Gormless candidates flunk civics test

I’m disgusted – but not altogether surprised – to learn that many candidates for election don’t know very much about the nation they want to help (?) govern.

US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

“It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI’s civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned,” said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI.

“How can political leaders make informed decisions if they don’t understand the American experience?” he added.

The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.

I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Bunting! Perhaps it should be mandatory for candidates to pass this test before they qualify to stand for election.

If you’re interested, you can take the test here. I’m an immigrant, and never studied US civics in school at all, but I still answered 32 questions out of 33 correctly, for a score of 96.97%. Come on, readers – particularly US-born readers – beat that!

Peter

8 comments

  1. Well, I’ve lived here all fifteen years of my life. I’m a freshman in high school, and I’ve never taken Economics or Government. (I was more or less guessing on the economy questions.) I scored 84.85%. I got 28 of 33 questions correct. This kinda scares me.

  2. You answered 26 out of 33 correctly — 78.79 %

    Average score for this quiz during November: 78.1%

    Average score: 78.1%

    Answers to Your Missed Questions:

    Question #4 – B. Would slavery be allowed to expand to new territories?

    Question #8 – C. appoint additional Supreme Court justices who shared his views

    Question #13 – E. certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason

    Question #26 – C. revenue minus expenses

    Question #27 – A. the price system utilizes more local knowledge of means and ends

    Question #31 – A. an increase in a nation’s productivity

    Question #33 – D. tax per person equals government spending per person

    ***********

    To be fair it is early in the morning, I have not had my coffee and I am NOT a morning person…lol.

    It’s been a long time since I was in school too and a great deal of water has flowed under that bridge. A high C is not overly bad I suppose…I should have done better. Changed a few answers that were right I see….guess the old “stick with your first gut feeling” is still a good saying.

    But man…49% and 44%….yeesh…

  3. You answered 28 out of 33 correctly — 84.85 %

    Average score for this quiz during November: 78.1%
    Average score: 78.1%

    Answers to Your Missed Questions:

    Question #7 – D. Gettysburg Address
    Question #10 – C. Religion
    Question #13 – E. certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason
    Question #15 – E. Thomas Jefferson’s letters
    Question #33 – D. tax per person equals government spending per person

    I’ll plead no coffee….and need to stop second guessing myself.

  4. I got 90.8 percent. How I marked “Great Society” instead of “New Deal,” I’ve no idea. The other two misses were honest holes in my knowledge.

    So, can we finally dispense with the idea that Elected Officials are smarter than us?

  5. To my great surprise, I got all 33 (I had to guess on a couple, but I guessed right). Yes, passing a test like this should be a requirement before anyone can register to run for office. Re-passing it for each election should also be required.

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