Test your American civics knowledge. The test contains 33 questions about America’s founding principles, political history, international relations, and market economy – the basics about the systems all Americans participate in every day.
For the last three years, the ISI (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) has conducted their American Civic Literacy Program study to see whether people have a grasp of basic knowledge required to be an informed citizen (the 2008 study is finished, you can take the quiz for fun by clicking the link above).
For three straight years the results have shown that Americans are alarmingly uninformed about our Constitution, the basic functions of our government, the key texts of our national history, and economic principles. Seventy-one percent of Americans fail this test (score 59% or less), which is really, really sad. Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government. The study has also consistently shown that college educated participants and elected officials fail the majority of the time.
Most Americans would probably agree that it’s pretty damn important for high schools and colleges to be teaching our future leaders about America’s history, key documents and institutions, but evidently this isn’t happening in an effective way. This is a sad commentary on our education system, including colleges and universities.
The findings and survey methods are described on the website.