You May Qualify to Be a U.S. Citizen!

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Take the test and find out. But beware: It looks like none of the answers to #16 is correct.

[Thanks to Mike Krause for the link.]

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  1. 95%. I got #19 wrong. Very technical question. Some of the questions are tricky. I wonder what the average american would get. I say most would have trouble cracking 50%.

  2. I got 90% – 18 out of 20. I got #16 right, but missed #19 – how should I know and I made a stupid mistake on #1 – misreading “stripes” as “stars.”

  3. I got 85% when I took it yesterday. I don’t remember exactly which ones I got wrong, but I know for sure I got the one about the 7th ammendment wrong. Guess that Con Law class I took years ago didn’t teach me a damn thing. πŸ˜‰

  4. Is this transcript inaccurate then? I guess the claim is that Writ made it up 40 years after the fact, but, from my limited reading, that’s not settled history , but rather speculation. Either way, it’s a great speech!

  5. 95%. Missed the question about the form.

  6. Aced it. That means nobody can take mah jurb, right?

  7. What’s funny is that I actually got the one about the form right…lucky guess.

    I suck. πŸ˜›

  8. 95%; the immigration form tripped me up.

    Anyway, if I scored any lower than that it would be pretty sad, given I was a Poli Sci major in college

  9. Isn’t Roberts the Chief Justice of the United States? That would make #2 incorrect as well.

  10. IIRC, “Taxation without representation is tyranny” was erroneously attributed to Patrick Henry until it was discovered that it was first said by James Otis.

    Is that the kind of thing that you were implying for #16?

    I got that one right, btw. I missed some of the technical ones.(85%)

  11. Twenty for twenty; I love taking tests!

  12. Only #19 wrong. I surprised myself! Going into it I was thinking, Uh Oh, this could be bad!

  13. 85%. Missed the voting rights question. Missed the number of reps in congress (was thinking senate). Missed the power to declare war.

    Not too shabby for a quick read at work.

  14. It would be very interesting, and probably very depressing, to see the results of giving this test to Congress, the Supreme Court, and occupants of the White House. I’ll bet a majority of members of Congress would answer that the President has the power to declare war.

  15. Anomaly alert…

    If the real test isn’t multiple choice, where do all those “Which of the following is not X?” questions come from? Kind of hard to do that without offering choices.

    19/20, by the way.

  16. 100%, although getting the immigration form correct was a lucky guess.

  17. I got everyone except for the one about the stupid INS form. What is the point of that one?

  18. I got 100%!

  19. I too got 100% (but I copied some from Akira’s paper)

  20. 85%. I said the Senate selects Justices since they approve them (kind of unfair to list the President and the Senate as dichotomous choices when both take part in the process). I had no idea on the voting rights amendments and guessed wrong. Ditto on the #19.

    Overall we all seem to have done very well (I think 85% is the lowest score so far . . . at least the lowest score anyone had the balls to admit to). But if this weren’t multiple choice I admit I wouldn’t have done as well. I’d say multiple a random selection of Americans would get maybe 40% right if the questions were administered as is. Probably more like 15% correct if they were administered open-ended.

    But when you get right down to it, who the hell cares if someone knows the answers or not? The fact that we function so well with a populace that would fail so miserably at that test indicates to me that it is pretty useless. Which to me argues that we should allow immigrants a sort of non-voting citizenship if they don’t want to jump through the ridiculous I-took-high-shcool-civ-or-equivalent hoops. Non-voting citizenship would give you every right of a citizen except the right to vote (i.e., all the ones the majority of Americans really bother to exercise).

    Come to think of it, we should probably offer a similar deal to citizens born in the States.

  21. I got everyone except for the one about the stupid INS form. What is the point of that one?

    I suppose if you were actually applying for citizenship you’d know what form to use.

    I only got it by guessing. But when you’re asked, “What INS form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?”, N-400 “Application for Naturalization” is a pretty good hint.

    I got the rest too, but I have to admit that I didn’t know that there were 27 amendments. I did know that there were more than the other numbers given.

  22. I got 100% as well, but the one about the number of Congresspeople is wrong; it says 435 is correct when it should be 535, the HOUSE has 435 and the SENATE (the two houses of CONGRESS) has 100; seems even the test-takers don’t know enough about these United States.

    Additionally, I thought it was strange about “who selects Supreme Court Justices” since it’s the President with the advice and consent of the Senate (as Bork found out); therefore there can be two right answers, I think.

  23. Issaac,

    I got the 27 one right by deduction. I knew there were more ammendments than all the numbers given except 27. I frankly wasn’t sure if it was 26 or 27 but I knew it was in the upper 20s which was good enough on a multiple choice test.

  24. I suspect that the form question is difficult for a citizen, but a freebie for the people actually taking the test. They probably have to complete that form before they are allowed to take the test.

  25. 85%. Woohoo, I’m eligable.

    Does anyone else think that this test is irrelevent? You should now the traffic laws to drive. You should know your rights, but I don’t think that that should be a pre-requisit. But is how many stripes on the flag really relevant to becoming a citizen?

  26. I got the 27 one right by deduction.

    Yeah, that’s what I did. My sentence was poorly written.

    I also forgot the voting rights one. I was pretty sure that the 7th didn’t refer to voting rights and the others did, but I was pretty much guessing.

  27. On the Supremes question, I figured the Prez selects, the Senate only approves the Prez’s selection. Bit of a red herring maybe, but still only one answer.

  28. Ayn Randian, you need to read the “435” question more closely. Here is the exact wording of the question:

    “How many representatives are there in Congress?”

    Senators are not “representatives” in this context.

  29. Virgin

    Likewise, how important is it to know the exact name of the immigration application form? Isn’t that what your immigration attorney is for ?

  30. Proctor: All right, here’s your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

    Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter–

    Proctor: Wait, wait… just say slavery.

    Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

  31. Oops, you’re right, SR…thanks though, in my attempt to prove you wrong, I actually read through the Constitution…something I never would’ve done without proper motivation.

  32. All correct — got lucky on the form question.

  33. My wife took the citizenship exam one or two years ago. It was a joke. They ask you to study all that technical hard stuff (and those questions are more difficult when it’s not multiple choice), but the actual exam consisted of the easiest possible questions, like what 3 colors are on the flag. Considering how protracted, complicated and expensive it is, the actual test at the end is a big joke.

  34. Considering how protracted, complicated and expensive it is,

    Oops, “it” being the process of becoming a citizen. Writing bad English I did.

  35. 19 out of 20! & I’m Canadian. Does this mean I get to visit?

    [I missed the one about voting rights. I confused the 18th Amendment (prohibition) with the 19th (enfranchisement of women). Considering recent elections in your country and mine, I think voting day is best spent in the bar.]

    The one about the INS form I got by deduction. The question says “What INS form is used to APPLY to become a naturalized citizen?” Only one of the forms mentioned is an application.

  36. Virgin

    Likewise, how important is it to know the exact name of the immigration application form? Isn’t that what your immigration attorney is for ?

  37. This Poli Sci major got a 95%. I missed the 7th Amendment thing, which is pretty sad considering that Con Law was one of my concentrations. Then again, there’s a reason I carried a pocket version of the Constitution.

  38. When I took this yesterday, 90%. Senate does appoint the Supreme Court Justices dammit!! Well, they approve or dissaprove of the President’s picks. Oh, and I blew the INS form.

  39. 90% πŸ™‚

    #19 was impossible and #14 was a trick question.

  40. Another 100% here. The full list of 96 questions that the INS makes available for studying is a little more interesting. Link here. I downloaded it last year for a friend who took his test last year and became a citizen.

  41. The voting rights amendment was tricky, but I realized that none of the bill of rights relate to voting. This test seems completely irrelevant to becoming a citizen.

  42. A more interesting question is which amendments have the supreme court decided they don’t like anymore so they won’t enforce them?

    I got 19/20 right by the way, i got too tricky on the damn form.

  43. I got 18. I got the form one right, but I missed the voting rights amendment and I misread the last one as the Declaration instead of the Bill of Rights. Ooops.

    When I was in 8th grade, they gave the citizenship exam to my whole US History clas at the end of the year. The top 5 scores were all immigrant children (including myself), however, children don’t take the exam so it’s not like we had already seen it. Incidentally, in AP US History, out of the 5 students that got 5 out of 5, 4 were naturalized citizens/perm residents and only one was a natural born citizen.

  44. 14 is not a trick question and does not have two answers. The Constitution is clear that the President selects federal judges. The Senate consents. If the question asked who selects the Treasury Secetary I don’t think many would argue the Senate, when its role is the same as with a federal judge.

  45. 100% —

    To all you who got less than perfect I say don’t fret — LOSERS!!!!!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAA

    Although I must admit, I thought there were 26 amendments….I forgot about the meaningless “Congressional Pay Amendment” (Cost of living doesn’t count as a pay raise??? WTF?)

  46. I got 90%. I missed the INS form one, and made a stupid mistake on another one that I won’t identify. Let’s just say that mixed up my Attorney General with my Chief Justice.

    A couple others were lucky guesses.

    Actually, I expected to do much worse, because I anticipated a lot more “Who is the current holder of such-and-such an office?”-type questions. I always do poorly on those.

    Actually, I consider it one of the defects of government (as a monopoly) that I should be expected to pay so much attention to specific personalities (except for a very few that I choose directly) within this massive organization that is supposed to provide me various services that I pay for.

    I mean, within the past few hours I’ve used the products and services of Sony, Chrysler, Coca Cola, Sloan, Xerox and several other organizations, and I don’t know the name of a single officer of any of those companies. Why should I have to?

  47. I got 100%! I admit I guessed on the one about the immigration form, but i figured since the question asked ‘which form is used to apply’ and the correct answer was called ‘application for naturalization’ πŸ˜‰

  48. With regard to the 19th Amendment, here’s a funny movie about petitioning female college students to end women’s suffrage.

  49. Make that “female high school students.” Sorry.

  50. 100% Sweet, I get to stay!

    Oh and totally OT (where is PL2??) Congrats to Oregon State’s Baseball team – 2006 NCAA National Champions! Go Beavs!

  51. 100%. And I didn’t look at the available choices when I answered — except, of course, for stupid #19.

    That method of answering even had me listing out the original 13 colonies before looking at the options. I was stuck at 12 until I remembered that the 13th was the lost colony of Earth.

  52. hmm religious freedom? thats a bit of an over simplification…but I digress.

    85% woot.

  53. #17 is incorrect. The Pilgrims did not come to America for religious freedom; they came here to create their “religious utopia” and (as anyone who has Bradford’s account of the “puritan” settlement of New England) they came to make money.

    The folks who came here for religious liberty were that virtue’s few practitioners in 17th century Europe – the Dutch.

  54. Oh, and #20 forgets the Ninth Amendment!

    Oh, and I got 100% on their very flawed quiz.

  55. 100% And I am not a citizen πŸ™‚ Been living here 7 years, though… as a student.

  56. 100% And I am not a citizen πŸ™‚ Been living here 7 years, though… as a student.

  57. 95%, missed #19, of course.

    The test took me roughly 3 minutes to complete.

    – Josh

  58. 17 is questionable and really wonder if Pres. Bush would get 18 right.

  59. The Pilgrims did not come to America for religious freedom; they came here to create their “religious utopia” and (as anyone who has Bradford’s account of the “puritan” settlement of New England) they came to make money.

    …they came for land.

  60. Rich Ard,

    To make money on the land. Hell, a lot of them thought that they would find gold.

  61. Surprised myself with 100%

    i disagree about the comment above about the puritans. reading the history generally rather than getting too anal about it, many of the first groups that settled the colonies, excepting places like new york that were principally trading entrepots, were here to practice religion unobstructed by regulation by the a ruling authority. I dont think niggling about the finer details changes that.

    #19 isnt at all “stupid” if you’re a non-citizen, obviously.

    JG

  62. GILMORE,

    …were here to practice religion unobstructed by regulation by the a ruling authority.

    Unobstructed by Church of England; not unobstructed by the ruling authorities they created. Gee, I wonder why, hmm, Rhode Island was founded? Keep in mind that the puritans were so hung up on themselves that they had to leave Holland because they couldn’t deal with such a place of religious toleration.

    No, the place where true religious toleration was founded was in the areas that the Dutch controlled. Puritan New England was not in favor of religious toleration; they were in favor of a theistic program run along what they considered the true religion. Or didn’t you get that out the “New Jerulasem” and “city upon a hill” language when you read Bradford’s history of the colony?

    …excepting places like new york that were principally trading entrepots…

    New Amsterdam was not primarily a trading entrepot, and neither was New York. There has been a dramatic re-evaluation of the colony over the past thirty years, and the prejudice against it by scholars of Virginia and New England has been pushed aside.

  63. GILMORE,

    …were here to practice religion unobstructed by regulation by the a ruling authority.

    Unobstructed by Church of England; not unobstructed by the ruling authorities they created. Gee, I wonder why, hmm, Rhode Island was founded? Keep in mind that the puritans were so hung up on themselves that they had to leave Holland because they couldn’t deal with such a place of religious toleration.

    No, the place where true religious toleration was founded was in the areas that the Dutch controlled. Puritan New England was not in favor of religious toleration; they were in favor of a theistic program run along what they considered the true religion. Or didn’t you get that out the “New Jerulasem” and “city upon a hill” language when you read Bradford’s history of the colony?

    …excepting places like new york that were principally trading entrepots…

    New Amsterdam was not primarily a trading entrepot, and neither was New York. There has been a dramatic re-evaluation of the colony over the past thirty years, and the prejudice against it by some of the scholars of Virginia and New England has been pushed aside.

  64. Scored 95%, and I’m a Canadian. (Which is also my excuse for not knowing anything about INS forms).

    Doubt I would have done nearly as well on a similar test of Canadian politics/history.

  65. Reporting scores is pretty pointless, as no one will be admitting they got anything lower than an 85% (yours truly) πŸ™‚

    Minor threadjack: This will probably ruffle a few feathers, but I think they should bring back some sort of poll test. People have to demonstrate a very basic understanding of civics and constitutional law before they are allowed to vote.

    Yeah, this would definitely drag down an already abysmal voter turnout, but let’s be honest. Even if it’s 5%, at least the people pulling the levers will know what the fuck they are doing.

    It would be so much better if our overlords didn’t have to waste time/money on pandering to the lowest common denominator (flag burning amendment comes to mind).

  66. Doubt I would have done nearly as well on a similar test of Canadian politics/history.

    That’s because it’s constantly changing. Forty years ago the greatest Canadian ever was Sir John A McDonald. Now it’s Keiffer Sutherland’s grandfather.

  67. Isaac:

    Are you nuts?

  68. 100%, and I’ve been out of the country 20 years now.

  69. Isaac:

    Are you nuts?

    Well, probably, yes. But I’m not sure how you got that from my post.

    A CBC poll a couple of years ago said that Canadians considered TC (Tommy) Douglas (Keiffer Sutherland’s grandfather) the greatest Canadian ever.

    Apparently the “father of Medicare” holds a place dearer in the hearts of most Canadians than the father of their country.

  70. I got a 90%
    The form question messed me up and the question about who declares war… which I think at this point in time the answer is very debatable.

  71. 100% for this Canuck. Guess the border guards will have to stop giving me a hard time when I go to Detroit Tigers games now.

  72. Phileleutherus Lipsiensis =

    Could you do me a favor and swallow this coal for me? I can make you a rich man.

    If new amsterdam, founded by the dutch west india company, was *not* a trading entrepot, then prey tell what was it exactly?

    *(I expect a handful of dimonds along with your reply)

    JG

  73. I thought that Keifer Sutherland is the greatest Canadian ever. He’s saved America from harm more times than I can count.

  74. Nice Guy:

    Yeah, sure, it’s pointless to report scores…hi-larious coming from someone who, ahem, couldn’t become a citizen if he had to ;->

    Seriously, tho, I got 95%. Woulda been 100, but I missed #10…because they worded it sneakily. B) should have read “The Number of States Currently In the Union”. I saw it, selected it, and went to the next one…knowing full well what the answer was. I’m surprised I got the “Which form” question, though.

    And, um, your little plan sounds nice, but Dumb/Ignorant Citizens are a strong special interest group. Never ever underestimate the power of ignorant fucks to get what they want. And you’re gonna start discriminating against dumbasses? Good luck…good luck.

  75. I did well, though if I had to come up with the answers on my own rather than pick answers out of a list I’d’ve scored far lower.

    Some of those questions seemed useless from a citizen’s perspective, though. Knowing what the Constitution contains and what limitations it puts on the government strikes me as far more important than knowing the exact date it was written.

  76. 100% only the form was in any doubt. If only we could revoke the citizenship of those who couldn’t pass.

  77. “Some of those questions seemed useless from a citizen’s perspective, though. Knowing what the Constitution contains and what limitations it puts on the government strikes me as far more important than knowing the exact date it was written.”

    Yes, but the people who wrote the test don’t know what the Constitution actually says, so….

  78. Almost forgot: 95%. Missed the stupid question about the INS form.

  79. You bunch of geeks!

    I got 70%. Then again, I am English but I don’t know shit about the UK either.

    The test for UK citizenship is awesome. It asks thing like:

    Q. If you spill someone’s drink in a pub should you:

    a) Apologise and offer to buy the individual another drink.
    b) Kick them in the nuts so hard they call out for their mummy.
    c) Refill the glass by confidently unzipping your trousers and urinating in the recepticle, right there, right then.
    d)Stab them in the eye with a coat hanger.

    Amazingly, I got 70% on that test too.

  80. Duh, 90%. I feel no shame in not knowing what form I would need to fill out to apply for naturalization. Not knowing the Bill of Rights well enough to get the voting rights question, though…

  81. The representatives question is still tricky. If it were capital-R Representatives, sure, but Senators are only lower case-r representatives, formerly of the state governments and now of the citizens of the state; kind of representatives-at-large. So by saying how many representatives are in Congress, 535 would be correct. If it were phrased “How many Representatives?,” then 435.

  82. Evan:

    I wrote that sentence poorly. I actually squeeked by with 85%.

    This place is a magnet for political geeks. For anyone to admit they got lower than 85% is like some Star Trek nerd who can’t name Spock’s half-brother.

  83. I would expect more from a citizenship test. Well, I would hope for more anyway. It is horrible how it is all boiled down to trivia with no context. I guess if that is good enough for the public schools, it should be good enough for citizenship.

  84. Ah man, I *only* got question 19 right. What’s going to happen to me?!

  85. MNG,
    Who is Sybok?
    And I will take Constituional trivia for $1000.

  86. GILMORE,

    If new amsterdam, founded by the dutch west india company, was *not* a trading entrepot, then prey tell what was it exactly?

    By the 1650s it was a thriving community based in part on Dutch ideas of tolerance. Anyway, if you had paraphrased me correctly you would have used the word “primarily” in your statement.

  87. Sweet. I got the low score of the day. 50% I dare anyone to top that.

  88. Given a government test, just be glad it didn’t involve acronyms. I.e. “What does FICA stand for?”

    95; despite knowing there isn’t anything about voting in the Bill of Rights.

    On a side note, it’s amazing how many elected officials I’ve heard orating about “the Constitutional Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

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