Archive 2008 - 2019

Civics Sunday: The U.S. Citizenship Test

by Yvette Cain

Summer is the perfect time to vacation, slow down, get away, and enjoy life.  Our CS series of interviews with a representative from elected boards and committees is “on vacation” this week as we work to schedule these folks during this vacation season.

In its place, we thought we’d excerpt a few questions from the US Citizenship Test.  Why not read through this sampling—only 15 of the 100 questions.  Each candidate must correctly answer 6 of 10 multiple-choice questions selected randomly from the 100.  The answers are listed after the last sample question.

The complete test represents nine categories of questions:

            American Government

                        - Principles of American Democracy

                        - System of Government

                        - Rights and Responsibilities

            American History 

                        - Colonial Period and Independence

                        - 1800’s

                        - Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information

            Integrated Civics

                        - Geography

                        - Symbols

                        - Holidays

The questions below are chosen at random from several of the above categories.


  1. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?
  2. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
  3. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
  4. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
  5. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  6. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?
  7. Name one right only for United States citizens.
  8. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
  9. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  10. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
  11. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.
  12. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
  13. Who was President during World War I?
  14. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
  15. Name one U.S. territory.


  1. Speech, religion, assembly, press, petition the government
  2. Twenty-seven (27)
  3. Checks and balances, separation of powers
  4. Four hundred thirty-five (435)
  5. The Speaker of the House
  6. Provide schooling and education, provide protection (police), provide safety (fire departments), give a driver’s license, approve zoning and land use
  7. Vote in a federal election,  run for federal office
  8. Eighteen (18) and older
  9. (Thomas) Jefferson
  10. The Constitution was written. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
  11. War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War
  12. Fought for women’s rights, fought for civil rights
  13. (Woodrow) Wilson
  14. Missouri (River), Mississippi (River)
  15. Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam

How did you do on this sample?

An invitation to our readers: 

Do you have a personal story of gaining your citizenship you’d like to share?  How did you land in Holliston?

Comments (4)

I would bet more than 60% of HHS graduating seniors would NOT pass this test...

ken sawyers | 2019-07-31 10:16:07

I knew them all. Common sense, really...

Terry Duerod | 2019-07-29 14:08:50

Thanks for this! It's hard! Maybe all students graduating from High School should be required to pass this...

Mary M Greendale | 2019-07-28 06:24:34

Thank you for the reminder. 5th grade was a very long time ago. so glad you printed the answers I will try to memorize these today. It is too hot to do much else. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

JEAN MORRISSEY | 2019-07-28 06:12:14