(05-29-2011 10:56 AM)Dimwitted Fool Wrote: Damn! I flunked the quiz I took.
Take the wingnut stuff out and there's some really good info in there.
Don't beat yourself up. I just took a quiz with ten questions. I got 2 of them "wrong," but several I got "right" I did so because I realized they were looking for a specific answer rather than a correct answer. With constitutional questions, the "correct" answer is very often not something that can be answered yes/no or with a multiple choice quiz like this.
Take for example this question, which showed up in my quiz (and which I got wrong and pretty much knew I was going to get wrong unless I guessed correctly):
"When new states were created after the adoption of the Constitution, the federal government sold off all public lands in those states as rapidly as possible to help pay the national debt. This brought all of the land in these new states under the control of the states, except for the federal government's military bases and federal building sites. In which group of states did the federal government reserve a large percentage of the public lands?" Possible answers were southern, central, northern, western.
The "correct" answer according to the quiz is "western states." For that answer to be correct, we have to have a more specific time period because there were no "western states" at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Any state created after the adoption of the Constitution was technically a "western" state by the terms indicated with the possible answers.
The problem with the question is that it is typical of multiple choice quizzes that the developers try to make harder with tricky phrasing. The whole thing revolves around phrase "new states," which makes "western" the only possible correct answer. However, the intent of the quiz is to test Constitutional knowledge, which you know going in and are thus thinking about, and the bit of the Constitution that deals with this is Article 1. The remainder of the question makes it seems as though the question is directly about that article and the cession of various lands by New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, all of which had vast areas of land they ceded to the federal government before and after adoption of the constitution. It is Virginia, NC, and Georgia that are generally associated with this, i.e. they were the only "states" with ceded public lands after the adoption of the constitution until Congress started carving out the NW territory into states.
So, it's a trick question in the sense that it's testing more whether you play close attention to the wording of the question than your constitutional knowledge. I suspect this is the case with a a lot of them.