Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions

Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions

A new report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's National Civic Literacy Board examines the results of a 33-question test on a variety of civic topics — including history, government, and economics — that was given to 2,500 randomly selected U.S. citizens and elected officials. The report, Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions, found that the average test score among the general public was 49 percent (or "F"), with only 0.8 percent of individuals receiving a score of at least 90 percent. Elected officials scored even lower than the general public, with an average score of 44 percent. The report also found that civic knowledge gained from the combination of engaging in conversations about public affairs, reading about current events and history, and participating in advanced civic activities is greater than the gain from earning a bachelor's degree alone.