Purdue President Mitch Daniels proposed to the University Senate on Jan. 28 a plan to implement a standardized test to all students about U.S. history and political literacy.
The test, which all students would be required to complete prior to graduation, would call for students to better familiarize themselves with U.S. history and political structure.
Robert Browning, C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement senator, supported the idea.
“Many newly naturalized citizens know more about our government and history than their American-born counterparts,” he said.
According to Browning, the test would be around 10 questions, inspired by the actual U.S. naturalization test. The test is a requirement for any person seeking citizenship in the U.S. Some questions that might appear on the test include:
Who are the president, vice president and speaker of the house?
What are the three branches of the government?
What are the divisions of congress?
“Students would have to get around six out of 10 questions right to pass, although nothing is set yet about the length of the test,” Browning said.
Browning added the test could help students become better citizens.
“This test could possibly help students familiarize themselves with their government and rights as students and citizens,” he said.
However, Browning thinks that this test could be completed by students during the first week of classes, if they wish.
Some students have questions about the measure.
“Now that I will be a senior next year ... it would be somewhat unfair to only give me a year to prepare compared to four years that the freshman will have,” said Eduardo de la Garza, a third-year College of Engineering international student.
“I also wonder if international students will have to take it ... before graduation,” de la Garza said.
On the other hand, Connor Fisher thinks it will help students be more involved in politics.
“That’s a great idea, this will force kids to get involved in politics and not shy away from it,” said Fisher, a junior in the Krannert School of Management.
The proposition is set to go to the educational policy committee for review, which could take weeks or months to pass. Still, the test could be implemented as soon as next semester.