The ultimate class quiz

Warning: Those who fret about pointless social classifications should look away now

Last week, I and millions of other Britons wasted two minutes of office time by going to the BBC website and taking its class test. There were five questions, three of which concerned income and assets, one was about the occupations of your friends, and another on how you spend your leisure. Of the seven possible outcomes, I was, absurdly, judged to be the top one – a member of the elite. This will come as news to the neighbours in my street of terraced three-bedroomed houses, with converted front gardens where we park our second-hand cars.

So, I did it again, this time removing from my circle of friends the chief executive with whom I sometimes play golf, making my savings more modest than even they are, and pretending I spent my weekends at jazz clubs and gigs. And I found I had slipped a notch or two down the social scale to "middle-class technical", which, although a classification based on several lies, is probably more accurate.

It is all, of course, rather silly – class turned into a sort of parlour game, which is probably how most of us instinctively view the matter these days. Gone are the times, we think, when you could be asked by a public-school-educated colleague, as I was in 1981 when I first joined the staff of The Observer: "Oh, hello. And where do your people come from?" I was so stunned by this Bertie Woosterish question that I could only mumble that I lived in Croydon, which was not, I suspect, the locating point in the shires he was looking for.

We've outgrown class, haven't we? What with broadcasters no longer having to speak in the strangulated vowels of Edwardian country houses (as in "Ed-waar-dien", and the milk going "orf"), and the clothes you wear no longer announcing your income and background, class is a thing of the past, isn't it?

Well, in the sense of something you are born into and most likely will not escape, it has indeed died. In the sense that people are instantly judged by their background and accent, as they were generations ago, it's "gorn" for good.

It has been replaced by something more fluid and subtle. If you doubt that, take a sizeable step outside your usual social circles. If you were brought up, and still live, in modest circumstances, but like music, then splash out on tickets for Glyndebourne, and see how you react to the braying champagne picnics. If you were brought up in a large detached in the leafy suburbs, or went to public school, spend a week at Butlin's. This is not a matter of snobbery – inverted or otherwise – but of comfort zones. And that, probably, is what the thing we used to think of as class has now become.

Ciabatta or Mother's Pride? Ornamental grasses or bog-standard begonias?

Of such things are social divisions made – or are they? To find your true place in the world, ta ke this new IoS test, carefully crafted by our elite team of techno-labourers - David Randall, Matthew Bell and Simmy Richman

What class are you? Upper, middle, working, chattering, or, maybe, under? Are you a toff, chav, or pleb? A Sloane Ranger, Essex man, or Worcester woman? A yuppie or a dinky? Or do you belong to one of the novelty categories always being dreamed up by an organisation or sociologist in need of a little easy publicity? A twinky (two incomes, nanny and kids), perhaps; a woopie (well-off older person), a snag (sensitive new-age guy), or maybe even a pillock (paltry income lots of kids)? Last week, just to cause further confusion among the gullible, along came the BBC with yet more pigeon holes into which the socially anxious can place themselves.

Time for The Independent on Sunday to bring a little clarity to these matters. The only way to tell what class you are is to take this sophisticated test of social mores and habits devised by our socially varied staff.

What do you call the loo in your house?

a) Toilet

b) Lavatory

c) Bog

d) We don't mention such things

You move into a new home and want to improve the garden. What is the first thing you do?

a) Ask around for the name of a good landscape designer

b) Spend £2,000 on this year's must-have ornamental grasses and shrubs

c) Plant begonias and busy lizzies in neat rows

d) Ask the prison governor for permission to grow some vegetables

At the last wedding you attended, how did the invitation come?

a) On an embossed and gilded card

b) A card decorated with photos of the bride and groom on their holidays

c) By text message

d) Someone saw it on a Facebook page and Tweeted it

And the groom wore?

a) White tie and tails

b) A hired morning suit

c) A lounge suit

d) Back-to-front baseball cap

You fancy a cup of tea. Do you:

a) Take milk and three sugars

b) Prefer PG Tips to Tesco's own brand

c) Insist on a bone-china mug

d) Ring the bell for Carson

You wish to express an opinion on a story in the news. Do you:

a) Post a comment online signed broken-Brittan

b) Phone Radio Five Live from the van

c) Write a letter to The Times

d) Collar Dave at the point-to-point

A neighbour knocks on your door at night, explains that a family member is unwell, and asks for all noise to be kept to a minimum. Do you:

a) Not understand, the nearest house to yours being a mile away

b) Apologise profusely and say that the recording of early Baroque music will now be turned down

c) Tell him he's out of order, that you're within your rights, and then turn the Sky Movies Plus film you're watching up to full volume

d) Set your bull mastiffs on him

What do you think a dumb waiter is?

a) A small table on which drinks and small trays are placed

b) An orally disadvantaged service worker in a restaurant

c) One who doesn't know what today's specials are

d) Stupid Herbert working in café who deserves a good smacking

(For men) Do you think Pippa Middleton is:

a) Middle class and on-the-make

b) A bit posh

c) Way out of your league

d) Well-fit

(For women) Do you think Pippa Middleton is:

a) Middle class and on-the-make

b) Not as posh as she thinks she is

c) The party planner from hell

d) The kind of best-friend I wish I had

Your family cutlery is stamped with:

a) The family crest

b) Hallmarks

c) EPNS

d) "Property of Butlin's"

You work for the BBC, take its class test, and find you are neither 'elite' nor 'technical middle class'. Do you:

a) Shrug it off

b) Make a complaint to your department's anti-discrimination officer

c) Move to ITV

d) Seek professional counselling

You need a new car. Do you:

a) Ask around at the pub

b) Log on to eBay

c) Telephone your BMW dealer

d) Let your driver keep the old one

You are mentioned in the Society pages of a newspaper. This is because:

a) You are a case study in The Guardian

b) You placed a small ad in The Guardian

c) You announced your daughter's wedding in The Daily Telegraph

d) You let Tatler cover your fund-raiser

Your favourite bread is:

a) Ciabatta

b) Focaccia

c) Sourdough

d) Mother's Pride

Which of these phrases do you most frequently see on the packaging of the food you buy?

a) "Fortnum & Mason"

b) "As seen on TV!"

c) "2 for 1!"

d) "Reconstituted meat product"

Your knowledge of Italian is:

a) Based on the Domino's Pizza menu

b) Comprised mainly of footballers' names

c) Much improved since you got the place in Puglia

d) Handy for Glyndebourne

Your conservatory is:

a) Leaking

b) The biggest in the Close

c) Featured in Amdega's latest ad

d) More of a lean-to

Your dog has:

a) An Asbo

b) Its own place on the settee

c) Weak back legs, as Labradors tend to do

d) Had a good season

Your favourite high-street eaterie is:

a) Carluccio's

b) Pizza Express

c) Angus Steak House

d) Ozzie's Kebabs

Do you have a regular…

a) ... organic vegetable delivery

b) ... colonic

c) ... spa-weekend break

d) ... argument with your spouse

Now check your scores...

How to score:

All (a) answers are worth 10 points; (b) 5; (c) 2; and (d) 0.

So what class are you?

35-50 points Middle class

25-34 Middle class

15-24 Middle class

5-14 Middle class

Fewer than 4 Middle class

Well, as a reader of this newspaper, what else did you expect?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links