Initiative tests Americans’ history knowledge

An American flag waves in the wind outside of City Hall in Valencia. Katharine Lotze/Signal

It seems not all United States citizens could pass a citizenship test if they had to, according to the Joe Foss Institute.

Using a bank of 100 U.S. history questions, Americans were asked to take a quiz similar to the one immigrants would take when applying for citizenship.

The Joe Foss Institute’s Civics Education Initiative encourages high schools to implement a civics test. So far, 23 states have adopted the test, but California is not one of them.

Questions range from “How many amendments have been made to the Constitution?” to “Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?” and test takers must answer six out of 10 correctly to pass.

Of the 2,000 Americans who took the test, 69 percent passed, the institute cited.

Of those seeking citizenship, an average of 91 percent of those who take the real test pass, according to September 2016 data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On the other hand, only 49.6 percent of Americans who responded to the practice quiz knew that Vermont was not one of the original 13 states.

Though, 92.5 percent of respondents knew that George Washington was the father of the country.

Californians who have taken the test got an average of 7.43 out of 10, ranking the state sixth in the nation overall.

The Golden State follows behind South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Virginia and South Carolina, respectively, among those who scored best on the test.

Nationwide, scores on the test improved with older age groups. While respondents 25 to 34 scored an average of 6.61, those 65 or older scored an average of 7.38.

You can take the quiz below.


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