View Poll Results: What was your grade?

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  • A, Hurray for USA

    5 38.46%
  • B, Good Job

    5 38.46%
  • C, Ok

    3 23.08%
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Thread: US Civics Quiz

  1. #1
    Senior Member Morning Wolf's Avatar
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    US Civics Quiz

    Recently the Intercollegiate Studies Institute did a quiz of random Americans on their knowledge of basic homeland civics, and found that most failed, the average was fifty something percent. It's disturbing . You can take it here: http://www.americancivicliteracy.org...rces/quiz.aspx and also see a more detailed analysis of the results.

    I got a B plus, but I wanted an A as a student of American politics, so I'm memorizing the Gettysburg address as penance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rainman's Avatar
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    I scored %75.76 below average of %78. Much of it seemed like meaningless historical details. I really don't care what platform lincoln was running for president on. Nor concerned about what Roosevelt said to Congress in 1935 regarding the new deal lol. I'd say that's why most people score low on it, is that unless this is your specialty it doesn't seem relevant. With history I tend to just remember the details rather than specific names and dates for example. Like I know what the New Deal is but don't much care for what Roosevelt had for breakfast the day he thought it up. Or I know what lincoln stood for and the civil war, I don't really care what he said in the gettysburg address or who he debated with on it.

    I think that is one of the problems with our education system. It is geared towards being a parrot who memorizes seemingly arbitrary facts and parrots it back without a real understanding or analytical ability towards the information. It also disproportinately favors women who are inherently better at tedious details and less good at analysis and drawing conclusions. (Yes studies have shown this. Women respond better to lectures where they are passive participants- which is how schools are taught. And men better at debates where they are active participants. In all ways schools are biased towards the woman and the minority. This would seem to be one reason Colleges are majority women now. And also why our work force is increasingly incapable of responding to problems involving critical thinking. They've all been taught to memorize their whole lives.

    Another thing I noticed is I usually don't do real great on tests involving new information we learned last week. I guess because I don't study enough or whatever. But then we get tested on it a year later and I tend to score higher than everyone else. Because people usually just memorize something long enough to take a test then forget it, without any real understanding or taking anything away from it.

    The other thing is on these tests half the information I don't know but score it right. Simply by picking out the most reasonable answer on a multiple choice question. I probably would have scored a %20 (and most others) if I had to actually state the answers rather than pick one when usually half the choices are absurd and you can deduce which one is rational. At least that involves thinking skills though. Problem is it almost nullifies the point of "learning" something if you don't really have to know it to pass a test on it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Patrioten's Avatar
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    You answered 28 out of 33 correctly — 84.85 %
    Yay .

    Got these ones wrong:

    Question #4
    Question #8
    Question #13
    Question #14
    Question #33

  4. #4
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    You answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 %
    Am I a US citizen now? Oh, I forgot the oath of allegiance:

    "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

    Andalé!

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    You answered 26 out of 33 correctly — 78.79 %
    Woohoo! I'm not even a Merican. What's the breakdown for As and Bs and so on?

    Some of them were rather similar to the style of question you'd've been asked in the Moskovsky Institut Marksizma-Leninizma in so far as they wanted the 'officially approved' answer. Like Rainman says with the parrot learning.

  6. #6
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    You answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 %

    Ones I got wrong;

    Question #7 -
    Question #14 -
    Question #29 -

    Not bad, not bad at all!
    Close observation may result in feelings of horror, wonder and awe at world you find yourself inhabiting.

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    81.82 %

    Answers to Your Missed Questions:


    Question #7 - D. Gettysburg Address
    Question #13 - E. certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason
    Question #14 - B. stressed the sinfulness of all humanity
    Question #29 - B. a resident can benefit from it without directly paying for it
    Question #30 - C. decreasing taxes and increasing spending
    Question #31 - A. an increase in a nation’s productivity

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    You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %

    Answers to Your Missed Questions:
    Question #7 - D. Gettysburg Address
    Question #29 - B. a resident can benefit from it without directly paying for it



    I would have scored 100% if I had studied for it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Morning Wolf's Avatar
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    The grading is the standard 10% system (80-89.9 is a B etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by rainman View Post
    I think that is one of the problems with our education system. It is geared towards being a parrot who memorizes seemingly arbitrary facts and parrots it back without a real understanding or analytical ability towards the information. It also disproportinately favors women who are inherently better at tedious details and less good at analysis and drawing conclusions. (Yes studies have shown this. Women respond better to lectures where they are passive participants- which is how schools are taught. And men better at debates where they are active participants. In all ways schools are biased towards the woman and the minority. This would seem to be one reason Colleges are majority women now. And also why our work force is increasingly incapable of responding to problems involving critical thinking. They've all been taught to memorize their whole lives.
    Well I didn't get all the little details right on the quiz, and I agree that analysis is important, but memorization and analysis in my opinion are two sides of the same coin, facts are useless unless applied, and analysis is useless without factual evidence. Thought and Memory (Hugin and Mugin) are Odin's pet ravens, so it would seem as though our ancestors had similar views.

    In the 'olden days' memorization was important as it was usually how history was kept alive. There might be encyclopedias and the internet now, but I still think that memorization of some basic information regarding ones homeland is reasonable and desirable. I'm not holding anything against anyone here based on how well they did, but a lot of the nonAmericans on Skadi could out do most of the American general public on it. A country needs to understand where they come from in order to continue growing.

  10. #10
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    Government officials are even dumber than the average citizen!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081120...ucationoffbeat

    US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

    Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct
    on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

    "It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI's civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned," said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI.

    "How can political leaders make informed decisions if they don't understand the American experience?" he added.

    The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.

    Among the questions asked of some 2,500 people who were randomly selected to take the test, including "self-identified elected officials," was one which asked respondents to "name two countries that were our enemies during World War II."

    Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

    Forty percent of respondents, meanwhile, incorrectly believed that the US president has the power to declare war, while 54 percent correctly answered that that power rests with Congress.

    Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates."

    In fact, the system of choosing the US president via an indirect electoral college vote dates back some 220 years, to the US Constitution.

    The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents' basic understanding of economic principles, asking why "free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government's centralized planning?"

    Activities that dull Americans' civic knowledge include talking on the phone and watching movies or television -- even news shows and documentaries, ISI said.

    Meanwhile, civic knowledge is enhanced by discussing public affairs, taking part in civic activities and reading about current events and history, the group said.
    Contact Congress on immigration
    Contact Congress to reject banker bailout
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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