Everyone is thinking about the election. That’s good. Signs are going up. People are watching the debates. We get countless requests for money to support one candidate or another. America is alive. For over 200 years we have kept our country going. Oh, occasionally, we run out of gas and occasionally we get some bad gas but we all find a way to keep moving forward as is stated in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, “to create a more perfect union.”

To be informed citizens we need to know something about our government. To help keep us informed I have prepared a short test for you. Before we vote it is always a good idea to brush up on what we learned in our high school government class. Let’s see how well you do. One thing about this test, you can always take it over again. Just to make the test more interesting, one question has all wrong answers and one question has all right answers.

1. What was the name of the King of England at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed? A. Henry XIII, B. John, C. George III, D. Edward II.

2. A line in the Declaration of Independence reads, “We hold these truths to be ____________? A. Self-Evident, B. Wrong, C. Noteworthy, D. Above suspicion.

3. The person who signed his name the largest on the Declaration of Independence was: A. Benjamin Franklin, B. John Hancock, C. George Washington, D. Thomas Jefferson.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

4. Prior to our Constitution our country was governed by the: A. Articles of Confederation, B. Bill of Rights, C. Gettysburg Address, D. Declaration of Independence.

5. Which of these is not a branch of the federal government: A. Judicial, B. Socialist, C. Executive, D. Legislative.

6. The person who was president of the Constitutional Convention, which wrote our Constitution was: A. Alexander Hamilton, B. John Adams, C. James Madison, D. George Washington.

7. Changes in our Constitution are called: A. Degrees, B. Amendments, C. By-laws, D. Articles.

8. The Congress of the United States consists of the House of Representatives and: A. All the governors, B. Supreme Court, C. Dept. of Treasury, D. Chief of Staff.

9. The 25th Amendment outlines: A. Women’s right to vote, B. Right to bear arms, C. Transfer of power from President to Vice President, D. Repeal of prohibition.

10. The terms of the President and Vice President end at noon on: A. November 3, B. January 1, C. January 20, D. January 31.

11. A republic form of government is one in which: A. People are ruled by laws, B. One person is given ultimate authority, C. Each state must protect itself during an invasion, D. Majority rules.

12. The Supreme Court justices serve for: A. Life, B. Six years, C. Twelve years, D. Until the senate votes them out of office.

13. When a bill is signed by both the House and the Senate and before it is enacted, it has to be signed by the: A. Attorney General, B. Head of the Supreme Court, C. Director of the FBI, D. The President.

14. Congress does not have the power to: A. Collect taxes, B. Shut down the press, C. Borrow money, D. Coin money.

15. Each state has a number of electors (i.e., the Electoral College) equal to the number of the Senators and Representatives of that state. The duty of the electors is to: A. Make laws, B. Choose the Supreme Court Justices, C. Establish treaties, D. Elect the President.

16. Which is not a requirement to be a President? A. You must belong to an organized religion, B. You have to be 35 years or older, C. You have to be a natural born citizen, D. You have to had lived in the United States for the United States for 14 years.

17. Who issues the oath of office to the President when he is elected? A. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, B. The former President, C. The Attorney General, D. The House Majority Leader.

18. Which of these is not one of the “hats” the president wears? A. Head of State, B. Chief Executive, C. Chief Legislator, D. Commander in Chief.

19. Minnesota has how many electors? A. 16, B. 10, C. 8, D. 18.

20. The Bill of Rights refers to the: A. The first ten amendments, B. The original Constitution, C. The Declaration of Independence, D. The first five amendments.

Well, that wasn’t too difficult, was it? It’s good that we refresh our memory on things we all should know. I suppose you want to know the answers. 1. C, 2. A, 3. B, 4. A, 5.B, 6. D, 7. B, 8. They are all wrong. The correct answer should be the senate., 9. C, 10. C, 11. A, 12. A, 13. D. 14. B, 15. D, 16. A. 17. A, 18. They are all correct. 19. B, 20. A. (If you were to have given me this test, there would be a few I would have missed. In preparing it, I learned a few things I should have known.)

Riddle: What did the librarian use for bait when he went fishing? (Answer: A book worm.) You might have to be a bit of a book worm to refresh your memory about the Constitution and other civics topics.


Thanks to Richards Publishing, Bemidji Driving School, Main Street Service of Gonvick, Northern Bait of Gonvick, and MC Custom Construction of Tenstrike, we now have 407 businesses and organizations that support the 100% initiative. Thanks. Don’t forget to remind students to graduate. When we all do it, we can accomplish our goal.

John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.