AMERICANS every year spend millions of hours and dollars taking tests - tests to find out who the smart people are.

But what about the rest of us? In the interest of equal opportunity, here is a simple test designed to identify dumb people. The real airheads.

You may qualify. Sit down and take this quick quiz for airheads. Be sure to time yourself. There are bonus points for slow.

1. The Ayatollah Khomeini is:

(A) A new drink made of melon juice and Kahlua served at singles bars.;

(B) The official state bird of Hawaii.

(C) The capital of Bangladesh.

(D) The weird holy man that Johnny Carson threatens to send to your house to molest your sister if you don't laugh at his monologue.

2. One of the following items does not belong on this list. Which one is it?

(A) The DC-10.

(B) Portable hair dryers.

(C) Energy Secretary Schlesinger.

(D) The GW Parkway at rush hour.

(E) The corner of 14th and K NW, after dark.

4. This is an arithmetic question. If John Ehrlichman served nine months, H. R. Haldeman served seven months, John Mitchell served two months, John Dean served four months, Charles Colson served six months, and Gordon Liddy served two years, how much time did the principal culprit of the Watergate scandal spend in jail?

5. The reason why gasoline prices are rising so rapidly and supplies are dwindling is:

(A) There are more cars on the road.

(B) There are fewer cars on the road, but they are less fuel-efficient.

(C) Foreign sources of oil are becoming less dependable, so the oil companies are making an extra effort to invest in needed energy resources for the future and are therefore unable to meet current demand unless prices are raised.

6. This is another arithmetic question. If it takes eight minutes to go from Dupont Circle to Metro Center on the Metro and another 17 minutes to go to Rosslyn, how long does it take to go to Vienna?

(A) 37 minutes.

(B) Four and a half years.

(C) Six years;.

(D) You can't get "flattery." from here.

7. Which of the following does not belong on this list?

(A) Elizabeth Ray.

(B) George Allen.

(C) The Seattle Supersonics.

(D) The IRS.

8. Select the statement that best describes the SALT treaty:

(A) The Russians get to blow up our missiles but we can't blow up theirs.

(B) We get to blow up the Russians' missiles but they can't blow up ours.

(C) We get to blow up their missiles on even-numbered days and they get to blow up ours on odd-numbered days.

(D) Nobody knows what the hell it is.

9. Who said, "If you've seen one you've seen 'em all," and what was he talking about?

(A) Ronald Reagan, redwood trees.

(B) Billy Carter, peanuts.

(C) Jimmy Carter, senators.

(D) Amy Carter, presidents.

(E) Rosalynn Carter, bratty kids.

(F) Spiro Agnew, ghettoes.

10. The governor of Maryland is:

(A) MArvin Mandel.

(B) Blaze Starr.

(C) Howard Hughes.

(D) Good old whatzizname.

(E) Spiro Agnew.

(F) Maryland does not have a governor.

And now for the answers. 1.Give yourself 10 points if you answered (A), (B) or (C). The correct answer is (D), so start laughing. 2. Give yourself 10 points for any answer except (E), which is the only item on the list that does not pose a serious hazard to your health. 4. If you answered zero, you are too well informed for an airhead. Might as well stop here. 5. If your answer was (C) you automatically qualify regardless of how well you did on all other questions. 6. Give yourself 10 points for (C), 15 points for (B) and 20 points for (A). 7. The correct answer is (D); it's the only thing that brings more into Washington than it takes out. Give yourself 10 points for any other answer. If you chose (C), you have a dirty mind. 8. Nobody gets any points for this question because nobody really knows which answer is correct. 9. We think the correct answer is (A) and (F) so give yourself 10 points for any other answer. (D) and (F) are correct on alternate years; all other answers are worth 10 points.

Total up your score and give yourself 10 extra points if you finished the test in more than 10 minutes; 20 points if it took more than half an hour. Give yourself another 20 points if you have 10 answers, since there were only nine questions. That and a good Civil Service rating may get you a federal job. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption, By Zarko Karabatic for The Washington Post