The U.S. Citizenship Test

Here is a joke they used to tell about the U.S. citizenship test:

A lady goes to take the test, with an interpreter. She had read a booklet with possible questions published by the National Herald in the little free time she had after work.

"Who was America's first president?" the judge asks.

"The George Washington Bridge," the lady replied immediately, proudly.

"How many times have you taken this test?" the judge asks her.

"Five," she answers.

"Oh, well, then, you pass. Congratulations".

And yet, she became a fine American.

The new test for American citizenship came into force a few days ago – that lady would not have passed. I doubt most of us would.

It has a lot of questions, and it's much more difficult than the old one.

Previously, if you remember, we needed to answer six of the 10 questions correctly. Now it’s 12 out of 20.

And if the candidate’s English is not good – and most of the time it is not – then s/he will not do well.

Let's give some of the questions a try: Choose the right answer to each of these three questions:

1. James Madison is famous for many things.

He was President during the War of 1812.

He was the fifth President of the United States.

He wrote the Declaration of Independence.

He was the first Secretary of State.


2. Many famous events took place during the American Revolution. Choose the right one.

Washington crosses the Delaware River.

The Battle of Tippecanoe.

The Battle of Fort Niagara.

The Treaty of Ghent.

 3. The first motto of the United States was "E Pluribus Unum." What does this mean?

We, the people.

Government of the people.

Out of many, one.

The answers:

1. Madison was president during the War of 1812.

2. Washington crosses the Delaware River.

3. Out of many, one.

I'm sure the majority of Americans would not pass this test.


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He wasn’t the first one to think about it but a humor columnist for POLITICO suggested - ironically, of course - that if Greeks want back the stolen Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum that they should just steal them back, old boy.

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