U.S. Constitution exam

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by Mrs.S, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Mrs.S

    Mrs.S Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2005

    Hello,
    Has anyone on this board given the US Constitution exam ? If so any study material and which books to use would be very helpful.

    Thanks
     
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  3. artnymph

    artnymph Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2005

    I don't know about where you are, but here in California, there are testing sites, and one of the ones near me, in Santa Clara offers the test and sends a booklet that has the fifty different points which the test covers and also the essay question for the test which can be practiced on and developed while studying. From the test booklet it says that this test can be taken and passed with about two weeks of studying. Perhaps someone on this board would have the test booklet they could send you. I would send you mine after I am done with it, but I am not taking it until October, so that is a while to wait. The test cost $32 and the exam booklet was included. Maybe you could contact them and see if they could just send you the booklet for a fee. here is their web address: http://www.leeclark.org/k-12 Teachers.htm hope this helps!
     
  4. socal

    socal Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2005

    Mrs. S, I used The Constitution of the United States an Introduction by Floyd G. Cullop. My best Friend gave me the book (she passed it using it as well). I am not too sure where she got it, but it was very helpful. I also got a study guide from the testing site as well.

    Hopefully that helps you! Good Luck!!! :)
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 13, 2005

    The Cullop book is the standard one recommended for the US Constitution exam in California, I think.

    There are some fine, fine online resources under the Constitution Day link:

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=13007&goto=newpost

    Turns out that the federal government is requiring that all schools that receive federal funds set aside time on Sept. 17 to teach students about the Constitution. I guess teachers get to keep on knowing this stuff, hm?
     
  6. Calif Student

    Calif Student Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2005

    Is there a site in Los Angeles area for this U.S. Constitution test?

    Does anyone know of a testing site that's close to Los Angeles area?

    Do people in the credentialing program usually take the exam to satisfy the requirement or do they actually take the class?

    Thanks for any info or feedback!
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 18, 2005

    The US Constitution exam is NOT like CSET, or even CBEST - it's 25 multiple choice questions, and I think in some areas you can take it by appointment. Best bet to find out where it's given in your part of the LA area would be to ask at the nearest credential program - or ask at the county office of education, and make sure you find out in the process whether you actually DO have to take the exam, or whether your undergrad program included any coursework that could be used instead.
     
  8. Calif Student

    Calif Student Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2005

    Thanks for the info!

    I just checked with my school's credential dept and was informed that Cal State Long Beach, San Bernardino, and UCLA extension do offer Constitution exam.
     
  9. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Sep 20, 2005

    Hello!
    I took it at Cal State Long Beach. I think it was about $25.00. The test was 75 questions (all mult. choice). I was going to take it at UCLA (I live a few blocks away) but they charge $80.00. I did buy my study guide from the UCLA bookstore. I don't remember the title (50 lessons in...?) but the author was Hennessy. It was about $12.00. This book is the recommended study guide for both CSULB and UCLA.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 21, 2005

    If you've tried Googling for more information and didn't find much, it turns out there's a reason: the state of California hasn't specified a particular exam, and there are several different possibilities.

    The exam at CSU Long Beach - 75 true-false questions, apparently, and passing is about 80% correct - is one that originates with (and can be taken through) UCLA Extension; it's also used by Alameda and Contra Costa and Santa Cruz County Offices of Education. The prep book is Hennessey's Twenty-five Lessons in Citizenship, 2004 edition, ISBN 1879773066, cost in paperback about $8. Fees are payable to Regents-UC (and sometimes also to the agency that administers your test) and range from $25 or so to $80 and more. It generally is scheduled by appointment, and it can take a couple of weeks to get results. CSU San Bernardino might use the same exam, but I'm not sure.

    CSU Long Beach notes that Orange Coast College gives an acceptable exam, but I don't know which. In addition, CSU Long Beach's Department of Social and Behavior also offers the option of getting credit by exam for a political science class.

    Another fairly widespread exam is the one that San Diego County Office of Education gives twice a month: 50 questions, of which 25 are true-false and 25 multiple choice. The prep book is Floyd Cullop's The Constitution of the United States, an Introduction , 1969 edition, ISBN 0451627245, cost in paperback about $6. The same test, or at least a very similar-sounding test using the same book, is used by Chapman University (I don't know whether it's administered at any of the satellite campuses). SDCOE also mentions Point Loma Nazarene University and Palomar College as test sites.

    Fullerton (could be CSU, could be the community college) offers a 75-question exam, passing score is 50 correct, and either the Cullop or Hennessey books are good study guides. American River College has a 75-question exam, passing score is 55 correct, and the study guide is The United States Constitution: Study Guide published by Academic Solutions, Inc.; I don't have an ISBN, but apparently some of the practice questions show up on the exam.

    Biola University will accept verification of passing any exam; it's entirely possible that other schools will do likewise.

    Biola is also among institutions that offer a prep-plus-exam package. Prep is usually one day. Other institutions doing likewise: CSU San Bernardino Extended Studies, National University, UCSC, CSU Northridge, and UCSD Extension (it's available online as well as live).
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 10, 2005

    This US Constitution exam thread seems to make more sense here in Other Tests than it did where it was.
     
  12. KernTeacher

    KernTeacher New Member

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    Nov 24, 2005

    Constitution requirement in Bakersfield, CA

    I don't know if anybody might read this who lives near Bakersfield, but I hope it is helpful:

    I found out that I needed to pass the Constitution exam on the morning of the day I was supposed to get my credential, so I needed to get it passed and didn't have much time. I drove to Bakersfield College and went to the Testing/Assessment Center on campus. They offer the test, I believe, Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00-2:00 (2:00 is the latest that you can *start* the test). You're supposed to make an appointment, but I didn't have time. They handed me a study guide that listed the four areas to study, including 24 historical court cases.

    I studied in their library from a US History textbook that the study guide recommended for about 3 hours -- mainly the court cases and the 27 amendments. I went back and took the test (for a fee of $20, money order or check only). You have to score a 70 out of 100 to pass, and there are 50 multiple choice and 50 true/false. The test is written by a history professor at Bakersfield College, so obviously it is not some sort of standardized US Constitution exam. I finished and turned in the scantron form, and they took about 5 minutes to grade it, then brought out my certificate.

    My recommendation is obviously not to wait until the last minute. If you are in a credential program or you have your sights set on becoming a teacher, check asap with your program advisor to make sure you met the Constitution requirement when you took undergrad history classes. If there is any doubt, get a copy of the study guide from the BC testing center and study a couple hours a day for about a week, and you should be OK. I would even say you don't necessarily need a textbook, just use Google wisely. I had to cram with a textbook and was lucky to pass.

    Basically, if you study the Articles of Confederation (namely, *why they didn't work*), the original Constitution, the Amendments (just try to memorize the issue that each covers and why it was added to the Constitution), and, last but not least, the 24 cases on their study guide:

    Baker-Carr
    Barron-Baltimore
    Brandenburg-Ohio
    Branzberg-Hayes
    Brown-Board of Ed.
    Chaplinsky-New Hampshire
    Dred Scott-Sandford
    Duncan-Louisville
    Engel-Vitale
    Everson-Board of Ed.
    Gideon-Wainwright
    Griswold-Connecticut
    Lemon-Kurtzman
    Mapp-Ohio
    Marbury-Madison
    McCulloch-Maryland
    Miller-California
    Miranda-Arizona
    Plessy-Ferguson
    Regents-Bakke
    Roe-Wade
    Schenck-US
    US-Nixon
    Weeks-US

    There was at least one question on each of these cases, sometimes 2 or 3. Just try to remember the main issue in each and what the court ruled -- nothing too in-depth. For example, for Schenck-US, all I remembered going into the test was that it was a draft- or war-protesting issue, and that the court ruled that during certain times there are types of speech that aren't OK that would be OK during peacetime. Sure enough, there was a question on that case and I knew the answer.

    So, long story short, if you're around Bakersfield and you haven't yet met that Constitution requirement, plan ahead and go to BC, and with a little studying you should be OK.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 26, 2005

    Nice list of court cases - and these all have resonances in US history.
     
  14. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Dec 19, 2005

    Just took the Constitution Exam at American River College in Sacramento. I am not sure I really had to. According to the recruiter at Project Pipeline, graduating from CSU meets the requirements for 2 units in the Constitution. Could be. I know I had courses in history and political science. But that was many years ago and I don't remember precisely what they covered. So, in order to not have an unpleasant surpise somewhere down the line during evaluation of my course work, I took the exam anyway.

    The exam is given on Fridays at the ARC Natomas Center across from Arco Arena, except during January and August. On the day I took it, the exam was given at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. My guess is that his is typical, but I don't know for sure. All you need on the day of the exam are a Scantron Form 882-E and a No. 2 pencil. Results are available the next Monday by phone. Written results are also mailed to test taker and the institution of choice. Fee is $40. You are allowed to take the exam twice. I was able to call in the day before the exam to schedule it. My guess is you could walk in minutes before the exam and do the same as long as there is space in the room.

    The book the questions are based on is The United States Constitution Study Guide by Academic Solutions, Inc. ISBN 0-9740200-2-8. It is available in the ARC bookstore for $13.95. It contains the texts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the other amendments, along with paraphrases of all of them in modern, simple English, historical notes, several study aids (lists of relevant information), and a 100 question practice exam.

    The proctor did not announce how long we had to complete the exam. My guess is it is an hour. I took about 45 minutes although most folks were done before that. I don't know if that was because they were faster than me, or just didn't know the material. I had to do some strategic guess, which took some time. And I always use any time available to double check my answers.

    The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions. Passing score is 55. It is not difficult in the sense that a deep understanding of principles is not required. It does not even touch on court decisions related to the Constitution or amendments. All that is required is the ability to parrot back basic facts. There is a statement on the exam web site, and even on the exam form I saw, that says some of the questions are taken from the practice exam in the study guide. I didn't recognize many. But there did seem to be some. And many of the same subjects were covered, just in different words.

    About half of the questions covered facts about the events (and dates) leading up to separation from Britain, the Articles of Confederation, the form of our government as established by the Constitution, etc. You can safely ignore the snippets from the Federalist Papers in the study guide. IMHO if you can answer the practice exam questions in the study guide correctly, you will do well on this half of the exam. But there were questions on history and the Articles of Confederation that aren't reflected in the practice exam.

    The rest of the test is about the 27 amendments to the Constitution. IMHO this is the make or break portion of the exam. The questions are not in the same form as the study guide. You need to be able to match up the subjects of the amendments with their numbers. These kind of questions have always been problematic for me. I just have a hard time remembering arbitrary information, like the amendment number, associated with important concepts, like the amendment. But the form of the exam I was given made things a bit easier than they might have been. The questions were grouped in sets of from 5 to 8 questions with 5 answers for the group where the answers were the amendment numbers. Basically, each amendment number applied to one or more subjects. It turned out I always knew two or three of the answers right off the top of my head and was able to accurately guess enough of the remaining questions based on a feel for the chronology of the amendments. FWIW the amendments that come to mind now are: I (freedom of speech, etc.), II (right to bear arms, etc.), V("the fifth", etc.), XIII (abolition of slavery), XVIII (prohibition), XXI (end of prohibition), XXII (presidential term limit), and XXVI (18 year old vote). But if you can, have the correlation between the amendment numbers and the contents of the amendments down cold before the exam.

    So, if you need to get the Constitution requirement out of the way, live in Northern California, or are are going to be there on a Friday, IMHO this good, quick and relatively cheap way to do it.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    From what I hear, none of these exams is what one could call "deep".
     
  16. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Yep, just the kind of rote repetition of facts and dates I thought I left behind in grade school...
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well, the principles behind the questions are pretty foundational - it shocks me to realize how many people neither know nor care what's in the Bill of Rights.
     
  18. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    It shocks me how many people are willing to give up what is in the Bill of Rights as long as they think it means making them "safer"...
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's the same shock!
     
  20. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Dec 23, 2005

    Got written notification of passing along with a transcript to send off to whoever requires proof of passing. Ofcourse, they spelled my name wrong on the transcript. Interesting considering they spelled my name correctly on the letter.
     
  21. jheck

    jheck New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006

    Phone Number

    Just wondering if you happen to have the phone number for registration for this test?






     

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