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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 12 extended constructed-response question that requires the intellectual skill of "identifying and describing" in the content area, "What are the foundations of the American political system?" 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, 5 percent of students were scored as having a "Complete" response. When only the students in the Proficient category are considered, 13 percent scored "Complete."

Grade 12 Extended Constructed-Response question. National percentage "complete" in 2006. 5% of all student responses were rated "complete." By achievement level 0.15% of students Below Basic were scored as "complete." 1% of students at Basic were scored as "complete." 13% of students at Proficient were scored as "complete." 43% of students at Advanced were scored as "complete."  The sample question is as follows: Explain three ways in which the power of the President can be checked by the legislative or the judicial branch. The student responded: 1) A president's veto of a law can be overridden by 2/3 of the vote of Congress. 2) Any treaty, etc. the President proposes/enters into must be approved by Congress 3) A president may by impeached by charges brought up by Congress and forced to leave office by the Senate's ruling or the charges.

See more about this question in the NAEP Questions Tool.

View this question, at score 238, 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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