Friday, April 9

I Don't Remember Squat

In this case, the dummy being ME. Sometimes, when I think about the amount of money that was spent on my college education... preparing for my college education, the actual education, and repeating some of said college education (What can I say, Algebra just had a way of bringing out the worst in me)...

... when I think about that amount, I make myself feel less guilty, by telling myself it was really "all about the life lessons learned". Like, I know how to prepare dozens of delicious meals out of Ramen noodles, I can make a pair of jeans last weeks between washings, and I know when it is absolutely necessary to force myself to vomit.

And those are the kind of things I focus on, especially when I read about this study on colleges students' "basic understanding of America's core history... [and] the results aren't pretty."

Ugh. Well, the article on this story at AOL had this little 7 question version... stuff that I'm pretty sure was covered in US History I back in high school... and I miraculously managed a 6 out of 7. And yes, I sweated profusely the entire time. And before you think me some genius, you should know that when I checked the answers, I must've said "Wow, lucky guess" approximately 6 times.

OK, so you try:

1. Which of the following are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence?

a. life, liberty, and property

b. honor, liberty, and peace

c. liberty, health, and community

d. life, respect, and equal protection

e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

2. Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military?

a. Secretary of the army

b. Secretary of state

c. President

d. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

3. Which of the following is a policy tool of the Federal Reserve?

a. raising or lowering income taxes

b. increasing or decreasing unemployment benefits

c. buying or selling government securities

d. increasing or decreasing government spending

4. In 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a series of government programs that became known as:

a. the Great Society

b. the Square Deal

c. the New Deal

d. the New Frontier

e. supply-side economics

5. Susan B. Anthony was a leader of the movement to

a. guarantee women the right to vote in national elections

b. guarantee former slaves the right to vote

c. ensure that harsher laws against criminals were passed

d. reduce the authority of the Constitution of the United States

6. What are the three branches of government?

a. executive, legislative, judicial

b. executive, legislative, military

c. bureaucratic, military, industry

d. federal, state, local

Assuming Lincoln had an unlimited text plan...
7. What was the main issue in the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858?

a. Is slavery morally wrong?

b. Would slavery be allowed to expand to new territories?

c. Do Southern states have the constitutional right to leave the union?

d. Are free African Americans citizens of the United States?

Check Your Answers & Find Out Just How Stupid You Are:

1 E. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

2 C. president

3 C. buying or selling government securities

4 C. the New Deal

5 A. guarantee women the right to vote in national elections

6 A. executive, legislative, judicial

7 B. Would slavery be allowed to expand to new territories?

And if you think you can handle the stress of taking a larger scale version of this same test, it's here at the American Civic Literacy's website, and the answers are available here


  1. WOW, I'm really dumb.

    need to get this book.

  2. There is a typo in your answers section. It reads "2 A. president." It should read "2 C. president."

  3. Glad to see I'm not an idiot and knew all the answers.