Thursday, September 20, 2007

The ISI's Civic's Quiz

Here's the link to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Civic's Quiz currently being reported about. You can take the quiz there if you're interested.

I did have to make an educated guess on a couple of the questions, and wouldn't have been surprised if I marked the wrong answer on a couple of questions. As it ended up, I scored 100% on the quiz (cough).

ISI's press release regarding the results of the quiz seems to me to be a bit misleading. Early on, ISI makes it sound as though students at elite universities scored lower than students at less elite universities. That's not true if you look at their results. Students at Ivy League schools scored very high on the exam, with students at Harvard scoring the highest.

What ISI is talking about is what schools have the largest difference between what freshmen scored and what seniors scored. To be sure, it still might be a bit disturbing that students at pricey universities don't seem to learn much more about the topics on the exam relative to students at less prestigious institutions, nonetheless, students at prestigious schools start at a higher baseline, and get more answers right on the civic's exam as both freshmen and seniors than do students at almost all other less prestigious institutions. So ISI's "headline" regarding the results seems to me a bit misleading relative to what the results actually are.

Nonetheless, the exam itself is fun to take.

4 Comments:

Blogger Wayne said...

92% Oh well...

September 20, 2007 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey, I'm in the biz. A 92 percent is better than seniors at Harvard. 'Course, I'd hate to see what I would have scored when I was 22.

September 21, 2007 5:46 AM  
Blogger Wayne said...

I missed the one on Edmund Burke, the Roe v. Wade one, and the one on Reconstructionism. I missed two others, but can't remember what they were.

September 21, 2007 8:39 AM  
Blogger Wayne said...

Another thing about the reports that seem to skew things. They make comparisons with incoming freshmen and note how seniors do little better if not worse. My hunch is that general civics and american history are things freshman have either just had in high school or are presently taking and subjects most seniors took at least 2 to 4 years earlier.

I remember taking a diagnostic exam when I entered graduate school in Classics. So much I didn't know. Man, that was embarrassing. The short answer I gave for the Battle of Actium still haunts me. :-)

September 21, 2007 8:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home