Ilona Nickels
About Ilona         
Ilona's Blog         
Audience Feedback         
Capitol Corner         
Q's and A's         
Recommended Reading         
"Why Congress Matters"         
3rd Edition Now Available       

Contact Ilona         

Accountability of Elected Officials
Career Paths to Congress
Chaplains in the U.S. Congress
House Ethics Process
House/Senate Differences
Lame Duck Congress: Attendance and Voting
Members of Congress: A Job Description
Members of Congress: Who Do They Represent?
Oath of Office for Members of Congress
Pledge of Allegiance: Standing for the Pledge
Pledge of Allegiance: Use in Congress
Qualifications to Run for Congress
Senate: 50-50 Split?
Senate Majority Leader: A Job Description
Sessions of Congress: Lengths
Size of House and Senate
Speaker of the House: a Job Description
Amending the Constitution
Constitutionality of Legislation
August Recesses
First Congress
GOP: Origins of Term
Ideology: Left or Right
Lame Duck Congress: Definition
Party Animals: the Donkey and the Elephant
Statue of Freedom
U.S. Citizenship Test
Amendment Tree in the Senate
Changing a Law
Conference Committees: In Decline
Conference Committees: Procedures
“Deem and Pass” Procedure
Executive Orders
Holds in the Senate
How to Find Basic Legislative Information
How to Keep Up With Congress
Types of Legislation

Capitol Corner

U.S. Citizenship Test

INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) examiners typically draw a dozen questions at random from this list of 100 when they interview aspiring citizens on America's history and government . . . How many could YOU answer accurately?

U.S. Citizenship Test by Ilona Nickels1. What are the colors of the flag?

2. How many stars are there in our flag?

3. What color are the stars on our flag?

4. What do the stars on the flag mean?

5. How many stripes are there in the flag?

6. What color are the stripes?

7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?

8. How many states are there in the Union (United States)?

9. What is the 4th of July?

10. What is the date of Independence Day?

11. Independence from whom?

12. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?

13. Who was the first president of the United States?

14. Who is the president of the United States today?

15. Who is the vice president of the United States?

16. Who elects the president of the United States?

17. Who becomes president of the United States if the president should die?

18. For how long do we elect the president?

19. What is the Constitution?

20. Can the Constitution be changed?

21. What do we call a change to the Constitution?

22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?

23. How many branches are there in our government?

24. What are the three branches of our government?

25. What is the legislative branch of our government?

26. Who makes the laws in the United States?

27. What is Congress?

28. What are the duties of Congress?

29. Who elects Congress?

30. How many senators are there in Congress?

31. Can you name the two senators from your state?

32. For how long do we elect each senator?

33. How many representatives are there in Congress?

34. For how long do we elect the representative?

35. What is the executive branch of our government?

36. What is the judicial branch of our government?

37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?

38. What is the supreme law of the United States?

39. What is the Bill of Rights?

40. What is the capital of your state?

41. Who is the current governor of your state?

42. Who becomes president of the United States if the president and the vice president should die?

43. Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court?

44. Can you name the 13 original states?

45. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death"?

46. Which countries were our principal allies during World War II?

47. What is the 49th state of the Union (United States)?

48. How many terms can a president serve?

49. Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

50. Who is the head of your local government?

51. According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. Name one of these requirements.

52. Why are there 100 senators in the Senate?

53. Who selects the Supreme Court justices?

54. How many Supreme Court justices are there?

55. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?

56. What is the head executive of a state government called?

57. What is the head executive of a city government called?

58. What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the American Colonists?

59. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

60. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

61. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?

62. What is the national anthem of the United States?

63. Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?

64. Where does freedom of speech come from?

65. What is the minimum voting age in the United States?

66. Who signs bills into law?

67. What is the highest court in the United States?

68. Who was president during the Civil War?

69. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

70. What special group advises the president?

71. Which president is called the "father of our country"?

72. What is the 50th state of the Union (United States)?

73. Who helped the Pilgrims in America?

74. What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

75. What were the 13 original states of the U.S. called?

76. Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

77. Who has the power to declare war?

78. Name one amendment that guarantees or addresses voting rights.

79. Which president freed the slaves?

80. In what year was the Constitution written?

81. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?

82. Name one purpose of the United Nations.

83. Where does Congress meet?

84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

85. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

86. Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States.

87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?

88. What is the United States Capitol (building)?

89. What is the White House?

90. Where is the White House located?

91. What is the name of the president's official home?

92. Name one right guaranteed by the First Amendment.

93. Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military?

94. Which president was the first commander in chief of the U.S. military?

95. In what month do we vote for the president?

96. In what month is the new president inaugurated?

97. How many times may be a senator be reelected?

98. How many times may a congressman be reelected?

99. What are the two major political parties in the United States today?

100. How many states are there in the United States?

The Answers

U.S. Citizenship Test by Ilona NickelsAnswers are as supplied by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

1. Red, white, blue

2. 50

3. White

4. One for each state in the Union.

5. 13

6. Red and white

7. The represent the original 13 states.

8. 50

9. Independence Day

10. July 4th

11. England

12. England

13. George Washington

14. Barack Obama

15. Joseph Biden

16. The Electoral College

17. The Vice President

18. Four years

19. The supreme law of the land

20. Yes

21. An amendment

22. 27

23. Three

24. Legislative, Executive, and Judicial

25. The Congress

26. The Congress

27. The Senate and the House of Representatives together

28. To make laws

29. U.S. Citizens

30. 100

31. The two senators from the state in which the test is administered.

32. Six years

33. 435

34. Two years

35. The President, the Cabinet, Federal Departments and Agencies under the Cabinet.

36. The Supreme Court

37. To interpret laws

38. The Constitution

39. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution

40. Capital of the state in which the test is administered.

41. Governor of the state in which the test is administered.

42. The Speaker of the House of Representatives

43. John Roberts

44. Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Maryland.

45. Patrick Henry

46. United Kingdom (Great Britain), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, and France

47. Alaska

48. Two

49. A civil rights leader

50. The mayor or the county executive, depending on where you live

51. a) Must be a natural born citizen of the United States, b) must be at least 35 years old, c) must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years

52. There are two from each of the 50 states

53. The President

54. Nine

55. For religious freedom

56. Governor

57. Mayor

58. Thanksgiving

59. Thomas Jefferson

60. July 4, 1776

61. That all men are created equal

62. The Star-Spangled Banner

63. Francis Scott Key

64. The Bill of Rights

65. 18

66. The President

67. The Supreme Court

68. Abraham Lincoln

69. Freed the slaves

70. The Cabinet

71. George Washington

72. Hawaii

73. Indians (Native Americans)

74. Mayflower

75. Colonies

76. a) Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly and the right to petition the government for change, b) The right to bear arms [subject to regulation], c) Government may not house soldiers in private homes during peacetime, d) Government may not search or take a person’s property without a legal warrant, e) A person cannot be put on trial twice for the same crime in the same jurisdiction and cannot be forced to testify against him/herself, f) A person charged with a crime has a right to a trial and to be represented by a lawyer, g) The right to a trial is by a jury of one’s peers, h) Protection against excessive or unreasonable fines or cruel and unusual punishment, i) People have rights other than those specifically mentioned in the Constitution, j) Any power not specifically given to the Federal government by the Constitution is a power reserved to the states or to the people.

77. The Congress

78. a) the 15th, b) the 19th, c) the 24th, d) the 26th

79. Abraham Lincoln

80. 1787

81. The Bill of Rights

82. A place for countries to discuss world problems, to provide economic aid to nations, to take joint action.

83. The Capitol (Washington, D.C.)

84. Citizens and non-citizens living in the United States

85. The Preamble 86. a) to vote for the candidate of your choice, b) to travel freely with a U.S. passport, c) a duty to serve on a jury, d) the right to apply for federal benefits

87. The right to vote

88. Where Congress meets

89. The official residence of the President

90. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. (Washington, D.C.)

91. The White House

92. a) Freedom of speech, b) Freedom of the press, c) Freedom of religion, d) Freedom to assemble peacefully, e) Freedom to petition the government for change

93. The President

94. George Washington

95. November

96. January

97. There is no limit

98. There is no limit

99. Democratic and Republican

100. 50