American Students Take Citizenship Test. How Did They Score?


With the current immigration debate and some arguing that the current citizenship test should be harder to make immigrants assimilate faster, we asked some citizens who are in college to give the test a shot to see how they score.  Students from Black Hawk College, St. Ambrose University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago were given a sample set of questions that are on the current immigration test.The questions ranged from the colors of the flag of the United States to more complicated questions like naming
the thirteen original colonies, which I, a political science major who has studied government a good portion of my life, don’t even know.Eric Anderson, a Kinesiology (physical education) major at St. Ambrose University missed 29 questions total out of a possible 100. He missed the question that asked what color are the stripes in the U.S. flag. He answered red. The correct answer is red and white.Anderson also missed the question about what the stripes on the flag represented and one that many in the general public may not know: who elects the president of the United States? He answered the people but the correct answer is the Electoral College.Robert Bounds, a Computer Science major at Black Hawk College lives in Ill. and was not able to name the two senators from his state who just happen to be Richard Durbin and Barack Obama. Anderson could only name Obama.
Neither student was able to name the head of the local government meaning the mayor of their hometown, the city of Moline, who is Mayor Donald Welveart.
Ian Brown, a Theater major at the University of Illinois-Chicago did a little bit better but was not able to say when the Constitution was written.
“My gut tells me 1789.” Brown said.
The correct answer is 1787 which was missed by all three college students.
“I was two years late.” He said.
The questions have been taught to these students over the course of twelve years or more of civics, government, and social studies. Yet Eric Anderson said that the questions were tricky because a word was changed from a question earlier in the test.
“This is elementary to me and I can’t even remember it,” Anderson said.
The question on the thirteen original colonies was answered in a wide variety of ways but for those keeping score, the three students surveyed, and for that matter myself, got this question wrong.
The thirteen original colonies happen to be: Conn., N.H., N.Y., N.J., Mass., Pa., Del., Va., N.C., S.C., Ga., R.I., and Md.
The general public as well as these students, Eric Anderson and Rob Bounds, missed the question on who has the right to declare war. Both said the president but it is actually Congress that has the power to declare war.
Another question asks the type of government that the United States has. Most people would answer a democracy but the correct answer is a republic. We do not elect the president but we elect the electors who elect the president, therefore it is a republic. This is true even today.
“I was taught wrong in elementary school,” Eric Anderson said with regards to the question. A question of note especially for today is: whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? The answer is EVERYONE living in the United States.

Facebook Comments