The NY Times has a front-page article on the new test given to folks who want to be citizens. It is a new test, the first change since 1986. Note all the other articles or sites related to the issue, including this one that asks the same questions of those who are citizens already; they don’t do so well. This is the new test (pdf file).
Obviously, we can have a perfectly interesting conversation on what a citizenship test should look like, is this one good enough, etc. I’m not all that interested in any kind of multiple choice test myself, perhaps especially on something of this importance. And yet, I understand that some sort of test has to be given. And this may do. My father also had to take a multiple choice civics test in 1962 (which he probably cheated to pass, since he really couldn’t read English). But he didn’t fail on the test the judge gave him, as he stood in front of him: Dad was asked whether he would be willing to serve in the U.S. military, if needed. Yes. Where does your mother live now? Budapest. Would you be willing to serve as a bombardier, if asked? Yes. Would you be willing to go to war against Hungary, if asked? Yes. Would you be willing to bomb Budapest? Pause. Yes. What would your mother think of this? She would understand. Congratulations, Mr. Schramm, you are now a citizen of the United States of America.