Survey: A Third of Americans Flunk Citizenship Test

Do you know when the Declaration of Independence was adopted? Can you name just three of the thirteen original colonies? If a president can no longer serve, who takes his place? If you are unable to answer these questions, you’re not alone. A new survey has found that almost a third of Americans can’t answer them either!

The Daily Mail is reporting that a study conducted by Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, found that one in three respondents was unable to pass the civics portion of a test typically given to people who are applying for U.S. citizenship.

The survey polled more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 who were asked 10 random questions from the test which queries potential citizens about U.S. history and how our democracy operates.

Some of the questions included:

  • For how many years do we elect a President?
  • Who is the current president of the United States?
  • To what do we show loyalty when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
  • How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?

A whopping 35 percent could not achieve a passing grade of answering at least five questions correctly. Respondents struggled most with questions concerning the functions of the difference branches of government.

For instance, 75 percent could not say what the judicial branch of the government does.

Another 71 percent couldn’t name the U.S. constitution as the “law of the land” and 57 percent were unable to define what is meant by an amendment to the Constitution.

Those surveyed did the best on questions related to history and geography.

The citizenship exam is comprised of two sections, an English test and a civics test. According to U.S. News and World Report, 97 percent of immigrants who apply for citizenship pass the test.

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