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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 12 Sample Questions

Question 1 of 5 :

What is one responsibility that modern Presidents have that is NOT described in the Constitution?

  1.    Commanding the armed forces
  2.    Proposing an annual budget to Congress
  3.    Appointing Supreme Court justices
  4.    Granting pardons
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The correct answer is: B
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Question 2 of 5 :

Look at the form (2.19 KB PDF). Who is responsible for the registration of voters in this state?

  1.    The United States Federal Election Commissioners
  2.    Officials of the New Jersey Election Commission
  3.    Registration commissioners from the county governments
  4.    Local mayors and city managers
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The correct answer is: C
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Question 3 of 5 :

The following question refers to the statement below.

The Second World War marked the most substantial change ever in the context in which United States foreign policy is made. The world that emerged after the war had fundamentally changed in economic, political, and military ways. These changes made the world a more dangerous place, and altered the demands placed on foreign policy.

The statement calls the world after the Second World War "a more dangerous place." What specific change could one cite to support this claim?

  1.   The rise of the European Union (EU)
  2.   The signing of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT)
  3.   The decline of German military power
  4.   The development and spread of nuclear weapons
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The correct answer is: D
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Question 4 of 5 :

Political cartoon showing a man pulling the handle of a large box labeled “The Kick the Bum Out Ballot Box Company.” A large spring extends from the box with a shoe at its end. The shoe is kicking a man holding a briefcase through the air. The caption underneath the cartoon says, “Still the best congressional term-limiting device.

© Pat Oliphant/Universal Press Syndicate

Which of the following best captures the meaning of the cartoon above?

  1.   Voters can limit the term of any member of Congress by simply exercising their right to vote.
  2.   Term limits can be put in place only through an amendment to the Constitution.
  3.   Term limits are needed to prevent incumbents from staying in office for life.
  4.   Voters too often throw good people out of office.
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The correct answer is: A
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Question 5 of 5 :

One explanation for the large number of interest groups in the United States is that

  1.   there is little enforcement of laws forbidding their existence
  2.   members of these groups can easily get to see the President and justices of the Supreme Court
  3.   the tax code forbids taxing any interest group
  4.   there is a wide variety of religions, occupations, and beliefs in the country
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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, twelfth-grade students at Proficient had a percentage correct of 77% on average.

[Overall|61],[Below Basic|43],[Basic|67],[Proficient|77],[Advanced|87] Twelfth-grade percentage correct on selected civics questions: 2010
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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.