OPINION: Could you pass Utah’s required civics test? Take our quiz

Jul 8, 2020, 3:46 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2021, 9:50 am
Democracy vs. Republic...
(Photo: Adobe Stock / Deseret News)
(Photo: Adobe Stock / Deseret News)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

SALT LAKE CITY — To graduate from high school in Utah, every student must pass a basic civics test, according to The American Civics Education Initiative. Most native-born Americans can’t pass the test. 

Could a link exist between recent street rioting and lack of understanding of the rights and duties of US citizenship?

“The sharp decline in civic knowledge among America’s youth is a growing concern. The violent turmoil of recent weeks, including the destruction of statues and memorials, has made it an urgent issue,” writes Katharine Gorka in her article, “Why We Must Advocate for Better Civics Education in Our Schools,” published Thursday in

From that article, “. . . only 39% of all native-born Americans can pass the U.S. citizenship test. Even more alarming is what the data say about the sharp generational decline: Among native-born senior citizens, 74% pass the citizenship test, while a mere 20% of native-born Americans under the age of 45 can pass it.”

Civics test sample questions

How do you think you would fare on a civics test? But before you check out the quiz below, let’s look at some sample questions.

“What is the supreme law of the land?”

Answer: The Constitution.

“What is an amendment?”

Answer: A change or an addition to the Constitution.

“What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?”

Answer: The Bill of Rights.

“What is freedom of religion?”

Answer: You can practice any religion or not practice a religion.

“Name one branch or part of the government?”

Answer: Legislative branch, judicial branch or executive branch.

“What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?”

Answer: Check and balances or separation of powers.

“Who makes federal laws?”

Answer: Congress (Senate and House)  — not presidential executive order.

“How many US senators are there?”

Answer: 100.

“How many years do they serve in one term?”

Answer: six.

Your turn

Okay, now it’s your turn to take the civics test. Keep scrolling to take our version of the quiz. 

[wp_quiz_pro id=”1918985″]

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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OPINION: Could you pass Utah’s required civics test? Take our quiz