Thursday, January 6, 2011

Born In The USA.

Today's Christian Science Monitor has the test that immigrants have to pass (among other things) in order to qualify for U.S. Citizenship.  To pass, they have to answer 58 of 96 questions correctly.

Now, immigration is always a hot-button topic, so let's not get into that.  I've got another idea. I'm thinking, if you're born in the U.S., you should have to take the test when you turn...oh, 18 or so.  And if you can't pass it, you should be evicted.*  Voted off the island!  If you grew up in the U.S. and haven't, somehow by osmosis, managed to absorb the answers to the vast majority of these questions...well, I suppose institutionalization might be an acceptable excuse.

Go ahead and take the test.  I'll warn you, though; the website's a pain in the ass.  You have to click the on your answer, wait for the next page to load showing whether or not you got it right, and then click again to move on to the next question.  It'll take you about 10-15 minutes with a decent internet connection.

I got 95 of 96 right.  I'm convinced that I actually got 96 right and that the test has a wrong answer. (I'll say which one in the comments so I don't give it away here.) Also;  Clue #1: the post went up today, so if one answer was correct on January 3rd and a different one is correct today, go with being up to date. Clue #2: There are a couple of times where the answer could be considered debatable; stick with the common simple answer.

*I haven't worked out where we should send these people but I should think it wouldn't be that hard to think of some country that's pissing us off and we could just air-drop them there, right?  We could even have a rotating roster of who we pawn them of on -- just to keep things fair, ya'know?


Nathan said...

Which one did I get wrong?

Question #28 asks, What does the judicial branch do? The possible answers are:

-resolves disputes
-decides if a law goes against the Constitution.
-reviews laws
-all of these answers.

I went with "all of these answers". The test says "resolves disputes" is the correct answer. Either the question and/or the answers are worded badly or I think I got it right!

Bastards! (Ooops. I'm off to Somalia.)

Random Michelle K said...

I missed four.
For me, it had "all these answers" as the correct choice.

I missed:
Number of Representatives in the house
I put in Jefferson instead of Madison for the Federalist paper (I knew better too)
And I didn't choose Guam as a territory.

Sorry people from Guam.

Nathan said...

Don't worry Michelle. My Guamanian readership is really light. OTOH, I'm betting some of my readers are just Maniacs for Madison. Can't help you there!

Eric said...

The one that bugged me most that I missed was the registration age for Selective Service. I mean, I've been there, done that, I shoulda remembered except I'm old and cranky.

The one that bugged me most that I got right was the repetition of the myth that the Colonies rebelled over higher taxes. Colonists paid some of the lowest taxes in the Empire.

I missed four altogether. I tried, as I took it, to imagine the stress some immigrant for whom English is a second or third language and who has their whole life at stake in the outcome trying to answer the questions--must be a terrible experience.

Jeri said...

If I screw up the test can you arrange for me to be deported to Costa Rica or Tahiti?

Nathan said...


The "higher taxes" thing pissed me off too, but, like I said, they're going for the simplest answers. And I don't have any problem with an immigrant only having to get 58 out of 96. They didn't grow up here. But if you've lived here all your life and can't get 90% of those right, there's really something wrong.

Nathan said...

Sorry Jeri, the next opening is in Albania.

Janiece said...

I missed two, because I'm in denial that John Boehner is actually the Speaker, and apparently "John Adams" and "James Madison" are interchangeable to my mouse. Stupid mouse.

Anne C. said...

Higher taxes? Hooey! Taxes that went to England and a government where they had no representation (like children and women and unlanded persons! The indignity of it!) is more like it.

Nathan said...

Jeez Janiece,

I thought the clue I gave was a dead giveaway about the whole Pelosi/Boehner thing.

And the only way I can ever remember the difference between Monroe and Madison is that Madison didn't have a Doctrine.

John the Scientist said...

I've felt the same way about deporting native idiots since I helped my wife study for this exam. I vote North Korea. What?

I kinda feel I have to note that my wife got her citizenship after we got married, but not becuase we got married - she already had a green card and was just waiting the required time for the Nazis at Immigration.

Eric, to be fair about this, the study materials given out by Immigration are very, very clear, and if you have two memory neurons to rub togehter and give the books a week of study, you can pass this thing. And one of the points of difference between a citizen and a green card holder is that the poor English speaker can be here legally on a green card, but if you're going to take up the responsibilities of a citizen, especially voting, then you had better have the English ability to pass this test. I think I've heard my FIL speak about 5 words of English in the decade I've known him and he passed it. And English is his fourth language.

John the Scientist said...

Oh yes, I just took the test, and they have changed the answer on 28 to "all of the above", so you scored 100%.

jamie said...

The war of 1812 was fought in the 1900s.

Just throwing that out there, to help anyone who might stumble upon this blog, looking for that bit of information.

*Whistles and wanders off*

Anonymous said...

I'm British and the only time I've spent in the USA was one week skiing when the skiing was bad in the Alps.

I scored 80.