How well do you know your civics?

How well do you know your civics?

How well do you know American civics: history, economics, politics? Take the Civic Literacy Report – Civics Quiz from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

I scored 90% or 54 out of 60 questions correct. (I missed a couple of easy ones, mainly through reading too quickly. On the other hand I took some educated guesses at others and got them right, so I guess it’s a wash.)

Just for comparison, the average score for the quiz on the web site is 70.2%. The quiz was developed to test college students’ knowledge of American civics and they didn’t do even as well. The average college senior scored a 54%, which is a failing grade in most places. The average Harvard University senior scored at 69% and the school was one of the best at improving the students’ knowledge between freshman and senior year. Even so, that’s Harvard; you’d expect them to do well and perhaps even better. Many schools did much worse.

Frankly, I’d expect kids to come into college with much of this knowledge already, but even so it’s disheartening to see how many leave college without it. On the other hand, I’d like to see what the average home-schooled college freshman scores on it.

So how did you do?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
22 comments
  • I scored 86.67%, 52 out of 60.  My biggest hit was on some of the economic questions.  Still, I don’t feel too bad about that, seeing as I did so much better than the average Harvard senior. wink

  • Thanks for reminding me of this. I got three wrong when I took it (95%), I think. I’m happy to report that both my father and brother scored higher than the average Harvard Senior.

    I wasn’t homeschooled—went to a private Catholic high school and a formerly Catholic university. But I have to say, I picked up a lot of this stuff on my own and just reading Free Republic every day. Go figure.

  • 83.3% with a couple of dumb clicks included (with educated guesses too).

    Not too bad for a PhD in Engineering.

  • To my great astonishment, I scored 86.67%. Not bad for someone who never went to college. I graduated from a Catholic HS in 1966. I’m glad that a lot of what I learned has stuck. I definitely feel the need to brush up on this stuff, though.

  • I have yet to take it, but I’d just like to mention that I think before people are given the privilege to vote in this country, I think they should be required to pass a basic civics test.  If you can’t do that, you’re not intelligent enough to decide who our leaders will be.

  • Formerly homeschooled college freshman dutifully reporting: 75%. Owwie. I felt better, though, after I saw that I was several points above every. single. senior. in the survey. Give me three and a half years and I’ll own this test.

  • I’ve now taken it.  85% Not impressive.  I was surprised by the number of philosophical questions.

  • 75%…ouch…I wasn’t homeschooled, but I am homeschooling my children, and I look forward to giving us ALL a better civics education than I received!

  • 59/60. Tripped up on the effect of a purchase of bonds by the Federal Reserve.  I was a Harvard senior once and probably wouldn’t have gotten it right then either.

  • While taking the test, I couldn’t decide whether it was rigged to trick liberals, or whether liberals just don’t have a very good grasp of civics.

  • 75%! 🙁  Well I always was a C+/B- student, even with my college education! Had I gone with my first answers on three of the questions, I would have got them right.

  • I got 59 right … the one I missed being the same one that “MTM” missed about the effects of Fed bond purchases. And I was *never* a Harvard senior (though a senior who applied to Harvard … THAT I was).

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