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Sample Questions in Civics


Test Yourself...then see how students responded to the same questions on NAEP. The following grade 12 multiple-choice question addresses the skill of "explaining and analyzing" in the content area, "What are civic life, politics, and government?" The percentages below the question indicate how students performed on the question. In addition to the overall percentage of students who answered the question correctly, the percentage of students at each achievement level who answered the question correctly is presented. 

As an example of how to interpret these percentages, 53 percent of the students overall answered this question correctly. When only the students in the Proficient category are considered, 78 percent answered correctly.

Grade 12 Multiple-Choice question. National percentage correct in 2006. 53% of all students answered this multiple-choice question correctly. By achievement level, 31% of students Below Basic answered this question correctly. 51% of students at Basic answered this question correctly. 78% of students at Proficient answered this question correctly. 94% of students at Advanced answered this question correctly.The following sample multiple-choice question is based on the following quotation. "We have a constitutional system that so fragments and divides power that it's impossible to give this country effective, long-run leadership.....The system has led to an inability to plan and get on top of problems ahead of time. Even at best, this country has always been twenty to sixty years behind other industrial democracies in dealing with tough problems."  James MacGregor Burns, 1988. Parliamentary systems might not show the same fragmentation that Burns finds in the American system because in parliamentary systems a) more real power is given to local governments, b) power is not divided among three branches of government, c) governments do not try to play an active role in the economy, d) political parties do not differ over important issues. The correct answer is b.

See more about this question in the NAEP Questions Tool.

View this question, at score 183, on a map of NAEP civics items.

Find out what the civics assessment measures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2006 Civics Assessment.

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