Most of us would fail the US citizenship test, finds new research.
An overwhelming majority of Americans have no clue about their history or civic culture, with only 36 percent of natives able to pass the US Citizenship Civics Test taken by foreigners, a new study has shown.
Surprisingly enough, those born with the inherent right to be called Americans failed to answer even the basic questions about their history and culture, a national survey released by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation revealed.
There are 100 civics questions on the naturalization test, which immigrants must answer to gain US citizenship. Candidates are asked 10 questions from the entire list, and are required to answer six of them correctly in order to become eligible for a US passport.
Just one-in-three Americans passed the multiple choice exam that is undertaken by foreigners. Shockingly, 87 percent of respondents did not know that the US Constitution was ratified in 1787, while 60 percent of respondents couldn’t identify which countries fought in World War II against the US and its allies.
While many Americans aren’t shy when it comes to expressing their opinion regarding the controversy surrounding US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, only 43 percent knew the actual number of justices (nine) that protect the nation’s constitution.
Some 72 percent failed to correctly identify the 13 original states from a list of options offered to them in the multiple-choice questions.
The problem with basic civic knowledge seems to be more acute for those aged 45 and under, with only 19 percent passing the mock test. Those 65 years and older, however, managed to answer the questions with 74-percent success rate.
While the results might seem surprising to some, the US public education system lags behind most developing nations. According to the 2015 International Student Assessment (PISA), which was conducted to measure pupils’ reading ability, as well as math and science literacy, the US ranked 38th out of 71 countries that opt to take the exam every three years.
“Unfortunately, this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the US Citizenship Test,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said.
“It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment. Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today.”