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Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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Old 09-19-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
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Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

You can take the 60 question test here:

Civic Literacy Report - Civics Quiz

The highest ranked college was Harvard. Their seniors had an average score of 69.5. I got a 90 and I have no degree.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:27 PM   #2
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

Stuff like this cracks me up. Knowing American historical facts like which battle ended the Revolutionary War, while an interesting fact that makes you well-balanced, has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to go forth and be productive in the workplace. The only profession in which this information is of any use is teaching.

People with Harvard degrees are highly paid because they can think through real problems in the workplace and enact plans to solve them.

If you can do well on this test, great. Congratulations, you've memorized a bunch of facts. But exactly how valuable a use of your time was it to memorize all that stuff?

Not trying to dump on any history majors out there. But to me, doing well on this test means jack diddily squat.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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Stuff like this cracks me up. Knowing American historical facts like which battle ended the Revolutionary War, while an interesting fact that makes you well-balanced, has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to go forth and be productive in the workplace. The only profession in which this information is of any use is teaching.

People with Harvard degrees are highly paid because they can think through real problems in the workplace and enact plans to solve them.

If you can do well on this test, great. Congratulations, you've memorized a bunch of facts. But exactly how valuable a use of your time was it to memorize all that stuff?

Not trying to dump on any history majors out there. But to me, doing well on this test means jack diddily squat.
Thats what I told my mom when I was in school but it never seemed to sink in and I guess it didn't help that she was my history teacher in 6th grade.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

That is not to say that studying American history, or any history, is a waste of time. If you can think through the issues and problems we faced in the 1800s around the time of the Civil War, explain them, and analyze the outcomes, then you've managed to think through real world problems and you likely have the ability to apply that kind of thinking to our present day situations. That kind of person would be great as a political analyst, or great as an elected official. That kind of thinking, analyzing problems from our history, helps us to avoid repeating mistakes we've made in the past.

So studying history can be a very valuable tool.

That said, this "quiz" does nothing to test analytical thinking. It simply tests your knowledge of historical fact. Memorization of fact adds no value, and hence the test is retarded. History teachers should always ask open ended questions to be answered in essay fashion.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

I disagree. I think the questions on this test should be considered common knowledge. People who don't know the answers to these most basic of questions are for all intents and purposes, cavemen, as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, some people just can't remember anything that they read. It must be a difficult way to go through life.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:13 PM   #6
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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I disagree. I think the questions on this test should be considered common knowledge. People who don't know the answers to these most basic of questions are for all intents and purposes, cavemen, as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, some people just can't remember anything that they read. It must be a difficult way to go through life.
There are a lot of questions on this test that have absolutly no use as common knowledge. Actually much of it has no use as common knowledge.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

the biggest difference between College and High school is the fact of the analysis vs. remembering facts. High school is all about remembering the facts and what year what war happened, but thats no use when you need to juxtapose 3 different themes in a work place with which one would be the most ethical in your work place using Cartesian policies discussed. I mean, you have to remember those facts, but you also need to be able to apply them to assert your own opinion to be able to apply them to the world.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

I agree with schneed.

I have a BS in Computer Science.
When I'm not stalking hot young women, I am a Partner/Engineer for a networking company.
With that said, I probably couldn't answer half of the questions correctly.

My memory isn't the problem(anyone remember when james thrash ran back 2 kickoffs in consecutive weeks in his rookie year? What number what he wearing? Im think it was 47...), I just don't care to memorize historical facts that don't interest me.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

the thing is, its not just memorizing facts. if you know generally what happened and when, you can guess a lot of the answers there correctly without having studied the question's subject. This one really isn't that bad.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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the thing is, its not just memorizing facts. if you know generally what happened and when, you can guess a lot of the answers there correctly without having studied the question's subject. This one really isn't that bad.
Good point. In fact I would guess that intelligent people do better on the test because they are better equiped to figure out that "Puritan" has a root of pure which really left only one answer that would fit with that question. Whether they knew the answer or not thinkers probably got that one right and a good amount of similar questions.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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Good point. In fact I would guess that intelligent people do better on the test because they are better equiped to figure out that "Puritan" has a root of pure which really left only one answer that would fit with that question. Whether they knew the answer or not thinkers probably got that one right and a good amount of similar questions.
Yeah, I was able to deduce my way to a score of 70, which would put me on par with the Harvard average. Some questions I flat out knew, others I could just reason through.

But if I wanted to test someone's ability to deduce and logically think through questions, I'd administer an IQ test. This is, first and foremost, a test of factual knowledge, most of which is completely useless in today's world.

It's just irritating to hear people come down on college kids from Ivy League schools, who are clearly extremely bright, for not scoring high on this test. Hell, if I went to Harvard and someone came up to me and said "I got a 95 on that civics quiz, what'd you get?" I'd say, 65. What'd you get on your SATs? Oh, 1050? Well I got a 1520, motherfucker. By the way, how was community college?"

This was not to put down a score of 1050 on the SATs, or community college. This was just to illustrate that it's absolutely ridiculous to equate this quiz with intelligence, let alone relevance in today's world.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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Yeah, I was able to deduce my way to a score of 70, which would put me on par with the Harvard average. Some questions I flat out knew, others I could just reason through.

But if I wanted to test someone's ability to deduce and logically think through questions, I'd administer an IQ test. This is, first and foremost, a test of factual knowledge, most of which is completely useless in today's world.

It's just irritating to hear people come down on college kids from Ivy League schools, who are clearly extremely bright, for not scoring high on this test. Hell, if I went to Harvard and someone came up to me and said "I got a 95 on that civics quiz, what'd you get?" I'd say, 65. What'd you get on your SATs? Oh, 1050? Well I got a 1520, motherfucker. By the way, how was community college?"

This was not to put down a score of 1050 on the SATs, or community college. This was just to illustrate that it's absolutely ridiculous to equate this quiz with intelligence, let alone relevance in today's world.
I got an 83.3%, you neanderthal.

But seriously, it's only because reading History books is sort of a hobby of mine. I find it interesting and cool to learn about. But whereas I might be quicker than Schneed to talk about the Federalist papers, Schneed I'm sure is much more qualified to discuss the subprime mortgage crisis. The latter which is much more relevant.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:06 PM   #13
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

you know what? most likely they didnt give a damn what they got because they dont have to pass this test.

ill remember every test that my teachers used to give me and said " this is just a test to see how much you know and how to teach you" i would fill in all C down the whole thing.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:12 AM   #14
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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I got an 83.3%, you neanderthal.

But seriously, it's only because reading History books is sort of a hobby of mine. I find it interesting and cool to learn about. But whereas I might be quicker than Schneed to talk about the Federalist papers, Schneed I'm sure is much more qualified to discuss the subprime mortgage crisis. The latter which is much more relevant.
Nonsense. Financial panics come and are then forgotten. The Federalist Papers will endure forever.

But seriously. The test is designed to reveal one's knowledge of civics. No one claimed it was a test of intelligence. Although, there are many questions that could be answered by applying a liitle common sense. Others, like the one where you had to know that Sumter, Gettysburg, Appomattox was the example in the correct order reveal wether or not you know anything about the Civil War. I think a Harvard graduate should know enough about U.S. history to answer that question. They should know enough about finance to answer the treasury bond question. Etc. Etc. Apparently many of them do not. Ross Douthat has a great book called Privilege that exposes a lot of what goes on up there. Basically everybody that shows up for class gets an A or B. There are many genuinely gifted people, but most of them are kind of unctious over-achievers of the Al Gore variety. That was a revelation to me. I assumed that they were all unusually bright. I guess they are compared to the other schools. Which is sort of like being the best hockey player on Fiji.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:07 AM   #15
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Re: Civics Test the College Kids all Failed

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I got an 83.3%, you neanderthal.

But seriously, it's only because reading History books is sort of a hobby of mine. I find it interesting and cool to learn about. But whereas I might be quicker than Schneed to talk about the Federalist papers, Schneed I'm sure is much more qualified to discuss the subprime mortgage crisis. The latter which is much more relevant.
That's what I got too. Great minds...
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