Only one in three Americans (36%) can actually pass a multiple choice test consisting of items taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test, which has a passing score of 60, according to a national survey by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Only 13% of those surveyed knew when the U.S. Constitution was ratified, even on a multiple-choice exam similar to the citizenship exam, with most incorrectly thinking it occurred in 1776. More than half of respondents (60%) didn’t know which countries the United States fought in World War II. And despite the recent media spotlight on the U.S. Supreme Court, 57% of those surveyed did not know how many Justices actually serve on the nation’s highest court. The survey also found that:
- 72% of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure of which states were part of the 13 original states
- Only 24% could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37% believing he invented the light bulb
- Only 24% knew the correct answer as to why the colonists fought the British.
- Those 65 years and older scored the best, with 74% answering at least six in 10 questions correctly. For those under the age of 45, only 19% passed with the exam, with 81% scoring a 59% or lower.