Okay, so y’all know Ace That Test was a real thing with my late sister Amanda. And though I didn’t receive as much formal schooling, and generally fared worse considering the whole of our academic careers, my sister and I are/were both big fans of tests. I know that traditional, standardized testing is a whole tub of worms, but yours truly is basically just a chimp who selfishly enjoys the instant gratification of reading a problem and knowing the answer. Few feelings to me compare to that mixture of satisfaction, relief, and excitement.


Well anyway, after many long years, I now have one test coming up! It’s uniquely structured in that up to ten out of a pool of the same hundred questions are given every time. Which means, as long as you know all 100 answers, it’s impossible to get less than a perfect score. So, what’s left to do but make a study guide?

  1. What is the supreme law of the land? A. The Constitution
  2. What does the Constitution do? A. sets up the government, defines the government, protects the basic rights of Americans
  3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words? A. We the people
  4. What is an Amendment? A. an addition or a change to the Constitution
  5. What do we call the first ten Amendments? A. Bill of Rights
  6. What is ONE freedom or right from the First Amendment? A. Press. (Also, assembly, petition the government, religion and speech)
  7. How many Amendments does the Constitution have? 27.
  8. What did the Declaration of Independence do? A. declared our independence from Great Britain
  9. What are TWO rights in the Declaration of Independence? A. Life, liberty (Also, pursuit of happiness)
  10. What is freedom of religion? A. You can practice any religion or not practice a religion
  11. What is the economic system in the United States? A. capitalist (market) economy
  12. What is the “rule of law”? A. everyone must obey the law; leaders must obey the law; the government must obey the law; no one is above the law
  13. Name ONE branch of government. A. Legislative (Also, executive and judicial)
  14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful? A. checks and balances (Also, separation of power)
  15. Who is in charge of the executive branch? A. the President
  16. Who makes federal laws? A. Congress (Senate and House of Representatives)
  17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? A. Senate and the House of Representatives
  18. How many U.S. Senators are there? A. 100
  19. We elect a Senator for how many years? A. 6
  20. Who is one of your state’s Senator now? A. Robert Casey (D-PA), Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members? A. 435
  22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years? A. 2
  23. Name your U.S. Representative. A. Dwight Evans (D-PA 3rd district)
  24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent? A. all people of the state
  25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states? A. because some states have more people than other states
  26. We elect a President for how many years? A. 4
  27. In what month do we vote for President? November
  28. What is the name of the President of the United States right now? A. Donald Trump
  29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States right now? A. Mike Pence
  30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President? A. the Vice President
  31. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? A. Speak of the House
  32. Who is the commander of the military? A. the President
  33. Who signs bills to become laws? A. the President
  34. Who vetoes bills? A. the President
  35. What does the President’s Cabinet do? A. advise the President
  36. What are two cabinet-level positions? A. attorney general, vice president (Also, secretaries of agriculture, education homeland security, labor, state, treasury, veteran’s affairs etc)
  37. What does the judicial branch do? A. reviews laws, explains laws, resolves disputes, and decides if a law goes against the Constitution
  38. What is the highest court in the United States? A. the Supreme Court
  39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court? A. 9
  40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States? A. John Roberts
  41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is ONE power of the federal government? A. to print money (also, to create an army, to declare war, and to make treaties)
  42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the state. What is ONE power of the state? A. to create a police department (also, approve zoning and land use, create a fire department, give a driver’s license, and to provide schooling and education)
  43. Who is the governor of your state now? A. Tom Wolf (D-PA)
  44. What is the capital of your state? A. Harrisburg (PA)
  45. What are the two major political parties of the United States? A. Democratic and Republican
  46. What is the political party of the President now? A. Republican
  47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? A. Nancy Pelosi
  48. There are four Amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Name ONE of them. A. citizens over age 18 can vote (Also, men of any race can vote, no poll tax, and women can vote)
  49. What is ONE responsibility that is only for U.S. citizens? A. serve on a jury (also, vote in a federal election)
  50. Name ONE right that is only for U.S. citizens. A. vote in a federal election (also, run for federal office)
  51. What are TWO rights of everyone living in the United States? A. Freedom of religion and speech (Also, freedom of assembly, to petition the government, right to bear arms etc…)
  52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance? A. the flag (also, the United States)
  53. What is ONE promise you make when you become a United States citizen? A. to obey the laws of the United States (also, loyalty to the United States etc…)
  54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President? A. 18
  55. What are TWO ways that Americans can participate in their democracy? A. vote, write to a newspaper (also, campaign, run for office etc…)
  56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms? A. April 15
  57. When must all men register for the Selective Service? A. at age 18
  58. What is one reason colonists came to America? A. religious freedom
  59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived? A. Native Americans
  60. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves? A. Africans
  61. Why did the colonists fight the British? A. because of high taxes and lack of self-government
  62. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? A. Thomas Jefferson
  63. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? A. July 4, 1776
  64. There were 13 original states. Name THREE. A. Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania
  65. What happened at the Constitutional Convention? A. the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution
  66. When was the Constitution written? A. 1787
  67. The Federalist Paper supported the passage of the Constitution. Name ONE of the writers. A. James Madison (also, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and Publius)
  68. What is ONE thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for? A. starting the first three libraries
  69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”? A. George Washington
  70. Who was the first President? A. George Washington
  71. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? A. the Louisiana Territory
  72. Name ONE war fought by the United States in the 1800s? Civil War (also, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Spanish American-War)
  73. Name the U.S. war between the north and the south. A. Civil War
  74. Name ONE problem that led to the Civil War. A. slavery (also, economic competition and states’ rights)
  75. What was ONE important thing Abraham Lincoln did? A. issued the Emancipation Proclamation (also, preserved the Union, led the U.S. during the Civil War)
  76. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? A. ended slavery
  77. What did Susan B. Anthony do? A. advocated for women’s rights
  78. Name ONE war fought by the U.S. in the 1900s. A. WWI (also, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War)
  79. Who was President during WWI? A. Woodrow Wilson
  80. Who was President during the Great Depression and WWII? A. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  81. Who did the U.S. fight during WWII? A. Japan, Germany, Italy
  82. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in? A. WWII
  83. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the U.S.? A. communism
  84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination? A. the civil rights movement
  85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do? A. led the civil rights movement
  86. What major event happened on September 11, 2001? A. terrorists attacked the world trade center
  87. Name ONE Native American Tribe of the U.S.. A. Cherokee (also, Inuit, Navajo, Sioux etc…)
  88. Name ONE of the longest rivers in the U.S.. A. Mississippi (also, Missouri)
  89. What ocean is on the west coast of the U.S.? A. Pacific
  90. What ocean is on the east coast of the U.S.? A. Atlantic
  91. Name ONE U.S. territory. A. Puerto Rico (also, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa)
  92. Name ONE state that borders Canada. A. Pennsylvania
  93. Name ONE state that borders Mexico. A. California
  94. What is the capital of the U.S.? A. Washington D.C.
  95. Where is the Statue of Liberty? A. New York Harbor
  96. Why does the flag have 13 stripes? A. for the 13 original colonies
  97. Why does the flag have 50 stars? A. for the 50 states
  98. What is the name of the National Anthem? A. star-spangled banner
  99. When do we celebrate Independence Day? July 4th
  100. Name TWO U.S. national holidays. A. Martin Luther King, Jr Day and July 4th (also, Christmas, Columbus Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Presidents’ Day, Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day etc…)

…and there it is, a (PA-based) study guide to all 100 questions that may be given on the civics test portion of the U.S. naturalization citizenship interview. Next time, we’ll make comparison charts of how many questions are asked about white men or even specifically just one past President compared to how many are asked about Native Americans and slavery broadly. Stay tuned.

Ace That Test: The Civics Test for U.S. Naturalization
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