Could you pass the citizenship test?

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By Jeff Moreland

Landmark News Servic


We all like to think of ourselves as patriotic and good American citizens.

When they play the national anthem at a sporting event, we stand up and remove our hats. When we say The Pledge of Allegiance, we put our hands over our hearts. We've always done these things because we were taught as children they are the proper thing to do, and they are ways to show respect for our nation and its treasured symbols.

Leading up to the July 4 holiday, I found myself thinking about what it means to be a citizen, and how people who are not citizens, but have to work to become one, must treasure their citizenship.

I often see in the news where a famous athlete who is not a U.S. citizen completes the process and passes the citizenship test. It makes me think about what is on that test, and how I might do if I had to take it.

After a little wondering, and a little more research, I was able to find a sample U.S. citizenship test, and I decided to take it and see how I'd do.

I scrolled down the list and thought to myself, "Who doesn't know this stuff?" Some of the questions looked easy, and I knew them right away. As I continued, I realized they weren't as easy as I had thought, and my mind raced back to American History class, searching for answers to complete the test and score as well as possible. After all, I was born a citizen, and I honestly have to admit I probably take my rights as a citizen for granted sometimes. The least I could do was call back to mind some of the material I had learned in high school and college years ago.

When I had finished, I clicked on the link to get my score and waited as the results processed.

Finally, my test was graded and I had my score. It wasn't great, but as long as it had been since I studied some of the issues about which I was tested, I didn't think I did too badly. I scored an 86 percent, and realized how much fun I had taking this little sample test. I knew at that moment I had to share it and let you folks see how you would do on the same test. I've listed 30 questions here, and the answers are upside down at the bottom of this page, so you can check your own score. Hey, don't peek!

If you'd rather take the test online, visit http://tinyurl.com/3vd5eeh on the Internet. This is a shortened link, and will take you directly to the test. Once there, select your state, because some questions are specific to your state. Also, you can answer anywhere from five questions, all the way up to 50! I've given you 30 here due to space limitations, and you have to score 60 percent to pass. Good luck!


1) Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? 

A. the President

B. the Speaker of the House of Representatives

C. the Secretary of State

D. the Vice President


2) Why do some states have more Representatives than other states? 

A. because they have more rich people

B. because they are larger by land area

C. because they are larger by land and water area

D. because they have more people


3) How many justices are on the Supreme Court? 

A. 10

B. 8

C. 9

D. 7


4) What is freedom of religion? 

A. You must practice at least a religion of your choice.

B. You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

C. It is a freedom to stay in any region of the United States.

D. Your family members can practice any religion, but it must be the same religion.


5) During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States? 

A. Capitalism

B. Economics issues

C. Socialism

D. Communism


6) What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful? 

A. election of the President every 4 years

B. establishment of the police and army

C. checks and balances

D. reduction in the number of government employees


7) The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers. 

A. Alexander Hilberton

B. John Jay

C. James Boshinoma

D. Jay Leno


8) Name two national U.S. holidays. 

A. Columbus Day and Freedom Day

B. Democracy Day and Labor Day

C. Lincoln Day and Thanksgiving Day

D. New Year's Day and Labor Day


9) Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States. 

A. Hudson River

B. Alaska River

C. Mississippi River

D. Arizona River


10) How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?

A. eighteen (18) and older

B. twenty (20) and older

C. twenty-one (21) and older

D. sixteen (16) and older


11) What is one reason colonists came to America? 

A. look for other cultural statements

B. look for the Great Canyon

C. escape persecution

D. hunt animals


12) What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens? 

A. serve on a jury

B. serve in the army

C. live and work in the United States

D. volunteer as a social worker


13) Who signs bills to become laws? 

A. the Speaker of the House of Representatives

B. the Vice President

C. the Secretary of State

D. the President


14) What is the highest court in the United States? 

A. the White House

B. the Supreme Court

C. the Congress

D. the federal government


15) There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them. 

A. A citizen of any race (can vote).

B. A female citizen of any race (can vote).

C. A male citizen of any race (can vote).

D. Citizens sixteen (16) and older (can vote).


16) Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s. 

A. Indian-American War

B. War of 1812

C. Gulf War

D. Canadian-American War


17) What did Susan B. Anthony do? 

A. fought for men's rights

B. fought for children's rights

C. fought for women's rights

D. fought for poor people's rights


18) The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words? 

A. The People We

B. We the People

C. The American People

D. We American People


19) Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s. 

A. Afghanistan War

B. Independence War

C. Civil War

D. World War II


20) Where is the Statue of Liberty? 

A. Hawaii Island

B. Los Angeles

C. Washington, D.C.

D. New York Harbor


21) What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now? 

A. Hillary Clinton

B. Joe Biden

C. Dick Cheney

D. Al Gore


22) What is the supreme law of the land? 

A. the Constitution

B. the federal law

C. the Declaration of Independence

D. the command of the president of United States


23) Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government? 

A. to create an army

B. to provide schooling and education

C. to provide safety such as fire departments

D. to provide protection such as police


24) What movement tried to end racial discrimination? 

A. Native Indian movement

B. Civil rights movement

C. Slave rights movement

D. Movement against Racism


25) What does the President's Cabinet do? 

A. advises the President

B. help with the presidential campaign

C. defenses the country

D. defines the laws


26) When must all men register for the Selective Service? 

A. at age sixteen (16)

B. between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

C. between sixteen (16) and twenty-six (26)

D. between twenty (20) and twenty-five (25)


27) What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for? 

A. published the code of the Constitution

B. invented the bulb

C. writer of "Poor Richard's Almanac"

D. started the first universities


28) If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? 

A. an election is held to vote for a new President

B. the President pro tempore of the Senate

C. the Speaker of the House of Representatives

D. the Commander in Chief of the military


29) Who are your state's U.S. Senators now?

A. Maria Cantwell and Rand Paul

B. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

C. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul

D. Patty Murray and Mitch McConnell


30) What did the Declaration of Independence do? 

A. defined the Constitution

B. announced the name of our country

C. declared our independence from other colonies

D. declared our independence from Great Britain



1. A

2. D

3. C

4. B

5. D

6. C

7. B

8. D

9. C

10. A

11. C

12. A

13. D

14. B

15. C

16. B

17. C

18. B

19. D

20. D

21. B

22. A

23. A

24. B

25. A

26. B

27. C

28. C

29. C

 30. D