Can you answer, “What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?” How about, “What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?” These are two questions from the 2008 version of the citizenship test. Social media and media interviews have shown that some adults lack a basic understanding of civics knowledge. How can these adults engage productively in their community and in government with a limited understanding of civics?
By November 1, 2022, schools will be required to report to IDOE how many U.S. Government students took the naturalization exam, how many students earned 60% or higher on the exam, and the pass rate of students who participated. This information also has to published on the school website.
The students will take the 2020 version of the test. Although this test has 128 questions, students will only answer 20 of the questions. A score of 60% or higher will be considered passing the test. The test will be given orally. Failing the test will not cause the student to fail U.S. government.
It will be interesting to see how students do on this test and which civic learning gaps appear once the test is taken. What is clear is that students need to understand government and how it functions so they can be productive and active citizens in society.
If you would like to see if you understand the U.S. Government, click here to take the 2008 practice test.