Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Game Time was released on October 26, 2009 for Nintendo DS, Wii and Xbox 360.

DVD game

Parker Bros. released a DVD game based on the show. Unlike the show, the player can only pick one classmate for the whole game, and has a choice of 20 games. A 2-player mode is also available.


  1. ^ a b 2006-07 primetime wrap
  2. ^ "Episode AYS-109". Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Fox Broadcasting Company. 2007-04-19. No. 09, season 1.
  3. ^ Camarillo fifth-grader joins class on 'Smarter' game show : Lifestyle : Ventura County Star
  4. ^ "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?". Channel Ten. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. ^ "Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão" (in Portuguese). 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Нова тв игра тръгва по bTV през септември" (in Bulgarian). 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  7. ^ "Global Signs Up for Canadian Version of Burnett Game Show". World Screen. 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  8. ^ "Official website of the new show". TVA. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  9. ^ "Canada to get its French "5th Grader"". Game Show Forum. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Fassler, Kristina. "Cordula Stratmann moderiert neue Sat.1-Wissens-Show "Das weiß doch jedes Kind"" (in German). ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?". STAR TV. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  22. ^ "Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?". Eyeworks Touchdown. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  23. ^ "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?". MNET - A Division of DStv. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  24. ^ "Edmonds strikes kids quiz TV deal". BBC. 2007-05-24. 
  25. ^ Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5? is currently unaired because HTV2 is stucked in the license violence for broadcasting. Originally, HTV2 is a sport channel and can only produce and air sport programmes.

External links

Simple English

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? is a television game show based on asking grade-school level questions to adults. The format started with the United States version, which first aired on FOX in February 2007. The show was created by Mark Burnett, the same person behind the hit show Survivor.[1] The show has since been made in many other countries; some use the same title, and some use different titles.

In Australia, the show is on the Ten Network. The top prize is AU$500,000.



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