It's True: People Are Stupid

It's not like there's nothing going on at all around here (apartment buildings are exploding in fireballs, for one) but I thought I'd steer you over to an interesting civics test which the majority of college seniors in this country fail miserably.

It's called the American Civic Literacy Test and it was produced by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. It was given to 14,000 students at 50 universities. Here's the summarized findings:

College seniors know astoundingly little about America’s history, political thought, market economy and international relations.

The overall average score for the approximately 7,000 seniors who took the American civic literacy exam was 54.2%, an “F.” That is consistent with the overall average of 53.2% posted by seniors last year. Not one college surveyed can boast that its seniors scored, on average, even a “C” in American civic knowledge.

Harvard seniors scored highest, but their overall average was 69.6%, a “D+.” That is almost identical to the 69.7% earned by Harvard seniors last year. Yale and Princeton seniors averaged only 65.9% and 61.9%, respectively. At 18 colleges, the average senior scored less than 50%.

University of Florida seniors performed dismally, with an average score of 53.4 percent, slightly below the national average for seniors. Even the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia outperformed the Gators, with an average score of 57.76.

This is part of the reason why local governments can get away with so much -- citizenship has gone to hell in this country. But here's the fun part: You can click here to take the test. Actually it's not so fun; it's a pretty challenging little bugger. (Though there's no excuse for failing it). After Ross Shulmister, the editor of The Sentry in Pompano Beach, alerted me to the test in an email, I took it. My score was better than the average Harvard senior, but it still wasn't good enough to brag about here.* All I can say is, don't rush through it like I did, because you'll make stupid mistakes that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

I love what the ISI is doing. If you want to support them, click here and help keep it going.

*All right, I got 12 wrong for an 80. But you have to understand, I took it late at night, slightly buzzed, wanting to climb in bed, and having no idea I was going to have to post this and be obliged to post my humiliating score online. Hey, don't roll your eyes. Seriously! I'M NOT THAT STUPID!!!

After the jump: The Results, College By College

1 Eastern Conn. State Univ.* 31.34% 40.99% +9.65%

2 Marian College (WI)* 33.66 43.10 9.44

3 Murray State University* (KY) 40.63 49.75 9.12

4 Concordia University* (NE) 46.29 55.28 8.99

5 St. Cloud State Univ.* (MN) 35.67 44.26 8.59

6 Mississippi State University* 42.50 50.86 8.36

7 Pfeiffer University* (NC) 36.05 44.30 8.25

8 Illinois State University* 42.74 50.93 8.19

9 Iowa State University* 45.03 52.69 7.66

10 University of Mississippi 41.87 49.32 7.45

11 Smith College (MA) 52.63 60.07 7.44

12 Rhodes College (TN) 53.76 61.18 7.42

13 University of Montana* 45.54 52.16 6.62

14 Idaho State University* 41.76 48.15 6.39

15 University of Wisconsin 51.57 57.87 6.30

16 Univer. of Southern Maine* 37.48 43.58 6.10

17 Harvard University 63.59 69.56 5.97

18 University of Notre Dame 55.66 61.25 5.59

19 Mt. Vernon Nazarene Univ.* (OH) 40.04 44.60 4.56

20 Washington & Lee University 62.46 66.98 4.52

21 Calvin College (MI) 51.99 56.45 4.46

22 University of Florida 48.96 53.40 4.44

23 University of North Carolina 53.26 57.68 4.42

24 Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities* 49.18 53.50 4.32

25 University of Michigan 46.68 51.00 4.32

26 University of Washington 51.63 55.88 4.25

27 Gonzaga University (WA) 47.71 51.86 4.15

28 University of Rochester* (NY) 55.69 59.32 3.63

29 Grove City College (PA) 63.64 67.26 3.62

30 Georgia College and State Univ.* 40.28 43.68 3.40

31 Bowdoin College (ME) 59.50 62.86 3.36

32 University of Georgia* 54.48 57.76 3.28

33 Carnegie Mellon University* 54.06 56.90 2.84

34 St. Thomas University* (FL) 29.75 32.50 2.75

35 Texas State Univ.-San Marcos* 41.25 43.99 2.74

36 Texas A&M International Univ.* 38.43 41.14 2.71

37 George Mason University (VA) 47.28 49.96 2.68

38 University of Virginia 62.95 65.28 2.33

39 Brown University 63.42 65.64 2.22

40 Wheaton College (IL) 62.87 64.98 2.11

41 University of Pennsylvania 62.66 63.49 0.83

42 Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst* 46.10 46.66 0.56

43 Oakwood College* (AL) 35.17 34.69 -0.48

44 Univ. of California-Berkeley 57.03 56.27 -0.76

45 Rutgers University* 50.93 49.99 -0.94

46 Princeton University 63.60 61.90 -1.70

47 St. John’s University* (NY) 41.69 39.82 -1.87

48 Duke University 65.66 63.41 -2.25

49 Yale University 68.94 65.85 -3.09

50 Cornell University 61.90 56.95 -4.95


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