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Sample Questions in Civics


Test Yourself...then see how students responded to the same questions on NAEP. The following is an example of a grade 8 extended constructed-response question that requires the intellectual skill of "evaluating, taking, and defending a position" in the content area, "What is the relationship of the United States to other nations and to world affairs?" Student responses were scored according to a 4-point scale as "Complete," "Acceptable," "Partial," or "Unacceptable." The sample response below is an example of a "Complete" response.

Overall, 3 percent of students were scored as having a "Complete" response. When only the students in the Proficient category are considered, 10 percent were scored in the "Complete" category.

Grade 8 Extended Constructed-Response question. National percentage "complete" in 2006. 3% of all student responses were rated "complete." By achievement level the percent of students Below Basic rounds to zero. 2% of students at Basic were scored as "complete." 10% of students at Proficient were scored as "complete." Reporting standards for students at Advanced were not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate. The sample extended-constructed response question is as follows: Teresia is a small country that has been invaded by its neighbor Corollia. The king of Teresia is a long-standing United States ally who has been living in exile since the Corollian invasion. Teresia is an important exporter of uranium; it sends most of its supply to members of the European Union. The king appeals to the United States and the United Nations for military help in driving Corollia from his country. Identify two pieces of information NOT given above that you would need before you could decide whether or not the United States military should help Teresia. Explain why each piece of  information would be important. The student responded to 1: "I would need to know Corollia's incentive to attack Teresia. This is important because maybe Corollia responded to an attack from Teresia making Teresia the aggressor." The student responded to 2: "I also need to know Corollia's allies and military strength. This is important because if I dont know this I might start another World War."

See more about this question in the NAEP Questions Tool.

View this question, at score 266, 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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