Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is a game show franchise that was, co-created and produced by Mark Burnett, based on the game created by Howard Stern for The Howard Stern Show. Adult contestants answer questions as if they came from an elementary grade school quiz. The original U.S. version with host Jeff Foxworthy debuted on the Fox Broadcasting network on February 27, 2007, airing on Fox until 2009, as a syndicated TV series between 2009 and 2011, and then revived on Fox in 2015. The Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? format has since been replicated in several other countries, some versions under the same title, and some under modified ones.

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
GenreGame Show
Created byMark Burnett
Directed by
  • Don Weiner (US)
Running time20–25 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorEndemol Shine
Original network
Original release27 February 2007 (2007-02-27) –
8 September 2015 (2015-09-08)
Related showsUS show (2007–15)

In 2013, the show appeared in TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.[1]


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.[2] 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 providing any options.

Each correct answer moves the contestant up a payout ladder, with a final bonus fifth-grade question (sixth-grade on the 2015 revival) 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 was only given the category/subject of the question and then must decide whether to quit the game or risk $475,000 to attempt the final question (which is always a question with no options); the question is shown once the decision is made, and the contestant are not permitted to leave should the contestant attempts it. The contestant is not guaranteed any winnings until after the fifth question is answered correctly, at which point $25,000 is guaranteed. During the show's run, seven other contestants have also dropped out at the $1,000,000 question.

To date, only two contestants have attempted to answer the final question successfully:

Many celebrities have competed on this TV show on behalf of various charities. The rock 'n' roll 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 category was "Science", and the question was "What element is represented by the letter K in the periodic table?"; Simmons would have answered krypton, but the correct answer was actually potassium.

The 20-year-old mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and then-youngest mayor in the United States, John Tyler Hammons, appeared on October 24, 2008, became the first celebrity contestant to attempt the $1,000,000 question but answered incorrectly and left with $25,000 for his charity (Hammon's question was: "What's the name of the first American woman to travel to outer space?" (Sally Ride); he copied the 5th-grader's answer, which was later revealed as incorrect).

Ken Jennings, a former Jeopardy! game show champion, could have become the second person to win $1,000,000 but he decided not to go for the Social Studies $1,000,000 question ("U.S. President John Adams was a member of what political party at the time of his election?"). Upon seeing the question after dropping out of school, he answered it correctly (Federalist). 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 and has held since (Jennings' record has since surpassed by Rutter after winning another $1,000,000 in the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades; however, Jennings later reclaimed the distinction following his victory on Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time in 2020).

Correct Answer Value (original U.S. version)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 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 were five "classmates" (three since season 5) 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.

Each contestant is given two "cheats" and one "save" in which the contestant can receive help from the selected classmate, but may only be used once throughout a game:

  • "Peek": The contestant is shown their classmate's answer and may choose whether to go along with it or not; however, they must answer the question upon using this cheat.
  • "Copy": The contestant is automatically committed to the classmate's answer as in their own. The contestant loses if the classmate's answer was incorrect (During the 2015 revival, the classmate is allowed to discuss his/her answer with the other fifth graders and change it if desired).
  • "Save": If the contestant answers incorrectly but their classmate is correct, they are credited with a correct answer. It cannot be used normally unlike the first two cheats. (available until season 4).

The contestant may use any cheats up until the 10th question, but any remaining unused cheats are forfeited during the final question. Once all the cheats are used, the chosen classmate returns to the group and no new classmate is selected for the remainder of the game, though the classmates continue to write answers for the questions as usual, as part of tension.[3]

The classmates are generally the same throughout a season and are given a "study guide" of possible question topics before the start of the season.[4] 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.

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 contestant answers the final question correctly and won the top prize, the contestant instead declare it on camera that, "I am smarter than a fifth grader."

Other formatsEdit

Syndicated versionEdit

The syndicated version featured a reduced grand prize of $250,000 with a revised game format; unlike the original game format, the contestant must attempt to correctly answer up to ten questions (eight on the second syndicated season, as fifth-grade questions are removed until the final question) with correct answers earning a certain cash value proportional to the difficulty (first-grade questions are worth the lowest amount, and fifth-grade being the highest). The contestant may not leave the game unlike the original format; before answering the final question, the contestant may chose to leave the game or risk all their winnings to answer one final fifth-grade bonus question; a correct answer multiply their current winnings by ten. If the contestant loses the final question, the contestant wins only prepaid card as consolation, with the value dependent on the winnings risked.

The cheats are retained from the original version and can still be used until the tenth (or eighth, in season 2) question.

Nickelodeon versionEdit

The 2019 Nickelodeon version also featured a different game format and a prize of up to $100,000. The format was split into two rounds: in round one, contestants answered six questions from the first four grades (one question from the first two grades, and two from the next two grades), with a possible maximum of $10,000. In round two, the contestant was given 60 seconds to correctly answer as many as five fifth-grade questions; each correct answers increase the multiplier by one; answering all five questions correctly for the round multiplies the round one winnings by ten.

The contestants are still given two cheats to use during the first round; the "Save" is instead replaced with a final cheat (usable on the second round) where the contestant may discuss with the classmate for the answer without a time limit.

At the end of the show's run, one contestant correctly answered all 11 questions and won the top prize of $100,000.

International versionsEdit

The show has spawned many versions around the world:

     Currently airing      No longer airing

Country Name Host Channel Air Date
  Albania Të gjithë për një Eno Popi Top Channel October 2016
  Argentina ¿Sabés más que un chico de 5to grado? Andrea Frigerio and Pablo Granados América (Channel 2) July 9, 2007
  Australia Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?[5] Rove McManus Network Ten September 26, 2007 – October 30, 2009
  Austria Dreizehn Christian Clerici ORF1 September 27, 2007
  Belgium Slimmer Dan Een Kind Van 10? Goedele Liekens VT4 September 6, 2007
Êtes-vous plus malin qu'un enfant de primaire ? Alain Simons RTL-TVI September 6, 2007
  Brazil Você é Mais Esperto Que um Aluno da Quinta Série?[6] Silvio Santos SBT September 23, 2007
  Bulgaria Това го знае всяко хлапе!
Tova go znae vsiako hlape!
Ivan & Andrei (2007-2008)
Dimitar & Deo (2008-2009)
bTV September 15, 2007 – February 20, 2009
  Canada (in English) Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?[8] Colin Mochrie Global October 25, 2007 – November 22, 2007
(  Quebec)
La classe de 5e[9] Charles Lafortune TVA February 5, 2009[10]
  Cambodia តើអ្នកឆ្លាតជាងក្មេងថ្នាក់ទី៥ឬទេ? Doung Sokhea CTN September 14, 2012
  Chile[11] ¿Sabes más que un niño de 5º básico? José Miguel Viñuela MEGA April 2, 2008
  China 五年级救助队
Wŭ nián jí jiù zhù duì
Wang Han HNETV May 1, 2007
幸运52 幸运课堂
Xìng yùn 52 xìng yùn kè táng
Li Yong CCTV-2 June 1, 2007
Shéi bĭ shéi cōng ming
Liu Ming-ming SZTV June 1, 2007[14]
Nĭ néng bì yè ma?
Duan Lei
Jia Ning
TJTV June 2, 2007
Bù kǎo bù zhī dào
Xu Rui SXTVS June 30, 2007[17]
Wǔ nián jí chā bān shēng
He Hao-peng Guangdong TV August 10, 2007[18]
  Colombia ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Jose Gabriel Ortiz Caracol TV February 20, 2008
  Czech Republic Jsi chytřejší než páťák? Michal Suchánek & Richard Genzer TV Nova June 23, 2007
  Denmark Er Du Klogere End En 10-Årig? Jan Gintberg TV3 September 22, 2007
  Estonia Targem kui 5B Indrek Tarand TV3 September 13, 2008
  Finland Fiksumpi kuin koululainen Nicke Lignell MTV3 November 6, 2008
  France Êtes-vous plus fort qu’un élève de 10 ans ? Roland Magdane M6 September 3, 2007 – November 30, 2007
  Germany Das weiß doch jedes Kind![19] Cordula Stratmann Sat.1 July 6, 2007 – 2008
  Greece Είσαι πιο έξυπνος από ένα δεκάχρονο
Eísai pio éxypnos apó éna dekáchrono
Sophia Aliberti ANT1 January 19, 2008 - June 2009
  Hong Kong 係咪小兒科
Hai Mai Siu Yi Fo
Leo Ku TVB October 25, 2008 – November 16, 2009
  Hungary Okosabb vagy mint egy 5-es? Attila Till TV2 August 24, 2007
  Iceland Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki? Gunnar Hansson Skjár 1 October 21, 2007
  India Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?[24] Shahrukh Khan STAR Plus April 25, 2008 – July 27, 2008
  Indonesia Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Indonesia Tantowi Yahya
Nico Siahaan
Indy Barends
Global TV April 4, 2009 – 2010
  Israel ?'האם אתה חכם יותר מתלמיד כיתה ו
Ha'im ata hakham metalmid kitah vav?
Eyal Kitzis Channel 2 July 2007
  Italy Sei più bravo di un ragazzino di 5ª? Massimiliano Ossini
Riccardo Rossi
Sky Uno
October 6, 2008 – 2011
  Japan クイズ あなたは小学5年生より賢いの?
Kuizu anata wa shogaku 5-nensei yori kashikoi no?[25]
Takashi Suzuki NTV April 24, 2011
Hitori Gekidan November 11, 2018
May 3, 2019
August 8, 2019
Hitori Gekidan and Ryuta Sato October 18, 2019 –
  Latvia Vai tu esi gudrāks par 5 klasnieku? Māris Olte TV3 September 8, 2007
  Lithuania Penktokų iššūkis Andrius Rožickas TV3 September 2, 2007
  Malaysia Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader? Unknown TV3 October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008
  Mexico Todo el mundo cree que sabe Marco Antonio Regil Televisa June 13, 2009
  Mongolia Ta 5-p aнгийн хүүхдээс ухаантай юу? Edutainment Tv January 5, 2013
  Myanmar ၅တန်းနဲ့ပြိုင် ဘယ်သူနိုင် Unknown Channel 7 2013
  Netherlands Ben je slimmer dan een kind? Erik van der Hoff Net 5 September 2, 2007
  New Zealand Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?[26] Dominic Bowden TV2 September 9, 2007 – November 25, 2007
  Norway Er du smartere enn en 5. klassing? Sturla Berg-Johansen TV2 March 9, 2012
  Peru Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Bruno Pinasco América Televisión April 27, 2014
  Philippines Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5? Janno Gibbs GMA Network October 27, 2007 – May 9, 2009
March 21, 2009 – March 28, 2009
  Poland Czy jesteś mądrzejszy od 5-klasisty? Robert Korólczyk
Marzena Rogalska
TV Puls October 29, 2007 – 2009
  Portugal Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos? Jorge Gabriel RTP1 September 17, 2007 – June 30, 2008
  Romania Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a? Virgil Ianţu Prima TV 2007–2008
  Russia Кто умнее 5-классника?
Kto umnee 5-klassnika?
Alexandr Pushnoy CTC December 9, 2007 – July 20, 2008
  Serbia Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka? Voja Nedeljković Fox September 2007
  Slovakia Ste chytrejší ako piatak? Peter Marcin TV Markiza 2007
  South Africa Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?[27] Soli Philander M-Net January 27, 2008
  Spain ¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria? Ramón García Antena 3 June 28, 2007 – December 1, 2007
July 14, 2008 – August 18, 2008
  Sri Lanka Punchi Pahe Man Vijaya Nandasiri Sirasa TV 2008
  Sweden Smartare än en femteklassare Lasse Kronér SVT1 March 19, 2011
  Taiwan 百萬小學堂
Bǎi wàn xiǎo xuétáng
Zhang Xiao-yan (張小燕, 1st edition)
Bowie Tsang (曾寶儀) and Xiaoxia (小蝦) (2nd edition)
TTV October 3, 2008 – May 3, 2013
  Thailand ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ ป.4!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ pōh sī!
Kanit Sarasin Channel 3 October 1, 2007 – October 10, 2008
ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ เด็ก (ประถม)!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ dĕk (prat̄hom)!
October 13, 2008 – April 29, 2010
  Turkey 5'e Gidenden Akıllı Mısın? Tolga Gariboğlu Star TV June 2007
  Ukraine Чи розумніший ти за п’ятикласника?
Chy rozumnishiy ty za p'yatyklasnyka?
Serhiy Prytula Novyi Kanal January 6, 2008
  United Kingdom Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?[30] Noel Edmonds
Damian Williams
Sky One October 7, 2007 – April 24, 2010
  United States Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Fox Primetime) Jeff Foxworthy Fox February 27, 2007 – September 18, 2009
May 26 – September 8, 2015
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (20th Television daily version) Syndicated by 20th Television September 21, 2009 – March 24, 2011
  Vietnam Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5? Tạ Minh Tâm (2009-2010) HTV2 (now Vie Channel) June 21, 2009 – June 20, 2010
Thanh Bạch (June 27, 2010 – January 10, 2013)
Trấn Thành (January 17, 2013 – January 9, 2014)
VTV3 January 19, 2012 – January 9, 2014 (2nd revived)
Bình Minh (February 16, 2014 – April 13, 2016) VTV6 February 16, 2014 – April 5, 2015
HTV7 April 22, 2015 – April 13, 2016 (3rd revived)

Video gameEdit

On October 20, 2008, developer THQ released the first video game, titled Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?: Make the Grade, for the PC, PS2, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox Live Arcade. The Xbox Live Arcade version as of mid-2010 was delisted from the Xbox Live Game Marketplace.

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

Capcom Mobile released a game based on the game show for iOS devices called "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader 2010" in 2009.

In 2012, Ludia released a free game based on the game show called "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? & Friends" for iOS devices.

In 2015, GameMill Entertainment released a game based on the 2015 FOX Primetime revival for the Nintendo 3DS.

DVD gameEdit

Parker Brothers 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 21 games. A 2-player mode is also available.

Video Slot MachineEdit

In 2014, AGS (American Gaming Systems)[31][32] released a slot machine game based on the show (along with Family Feud and Ripley's Believe It or Not!) as part of their "It Pays to Know" series of games. The base of the game is a five-reel scatter pay video slot on a four-by-five, yielding 1,024 possible winning combinations on every spin. packed with bonus event like: "Free Spin Events", "Picking Bonuses" & "Mystery Awards". In the game, players are prompted to choose one of the four "Helpers" fall-backs like eliminating one of the four possible multiple-choice answers or its stats on how the audience would answer the question. The layer is then given a first-grade question and then tries to answer it correctly. The earlier the correct answer is picked, the higher the award. Answering a question correctly within three times advance the grade level and the game goes on. Completing the "Gold Star Bonus" in which the player picks from a field of five stars to reveal an advance award. In addition to the "Helper" picked at the beginning, the player can earn any of the three "cheats" by landing symbols on the primary game:

  • Peek – Just like the TV show, this help lets you look at the answers of a "classmate". You can then choose to "copy" the answer for the game while the other cheat is "Save" for which it automatically corrects your wrong answer if the classmate has the correct one.
  • Field Trip – In this bonus events, the picks are made to reveal multipliers for a free-spin bonus and two primary game events called "Mystery Jackpot" and "Mega Block Spins" where it expands the real field for up to 10 rows of symbols with three wild reels for one super spin.
  • Additional Note – In the "Peek" bonus event, the classmate will not always have the right answer.


  1. ^ At the time of filming, Queen Victoria was then the longest-reigning British Monarch. It has since surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II as of 2015.

See alsoEdit

  • Gatekeepers (game show) – A 2010 Singaporean game show with gameplay format borrowed from Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, but was not part of the Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? franchise


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  2. ^ 2006-07 primetime wrap
  3. ^ "Episode AYS-109". Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?. Season 1. Episode 09. 2007-04-19. Fox Broadcasting Company.
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  9. ^ "Official website of the new show". TVA. 2008-03-05. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
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  27. ^ "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?". MNET — A Division of DStv. Archived from the original on 5 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  28. ^ "If You Know? Do not Lose G4!". BEC Tero Entertainment PCL. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  29. ^ "If You Know? Do not Lose G4!". BEC Tero Entertainment PCL. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  30. ^ "Edmonds strikes kids quiz TV deal". BBC. 2007-05-24.
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  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2015-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit