Ready For A Little Test?

Conservative author and commentator William F....

Conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A classmate of mine recently sent me a link to an interesting and fairly short “civic literacy” test. It is sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a conservative educational non-profit organization founded by, among others, William F. Buckley. It’s only 33 questions, so it doesn’t take long. I found it to be good brain food and a nice review, especially timely for this contentious political year.  Helpfully, it will not only tell you your score at the end but show your wrong answers with the right ones.

The Institute says this about the test:

Full Civic Literacy Exam (from our 2008 survey)

Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

Take the test HERE.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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7 Responses to Ready For A Little Test?

  1. PiedType says:

    How unsettling to see that elected officials scored lower than the general public on this quiz! (officials scored higher on only 4 of the questions). As if I weren’t depressed enough about our government.


  2. Jim,

    I missed only the last question, which I find a little ambiguous:

    Question:If taxes equal government spending, then:

    My answer: government debt is zero
    Correct Answer: tax per person equals government spending per person on average

    Now, to be picky, the term “debt” can refer to long-term (past years included) or short-term (current taxes and spending) and since there is no time period specified, one might assume the question is to be interpreted strictly as written without considering past borrowing or interest on past debt. And I have a problem with “averaging” out taxes in the way presented because it is misleading (and meaningless): some folks get money back they didn’t pay in to the treasury.

    But, then, what should we expect from conservatives!



    • Jim Wheeler says:

      I remember going through a similar thought process on that one, Duane. I eliminated the debt = 0 answer because I know that continuing treasury debt is a normal process without which the country couldn’t function.

      I missed 3 of the easier questions, which I will not reveal for pride’s sake. 🙄


  3. ansonburlingame says:

    I missed the same one that Duane did. In my view NONE of the answers were correct on that question. I also missed the “Government by the people…..” one. I answered the Constituion instead of GA. While I got the correct answer on the Federal Reserve, I only picked the one that I thought was “closest”. Actually, I believe the Dept of Treasury buys and sells U.S. securities, does is not?

    Wonder what the average score would be for all graduating seniors from JHS this year?



  4. Archon's Den says:

    Thanx for stopping by my site, and leaving a comment. Feel free to continue to do so at any time. I’m older than dirt, and almost as smart. There will probably be a fair amount of “good old days” reminiscing. I try to include a bit of humor and maybe a few eight-dollar words to help improve vocabularies, although yours is one of the highest quality sites that I’ve ever run into.


  5. Bruce says:

    Aced it. Had a little help from above, but I think I would have got it.


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