New Citizenship Test

This is a discussion on New Citizenship Test within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; The new test for prospective U.S. citizens was debuted in San Antonio yesterday. Below is the full story. [Click HERE to try the new test.] ...

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Thread: New Citizenship test

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    New Citizenship test

    The new test for prospective U.S. citizens was debuted in San Antonio yesterday. Below is the full story.
    [Click HERE to try the new test.]

    New citizenship test launched
    Web Posted: 02/16/2007 02:18 AM CST
    Hernán Rozemberg
    San Antonio Express-News Immigration Writer

    One after the other, Steve Lee rattled off the answers to a new — supposedly tougher — citizenship test as quickly as the immigration officer asked them.

    About 10 minutes and a firm handshake later, Lee, 23 , walked out knowing his days as a permanent resident were over. Welcome the next U.S. citizen, now merely waiting for his official swearing-in ceremony.

    “Man, that was pretty easy — easier than I thought,” Lee told adjudications officer Eric Holman . A senior at Texas Tech in Lubbock, his family moved from Hong Kong to San Antonio when he was 13 .

    Lee was among the dozens of immigrants who took their citizenship exam here Thursday, the first day the federal government rolled out its preliminary version of the new assessment, set to be finalized and made mandatory for all applicants next year.

    The government needs at least 6,000 volunteers — expected to take three to four months — before analyzing the results and coming up with a final version. San Antonio is one of 10 cities across the country where citizenship applicants are being given the choice to take the current or new test.

    Based on Thursday's results, the Alamo City seems to have remained immune to widespread fears that failure rates would skyrocket due to the increased difficulty of the new test.

    The final tally for the day: Of 75 people that took the test, 62 volunteered for the pilot and they all passed it, answering at least six of 10 civics and history questions as well as reading, writing and speaking sentences in English.

    In the revamped test, the civics portion received a facelift. The current version is based on a formulaic set of 100 questions with short, easy-to-memorize answers. The new exam demands more knowledge of U.S. history and the inner workings of the federal government.

    Though aware they could bypass the new test, applicants said they were amply prepared and confident they'd pass. They took it because of the challenge, plus they deemed it as a good deed for their adopted country.

    Lee, a civil engineering major, said his university studies had kept him busy and only had time to review the new test questions for a couple of hours Wednesday night. Apparently, that was plenty.

    Though at first he nervously fidgeted in his chair, Lee quickly stood firm as he correctly answered all 10 questions of the civics portion, from naming the current U.S. president and one of the writers of the U.S. Constitution to identifying the current majority political party in Congress.

    Leani Scholtz-Lott , of Austin, wasn't fazed at all when asked to name how many judges comprise the Supreme Court — nine — or which former U.S. World War II general became president: Dwight Eisenhower.

    Like Lee, she aced all parts of the test.

    Scholtz-Lott, 33 , a native of South Africa whose first language is Afrikaans , said she began studying for the older test but did not hesitate to sign up for the new version when she received a letter asking her to become a guinea pig for the government.

    She felt good about being able to be part of the study that will determine the way future citizens will be tested, she said.

    Most test takers on Thursday dismissed the notion that the government may be setting countless people up for failure with harder questions and a more standardized approach to the exam.

    Considering most permanent residents must wait five years before being able to apply for citizenship, that's plenty of time to learn some English and become acquainted with the basic functions of the government, said Hua Le , 36 , who arrived in San Antonio 12 years ago from Vietnam.

    “You have to read newspaper, know names of senator and representatives,” said Le, owner of a nail salon on the city's West side. “Hey, people can pass — I did.”

    One veteran civics teacher in San Antonio said advocates' concerns are blown out of proportion.

    Even older candidates with little education, likely the most vulnerable population, will not have much trouble as long as they study, said Aurora Sánchez , who has taught citizenship classes at the Margarita Huantes Learning Center on Guadalupe Street for two decades.

    And for those long-timers who always have had trouble picking up English, there's still the option to take the citizenship test in Spanish. The rule is only good for people that are least 50 years old and who have been permanent residents for 20 years or longer — a profile easily applicable to South Texas.

    Bottom line, said Sánchez, immigrants should accept the government's central argument for making the changes to the test at its face value.

    “Now they won't know just that there are 27 amendments to the Constitution,” she said. “They'll actually know what those amendments say and what they stand for.”

    Mass reaction to the revamped test remains to be seen, but what's for sure is that plenty of people will have to take it in the future if they want to become citizens. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services , there are around eight million permanent residents currently eligible to apply.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodc13 View Post
    And for those long-timers who always have had trouble picking up English, there's still the option to take the citizenship test in Spanish. The rule is only good for people that are least 50 years old and who have been permanent residents for 20 years or longer — a profile easily applicable to South Texas.
    This is the part that "frosts" me! And, it's not so much that "they" don't speak English.

    Why not test in Chinese or Greek, or any other language? Those LEGAL immigrants should have the same opportunity as the Spanish speaking ones. But they sure don't, can't take their drivers written in their native language unless it's Spanish either!!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    The current version is based on a formulaic set of 100 questions with short, easy-to-memorize answers.
    I did this test when I became a citizen, I had all 100 answers buzzing around in my head when I sat down to be tested.

    They only asked me five!!!

    This is the 100 questions, see how you do.

    1. What are the colors of our flag?

    2. How many stars are there on our flag?

    3. What color are the stars on our flag?

    4. What do the stars on the flag mean?

    5. How many stripes are there on the flag?

    6. What color are the stripes?

    7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?

    8. How many states are there in the Union?

    9. Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?

    10. What is the date of Independence day?

    11. Independence from whom?

    12. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?

    13. Who was the first President?

    14. Who is president today?

    15. Who is vice president today?

    16. Who elects the president of the United States?

    17. Who becomes our president if the president should die?

    18. For how long do we elect the president?

    19. What is the Constitution?

    20. Can the Constitution be changed?

    21. What do we call a change to the Constitution?

    22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?

    23. How many branches are there in our government?

    24. What are the three branches of our government?

    25. What is the legislative branch of our government?

    26. Who makes federal laws?

    27. What is Congress?

    28. What are the duties of Congress?

    29. Who elects Congress?

    30. How many senators are there in Congress?

    31. Can you name the senators from your state?

    32. For how long do we elect each senator?

    33. How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?

    34. For how long do we elect the representatives?

    35. What is the Executive branch of our government?

    36. What is the Judiciary branch of our government?

    37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?

    38. What is the supreme law of the United States?

    39. What is the Bill of Rights?

    40. What is the capital of your state?

    41. Who is the governor of your state?

    42. Who becomes president if both the president and the vice president die?

    43. Who is chief justice of the Supreme Court?

    44. Can you name the 13 original states?

    45. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death"?

    46. Which countries were our allies during World War II?

    47. What is the 49th state added to our Union?

    48. How many full terms can a president serve?

    49. Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

    50. Who is the head of your local government?

    51. According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. Name one.

    52. Why are there 100 senators in the U.S. Senate?

    53. Who nominates judges of the Supreme Court?

    54. How many Supreme Court justices are there?

    55. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?

    56. What is the head executive of a state government called?

    57. What is the head executive of a city government called?

    58. What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the American colonists?

    59. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

    60. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

    61. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?

    62. What is our national anthem?

    63. Who wrote the national anthem?

    64. Where does freedom of speech come from?

    65. What is the minimum voting age?

    66. Who signs bills into law?

    67. What is the highest court in the United States?

    68. Who was president during the Civil War?

    69. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

    70. What special group advises the president?

    71. Which president is called the "Father of Our Country"?

    72. What is the 50th state of the Union?

    73. Who helped the Pilgrims in America?

    74. What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

    75. What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

    76. Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

    77. Who has the power to declare war?

    78. Name one amendment that guarantees or addresses voting rights.

    79. Which president freed the slaves?

    80. In what year was the Constitution written?

    81. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?

    82. Name one purpose of the United Nations.

    83. Where does Congress meet?

    84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    85. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

    86. Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States.

    87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

    88. What is the United States Capitol?

    89. What is the White House?

    90. Where is the White House located?

    91. What is the president's official home?

    92. Name one right guaranteed by the First amendment.

    93. Who is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

    94. Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

    95. In what month do we vote for president?

    96. In what month is the new president inaugurated?

    97. How many times may a senator be re-elected?

    98. How many times may a congressman be re-elected?

    99. What are the two major political parties in the United States today?

    100. How many states are there?

    LINK for answers.

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    0.02,
    That is quite a list, I got all of them right, but then again I am an American history major in college. If they gave the whole list of questions, it would help people, because of things like, name the 3 branches of government, and then it says the names for all three (I'm assuming written testing). However, I know a large number of my peers who would not be able to answer half those questions. It would be interesting to give it to Graduationg High School seniors and see how many passed.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    It would also be interesting to give it to elected officials and see how they do, I was in a bar one night just before my test and a group of lobbyists I was with all took it. They did very well but then lobbyists are often better informed than those elected.
    The one that really got me was the original 13 states, to name them I had to make an mnemonic. And yes, I forget it now.

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    I'm not a American History major and I got them all right, I'm just a politically active Second amendment supporter, shame on any citizen that cannot answer all these correctly.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Yeah Sheldon, shame on them, but you should see the people getting high school diplomas and Bachelor's Degrees these days. The lack of intelligence I see on a daily basis in school astounds me.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0.02 View Post
    22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?

    You mean by voting, or interpretation?

    37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?

    There's more than one? Like interpreting the Constitution?

    44. Can you name the 13 original states?

    Yes! Probably.

    46. Which countries were our allies during World War II?

    All of them?

    49. Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

    This is one of only 2 questions that don't have a direct link to our government (although he did have an effect).

    55. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?

    I'm sure they had seveal reasons.

    64. Where does freedom of speech come from?

    Originally?

    70. What special group advises the president?

    The press!

    74. What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

    Well lets see, there was the Mayflower, but couldn't the settlers to other states be called Pilgrims? Did no other ship bring Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock in the ensuing years?

    75. What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

    Repeat question.

    76. Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

    According to who? Do you mean states rights?

    78. Name one amendment that guarantees or addresses voting rights.

    Total guess on this one.

    80. In what year was the Constitution written?

    1789?

    82. Name one purpose of the United Nations.

    And this has WHAT to do with America?

    84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    You want everybody's names????

    87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

    In whose opinion?

    94. Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy?

    Is this a trick question?
    I'd love to see the instructional material for this course.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    You're over-thinking it, they have one specific answer to each question, I provided the link to them.
    There was no instructional material, just 100 questions and 100 answers, it was a simple memory test not a test of understanding or interpretation. The new test addresses that matter.

    Also, if you only had Allies in WWII then how were you at war?

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    while studying for the test, a friend asked a group of us, all native born citizens, a question that stumped us all. Who was Gerald Ford's vice president? Do you know?
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Spiro Agnew?

    And by all allies, I meant that we had MANY allies in WWII, not just the ones we remember.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegemu View Post
    while studying for the test, a friend asked a group of us, all native born citizens, a question that stumped us all. Who was Gerald Ford's vice president? Do you know?
    Nelson Rockefeller
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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