I Am Curious If Donald Trump Remembers His Eighth Grade Constitution Test?

I am becoming a more informed citizen since the night of November 8th. I need to understand how things work in our government to find points of intervention, so one of the first things I did was order a copy of the United States Constitution.

When it arrived I discovered the booklet was written in the language of our founding fathers. I did not understand a word of the 1787 verbiage so I went back to Amazon and ordered three Books for Dummies on the U.S Constitution, on the U.S. Congress, and how Washington D.C. works. I have to say the name of the series troubles me for I am not dumb; I am curious.

I am also remembering that in 8th grade I had to pass both a test on the U.S. Constitution as well as that of our state. If you did not pass you could not go onto high-school. My 8th grade memories include much anxiety about passing the exam though I also remember once I relaxed I actually enjoyed learning about how our country ran. In all honesty I have forgotten most of what I learned.

I wondered if that process was still in place today. I got the following information from a middle school social studies teacher in my local school district. She said:

“… Every state makes their own decisions about this test. I know for a fact that not all states require students to take the test. It is not standardized at all. All schools get to make up their own test and then…every teacher in that school may give a different test. As far as what grade does astudent need to pass, it used to be a 60% here at SHJH, but we collectively said it should be 70%… The last few years I have 1 or 2 who have not reached that 70% the first time and then pass with flying colors the second time. …As far as high school goes, Illinois requires that students take government where they will once again be required to take the Constitution test and have to pass to graduate…I do not know about other states.

I also found a practice quiz from another local middle school. I took it and did not do well. If you scroll down you will find the quiz with the answers. I invite you to run through the questions, but before you do I have to share the opening statements in an article dated 12/02/2015 from the Huffington Post. I encourage you to read the full report. Please go to:

Paul Ryan: I’ve Talked With Donald Trump ‘Extensively’ About The Constitution www.huffingtonpost.com/author/hayley-miller

In the article, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan states he and President-elect Donald Trump have discussed the Constitution “extensively” in their “almost daily conversations.”

In an excerpt of a “60 Minutes” interview that will air Sunday, Scott Pelley asked the speaker if Trump understands the role of the president and his obligation to work with Congress, rather than acting as “CEO of the United States.”

“Oh, we’ve talked about that extensively,” Ryan said. “We’ve talked about the Constitution, Article 1, the separation of powers.”

I am flabbergasted. I am totally and completely flabbergasted that a man elected to the office of President of the United States is being tutored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives about the Constitution of the United States beginning with the separation of powers. If I was not flabbergasted I would be terrified and burst into tears. Perhaps Donald Trump should be required to pass this test before he is able to take office. Sigh…

  1. What is the more “common name” for the first ten amendments to the constitution? (Bill of Rights)

2. The introduction to the current constitution is known as the: (Preamble)

3. The current constitution was written in the late 1700s in order to ________________ the central government of the United States. (strengthen)

4. The philosopher John Locke believed that people are born with natural rights. What are the three natural rights? (Life, Liberty, Property)

5. The “technical name” for the type of government “by the people” is: (Democracy)

6. What is the name given to the procedure for removing an individual from an office / position of power within the national government? (Impeachment process)

7. Which principle of government allows the federal court system to rule on both the Constitutionality and meaning of a federal law? (Judicial review)

8. The seven original sections of the current constitution that discuss rules and procedures are known as the: (Articles)

9. The additions / changes made in the current constitution over the years are known as the: (Amendments)

10. How many “additions / changes” have been made in the current constitution over the years? (27)

11. The U.S. Congress, the Presidential White House, and the Supreme Court are all located in what city? (Washington, D.C.)

12. Which branch of the central government makes / enacts / passes laws? (Legislative)

13. Which branch of the central government enforces laws? (Executive)

14. Which branch of the central government decides if a law is constitutional? (Judicial)

15. Which branch of government appoints federal judges? (Executive)

16. Which branch of government accuses and tries (impeaches and convicts) and then removes federal officials from office? (Legislative)

17. Which government(s) can print and coin money? (Federal only)

18. Which government(s) can declare war? (Only the federal government)

19. Which person in the executive branch has the power to appoint justices to the Supreme Court? (The President)

20. The Constitutional Convention that wrote the current constitution was held in: (Philadelphia)

21. Who is considered the “Father of the Constitution” for his efforts in the writing of the current constitution? (James Madison)

22. This plan was created by James Madison for representation based on population in Congress: (Virginia Plan)

23. This plan was liked by states with small populations and called for representation to be based on equal representation. (New Jersey Plan)

24. The “Great Compromise” at the Constitutional Convention created how many houses? (Two houses)

25. What vote of the states was required to “ratify” (adopt) the current constitution? (9/13’s)

26. The information regarding the Legislative Branch can be found in: (Article I)

27. What is the “official name” of the legislative branch of the federal government? (Congress)

28. What two groups make up the Legislative Branch/ Congress? (House of Representatives and Senate)

29. Which house of Congress is based on proportional representation? (House of Representatives)

30. Which house of Congress is based on equal representation? (Senate)

31. If Congress overrides a president’s veto what size vote must they secure? (2/3)

32. Which house has equal representation? (Senate)

33. What is the first step in the process for a bill to become a law? (Bill is an idea)

34. A bill must be passed by________ to become a law: (Both the House and Senate)

35. How does the president check the power of Congress? (The President vetoes a bill passed by Congress.)

36. How does Congress check the power of the president? (Congress impeaches and tries a President or they override his veto.)

37. Who officially declares war? (Congress)

38. The U.S. Congress is “bicameral.” This means? (It has two houses)

39. The U.S. House of Representatives has how many members? (435)

40. The U.S. Senate has how many members? (100)

41. How many senators are there from each state? (2)

42. The power to make treaties with foreign nations lies with the: (President)

43. Who served as the first official president of the United States? (George Washington)

44. Article III contains information about this branch of government: (Judicial)

45. What Article of the Constitution can you look at to find information about the executive branch? (Article II)

46. What is the name for the form or plan of government in which powers are divided among one national government and many state governments? (Federal system)

47. The principle that divides powers and duties among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of a government is known as: (Separation of powers)

48. The principle that gives the legislative, executive, or judicial branches the right to block the misuse of power by any of the other branches of government is known as: (Checks and balances)

49. What was the name of the first document of national government / constitution for the United States? (Articles of Confederation)

50. A written plan of government that lists all laws for a country is called a: (Constitution)

51. How many years in a president’s term? (Four)

52. How many full terms may one person serve as president? (Two)

53. What is the maximum number of years one person may serve as president? (Eight)

54. Presidential / federal elections are held in what month of the year? (November)

55. Which of these bodies has the first opportunity to officially elect a U.S. President? (The Electoral College)

56. All states have the same number of electoral votes. (False)

57. Nationwide there are how many electoral votes? (538)

58. How many electoral votes does a candidate need to receive to win the presidency in the Electoral College? (270)

59. The candidate who receives the most electoral votes automatically wins the presidency. (True)

60. Which group elects the president if the Electoral College fails to do so? (House of Representatives)

61. The current Speaker of the House of Representatives is: (Paul Ryan)

62. The current presiding officer in the U.S. Senate is: (Vice-President Joseph Biden)

63. According to the 2010 census, (your state) has how many U.S. Representatives?

64. How many Congressional Districts are there in the state of (your state)?

65. (Name of your middle school) is in which (your state) Congressional district?

66. (Your state) has how many U.S. Senators?

67. Who is the current senior U.S. Senator from (your state)?

68. Who is the junior U.S. Senator from (your state)?

69. The term of office of a U.S. Representative is: (Two years)

70. The term of office of a U.S. Senator is: (Six years)

71. What fraction / percentage of the U.S. Senate is elected every two years? (1/3 or 33 1/3%)

72. What is the age requirement for a U.S. Representative? (25)

73. What is the age requirement for a U.S. Senator? (30)

74. What is the “title” of the presiding officer in the U.S. House of Representatives? (Speaker)

75. What is the “title” of the presiding officer in the U.S. Senate? (Vice-President/President of the Senate)

76. Which power belongs to the U.S. House of Representatives? (The power to impeach officials)

77. Who tries impeachment cases? (The Senate)

78. Who approves treaties/agreements with other nations? (The Senate)

79. In which body must all tax bills originate/be introduced? (House of Representatives)

80. Which body approves all presidential appointments? (US Senate)

81. Which body elects the president if the Electoral College fails to do so? (House of Representatives)

82. How many judges serve on the US Supreme Court? (Nine)

83. How long is the term of a federal judge? (Life)

84. What is the minimum age for voting in the US? (Eighteen)

85. What did the prohibition amendment ban/end? (Alcoholic beverages)

86. Who officially ratifies/approves amendments to the US Constitution? (The States)

87. On what date /day is the president inaugurated (sworn into office)? (January 20)

88. Who is the current Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court? (John Roberts)

89. What is the name of the legislative branch of (your state) State government?

90. What is the title of the chief executive officer of (your state)?

91. What city is the state capital of (your state)?

92. (Your state) judges are elected? True or False

93. To which branch of state government do the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and State Treasurer belong? (Executive)

94. The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution bans what? (Illegal searches of suspects)

95. Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are guaranteed by this amendment: (Amendment 1)

96. The 19th Amendment gave: (Women the right to vote)

97. The 26th Amendment gave: (18 year olds the right to vote)

98. The 15th Amendment gave: (Black males the right to vote)

99. The original trial courts of the federal system where all criminals cases are heard for the first time: (District Court)

100. This court of law decides if laws follow the Constitution or not? (Supreme Court)

How did you do? I wonder how Donald Trump would do.