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Sample Questions

What questions are used in the NAEP civics assessment?

Explore sample questions from the civics assessment, and see how the NAEP civics questions relate to student performance.


Test Yourself in Civics

Select one of the grade tabs below to try out questions from the 2010 NAEP civics assessment. After answering all the questions, compare your score with that of students nationally. A very limited number of civics items were released at Grade 8 so no sample items are available.

Grade 4
Grade 12


 Grade 4 Sample Questions

Question 1 of 5 :

Refer to the two lists of rules below. Each list shows some of the rules for a particular place.

  1. All dogs must be on a leash.

  2. No motor vehicles allowed.

  3. Do not pick flowers or plants.

  4. There is a $200 fine for littering.

  1. All dogs must be given rabies shots.

  2. All motor vehicles must be inspected for safety every year.

  3. Plants on the endangered species list may not be picked or cut down.

  4. Maximum speed limit is 65 miles per hour.

Sign 2 most likely lists rules for a

  1.    family
  2.    club
  3.    state
  4.    business
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The correct answer is: C
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Question 2 of 5 :

Cartoon strip. A boy named Calvin says to his father, "I think it's time we had a new dad around here. When does your term of office expire?" Dad responds, "Sorry, Calvin. I was appointed dad for life." Calvin screams, "For life?! What about a recall vote? What about impeachment?" Dad responds, "There are no provisions for either." Calvin asks, "Did you write this constitution yourself, or what?" Dad replies, "Well, your mom helped some, too."

Calvin and Hobbes © 1986 Watterson. Dist. By Universal Press Syndicate.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

The child in the cartoon strip above is a six-year-old boy named Calvin. What is the main point of the cartoon?

  1.  Constitutions have rules about how long someone can stay in office.
  2.  Families and governments are not run the same way.
  3.  The term of office for elected and appointed officials is different.
  4.  Calvin does not know how a constitutional government works.
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The correct answer is: B
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Question 3 of 5 :

Refer to the paragraph below, which is a summary of the introduction to the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal; that they are given certain rights that cannot be taken away; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to protect these rights, governments are created that get their powers from the consent of the governed....

Which of the following ideas is in the summary of the Declaration of Independence?

  1.   People in the United States should have some control over the government.
  2.   Kings can rule in the United States, as long as they are fair to people.
  3.   The smartest people should control the government of the United States.
  4.   Everyone in the United States should try to be elected to the government.
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The correct answer is: A
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Question 4 of 5:

Rules should be fair to everyone. Which rule is unfair to a particular group in a school?

  1.  Only boys can sign up to play soccer.
  2.  Only 30 minutes will be allowed for lunch.
  3.  Students are expected to clean up after themselves.
  4.  Homework is due on Friday.
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The correct answer is: A
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Question 5 of 5:

The money to run the government comes mostly from

  1. donations
  2. other countries
  3. banks
  4. taxes
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The correct answer is: D
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The chart below shows the percentage of questions that you answered correctly, as well as how students at each of the achievement levels performed on this set of questions. For instance, fourth-grade students at Proficient had a percentage correct of 80% on average.

[Overall|60],[Below Basic|37],[Basic|59],[Proficient|80] Fourth-grade percentage correct on selected civics questions: 2010
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Note: No bar for Advanced appears on the graph because reporting standards were not met.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2010 Civics Assessment.

View this set of questions in the NAEP Questions Tool to see student performance.