Take the Quiz: What We Don't Know

Newsweek, April 4, 2011 | Go to article overview

Take the Quiz: What We Don't Know


The U.S. citizenship test is composed of 100 questions across five categories: American government, systems of government, rights and responsibilities, American history, and integrated civics. In the actual test, 10 questions from the 100 are chosen randomly. To pass, the test taker must get at least six right. NEWSWEEK gave the test to 1,000 people. Beyond the topline results--62 percent of Americans passed, 38 percent failed--even the easiest questions generated a worrisome number of incorrect answers.

1. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

67% correct

33% incorrect

2. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

35% correct

65% incorrect

3. Who was president during World War I?

20% correct

80% incorrect

4. Who did the United States fight in World War II?

60% correct

40% incorrect

5. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

14% correct

86% incorrect

6. When must all men register for Selective Service?

83% correct

17% incorrect

7. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?

27% correct

73% incorrect

8. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

41% correct

59% incorrect

9. What did Martin Luther King Jr. do?

77% correct

23% incorrect

10. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

73% correct

27% incorrect

11. We elect a U.S. senator for how many years?

39% correct

61% incorrect

12. If both the president and the vice president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

58% correct

42% incorrect

13. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

19% correct

81% incorrect

14. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

37% correct

63% incorrect

15. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?

57% correct

43% incorrect

16. …

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