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How much do you know about American Civics? Could you pass the exam?

Sarah's picture

Working for the State of Texas in the area of public health I learned that you can in fact pick up valuable knowledge in online courses -- and get a really good idea of what you need to brush up on periodically. Hence my intrigue with "Our Fading Heritage."

I challenge you all:
take the Civics Test at this site, and then take a look at the results recently. Compare your score to the most recent national averages if you'd like, and come back and discuss your results here.
We can't know where we want to go unless we're clear on where we started,

and where we are now.

No, I didn't score 100%. I did score 93+%.

We need to be familiar with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Not just for lawyerly purposes, but for reasons of citizenship and, in spite of our incoming government as well as our present one, to defend ourselves against the encroachments of tyranny.

Tyranny is at its basest when it promises safety, for safety is the one thing no government can guarantee.

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caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

I scored 93.94%. I need to brush up on my accounting terminology. The shocking thing to me is that all three of us scored much higher than the average. That does not forebode well for the future of the republic.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Wow, I did a lot worse than I expected. I got an 81.82% meaning I got 6 incorrect. Of the six I got incorrect, half of them were on economics (never my strong suit in school). One of those, though, I chalk up to dyslexia (i.e. the "decreasing taxes and increasing spending" answer), and another I chalk up to a different view of economics (i.e. "an increase in a nation’s productivity). The other three I have absolutely no excuses for, and they were history questions I should have known.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...I would considering I haven't had a civics course since middle school. 93.94 % for me. I missed 2 questions: Q. #7 (which I feel really, really, dumb for missing) and Q. #33 (which after rereading the question, I also feel dumb for missing).

I did want to say though on some of the economic questions... I found them incredibly biased towards 'conservative' ideology. I understand that the Austrian School has become 'conventional wisdom' for a great number of people including some of our fellow democrats but still. Also, though we operate under a capitalistic system it's not a fairy tale free market nor is our economic system in general or current persuasion a set in stone pillar of government.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Too many of the questions insisted upon themselves, more opinion than legitimate questions for a test.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...q's especially took conservative answers for the correct ones. I had to intentionally answer what I felt was 'incorrect' in order to get a 'correct' answer on a few of them because I knew that's what they wanted. Nevermind that I not only believe their 'correct' answer to be wrong but also think (and I think most economists will admit) that there aren't any absolute 'truths/answers' in economics.

Still, despite my griping, it was fun. :)

semidi's picture
Submitted by semidi on

Answered 29 out of 33 correctly, missing questions 4, 7, 30, and 33. Average score for November is 77.6%.

This makes me feel slightly better about my blog's reading level being given a "high school" rating.

Then again, maybe I should be happy that it was THAT high...

Submitted by jawbone on

on the one I missed. However, since I am an econ dummie, I may be wrong about the one I consider their answer to be consider.


But, as noted, one had to think like the Heritage Foundation in order to get mostly "correct" numbers. A situation where "right" was often "rightward."

The factual questions--basically no problems. Unless one overthought the questions and asnwers! Where interpretation was involved, definitely leaned rigtht.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

When Joe Cannon posted it on Friday, the average was only 60~%.

I too missed a lot of the econ ones, because of the rightward slant, and only scored an 89%.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

31 out of 33. I missed #10, for which I have no excuse -- I checked due process instead of religion without thinking about it, perhaps I was ranking them by my own criteria of importance.

I also missed #29, about levees, but I object to the wording of the answers. The only possible answers were b and e, both of which suggest that the government pays for their construction, not the citizens -- which is of course not true, we pay for everything. I should have paid more attention to the use of the word 'directly' in answer b, which made the important distinction that we pay for it at all.

No excuses though, should have gotten them all right. I am intrigued by the dramatic shift in the average -- I wonder what were the referring websites for the quiz before it got noticed by the political blogosphere.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it was the economic questions that really killed me -- got all these wrong, i guess. (i still think i was definitely right on the "public good" one tho)

Question #27 - A. the price system utilizes more local knowledge of means and ends
Question #29 - B. a resident can benefit from it without directly paying for it
Question #30 - C. decreasing taxes and increasing spending
Question #31 - A. an increase in a nation’s productivity
Question #33 - D. tax per person equals government spending per person

i really don't like their "correct" answers on why capitalism is better, and the public good one, and the recession one, or that one on revenue equaling spending either.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's unnecessary, and it's not hard at all to phrase Qs and As without bias when constructing a test.

that some of these questions were so evidently biased economically -- yet the test was supposed to be about "civics" (which is not capitalist at all, or dependent on favoring one economic system over another in any form) -- shows that their concerns are not simply literacy, but propaganda--and whether our educational institutions are skewing their curriculums towards their desired view.