Friday, October 23, 2009

Citizen Scout

I didn't go to English class on Tuesday because there wasn't going to be anything for me to do that day. Plus, I think I pulled a muscle while doubled over in a coughing fit—that, or I cracked a rib. Probably just a muscle.

I did go to class yesterday, though, because I'm feeling much more comfortable now, and I knew there would be a full two hours of work going on. I never know what my tasks will be each day because I just go with the flow and do whatever the teacher asks of me. Yesterday, she asked me to work with a woman who has been studying for her citizenship test. Yes, immigrants really can be here legally and really do want to join the team and become citizens.

This particular immigrant moved here from Mexico years ago with her family. Her husband has already become a citizen, which means her children can become citizens after they complete a stack of forms. No tests are required for them, but the mother has to take the test. It's nearly 100 questions long and covers history and general citizenship subjects like who becomes president should the president and vice-president both become incapacitated, or how many representatives are in the House of Representatives.

The woman and I sat in a room with a series of flash cards that represented the types of questions that will appear on the test. She was sailing right through them until we got about half-way through, and then it became clear she hadn't studied that far into the questions. It was OK because I didn't know all the answers either, so we learned together. What an ordeal.

I wonder how many people born and educated in the U.S. would pass the test if they were forced to take it. I wasn't sure if I could pass such a test, so I went to and took the test there. The questions were very similar to the questions on the flash cards from yesterday morning—96 of them in three categories. Lucky for me it seems I could pass with a full 93%, but I'm sure I would not have done that well had I not just studied.

Go here and see if you could pass, unless you're from the UK or Australia or someplace where none of this matters.


savannah said...

i am so going to take the test! xoxox

Shan said...

That is a very impressive score! I've heard that test is a booger. I may not tell if I take it. I don't want my blog friends to be disappointed because I made a C in poli-sci. :) I'm so curious to see what's on it though.

Lynn said...

Well obviously I'm not going to take the test, but I know what you mean. I'm not sure I'd be able to answer similar Qs about my own country.

Madame DeFarge said...

I always think the same about the UK citizenship test. I think I flunked it when I looked at it, but then I am Scottish, so I'm allowed to get some wrong on account of cultural imperialism.

MmeBenaut said...

It matters in Australia but not for US citizenship. We have a test too but I'm pretty sure it isn't 100 questions.
What is the pass mark?
In Australia ours was 100% but they've recently relaxed it so that all questions have the same weight.
I'm sure I wouldn't get 100% on our test.