(originally posted to Fukuzawa, ISSHO, and Friends Wed, 27 Nov 1996)

Now, how about that US INS Test? Some questions are a bit difficult to answer without a thesis, others want some rather banal trivia. Even the Washington Post article asks, "How well would you [as a citizen] do?" I give all 100, and give answers afterward to some of the more difficult ones (asterisked).

I took the test myself, and proudly say I got over ninety of them correct (good old American public schooling and Boy Scouting). I also tested my wife, who is definitely neither an Americaphile nor a history nut, and she got over a third correct off the bat. So how hard can it be? You decide.


1) What are the colors of the flag?

2) How many stars ore there in our flag?

3) What color are the stars on our flag?

4) What do the stars on the flag mean?

5) How many stripes are there on the flag?

6) What color are the stripes?

7) *What do the stripes on the flag mean?

8) How many states are there in the union?

9) What is the 4th of July?

10) What is the date of Independence Day?

11) Independence from whom?

12) What country idd we fight during the Revolutionary War?

13) Who was the first president of the US?

14) Who is the president of the US today?

15) Who is the vice president of the US?

16) *Who elects the president?

17) Who becomes president if the president should die?

18) For how long do we elect the president?

19) *What is the Constitution?

20) Can the Constitution be changed?

21) What do we call a change to the Constitution?

22) *How many changes or Amendments to the Constitution are there?

23) How many branches are there in our govt?

24) *What are the 3 branches of our govt?

25) *What is the Legislative Branch?

26) *Who makes the laws in the US?

27) *What is Congress?

28) *What are the duties of Congress?

29) Who elects Congress?

30) *How many senators are there in Congress?

31) Can you name the two senators from your state?

32) *For how long do we elect each senator?

33) *How many representatives are there in Congress?

34) *For how long do we elect the representative?

35) *What is the Executive Branch?

36) *What is the Judicial Branch?

37) *What are the duties of the Supreme Court?

38) *What is the supreme law of the US?

39) *What is the Bill of Rights?

40) What is the capital of your state?

41) Who is the current governor of your state?

42) *Who becomes president if both the president and VP die?

43) *Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court?

44) *Can you name the 13 original states?

45) *Who said, "Give me Liberty, or give me death"?

46) *Which countries were our principal allies during WWII?

47) *What is the 49th state of the Union?

48) *How many terms can a president serve?

49) Who was Martin Luther King Jr?

50) Who is the head of your local govt?

51) *According to the constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. Name one requirement.

52) *Why are there 100 senators in the Senate?

53) *Who selects the Supreme Court justices?

54) *How many Supreme Court justices are there?

55) *Why did the pilgrims come to America?

56) What is the head executive of a state govt called?

57) What is the head executive of a city govt called?

58) *What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the American colonists?

59) *Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

60) When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

61) *What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?

62) What is the name of the US's National Anthem?

63) *Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?

64) *Where does freedom of speech come from?

65) *What is the minimum voting age in the US?

66) Who signs bills into law?

67) What is the highest court in the US?

68) *Who was president during the Civil War?

69) *What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

70) *What special group advises the president?

71) Which president is called the "Father of our Country"?

72) *What is the 50th state of the Union?

73) *Who helped the Pilgrims in America?

74) *What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

75) *What were the 13 original states of the US called?

76) *Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?

77) *Who has the power to declare war?

78) *Name one amendment that guarantees or addresses voting rights?

79) Which president freed the slaves?

80) *In what year was the Constitution written?

81) *What are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution called?

82) *Name one purpose of the United Nations?

83) *Where does Congress meet?

84) Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

85) *What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

86) *Name one benefit of being a ciitizen of the US?

87) *What is the most important right granted to US citizens?

88) What is the US Capitol Building?

89) What is the White House?

90) *Where is the White House located?

91) What is the name of the president's official home?

92) *Name one right guaranteed by the First Amendment?

93) Who is the Commander in Chief of the US military?

94) Which president was the first Commander in Chief of the US military?

95) *In what month do we vote for the president?

96) *In what month is the new president inaugurated?

97) *How many times may a senator be reelected?

98) *How many times may a congressman be reelected?

99) What are the two major political parties in the US today?

100) How many states are there in the US?


7) They represent the original 13 colonies.

16) The Electorial College (trick question!)

19) The supreme law of the land.

22) 27 (I didn't get this one either)

24) Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch

25) Congress

26) Congress

27) The Senate and House of Reps

28) To make laws

30) 100

32) Six years

33) 435 (that many!?)

34) Two years

35) The president, Cabinet, and departments under the cabinet ministers

36) The Supreme Court

37) To interpret laws

38) The Constitution

39) The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution

42) The Speaker of the House of Representatives (surprise!)

43) William Rehnquist


45) Patrick Henry

46) UK, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China

47) Alaska

48) Two

51) Natural-born citizen of US, 35 years old by inauguration, 14 years' experience living in the US

52) Two from each state (yes, it can be that easy an answer...)

53) President

54) Nine

55) For religious freedom

58) Thanksgiving

59) Jefferson

61) That all men are created equal (oh, yeah, that's right!)

63) Francis Scott Key (hands up you Europeans who got that one!)

64) The Bill of Rights

65) Eighteen years of age

68) Lincoln

69) "Freed many slaves"

70) The Cabinet

72) Hawaii

73) The American Indians (Native Americans)

74) The Mayflower

75) Colonies

76) rights: speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, bear arms, privacy from military squatting, search and seizure, trial by jury and legal representation, cruel and unusual punishment, others than just listed here, ability for states to be a republic

77) Congress

78) 15th, 19th, 24th, 26th

80) 1787

81) Bill of Rights

82) For countries to discuss world problems, to provide economic aid too many countries, occasionally take military action

83) Capitol Building, Washington DC

85) The Preamble

86) Vote, travel with a US passport, serve on a jury, apply for federal employment opportunities, etc.

87) The right to vote

90) Washington DC, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. NW

92) Freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, petitioning the govt for change

95) November

96) January

97) and 98) No term limit at the present time


Dave Aldwinckle (now Arudou Debito)

(For more information on naturalization into Japan and the author's naturalization experiences,
click here to go to the Naturalization Section of the Residents Page)

Back to the Cover Page

"The Community" Page

Go to the "Residents Page"

Go to the "Activists Page"