Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Citizenship tests

Seems you can tell a lot about a country by what you have to know to be a citizen. Looked at the Australian, British and American tests last night. The American's are very into this whole democracy thing. All the questions are about the Constitution, branches of government, racial equality and native American rights. No filler. All very dour and serious. Apparently it is a very po-faced thing becoming an American citizen. Take it seriously! The only test that isn't multi-choice either.

  • What are the three branches of our government?
  • Who becomes President of the United States if the President and the Vice-President should die?
  • Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
  • When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
  • Which President was the first Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
  • What were the 13 original states?
The British one has some similar touches, making sure you know what the Magna Carta is seemed to be key, along with understanding how the Queen fits in to everything and also who the various patron saints are for Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland and in what order they occur throughout the year. There's some room for important social customs like what you should do if you spill someone's pint in the pub. Not quite so serious. There are four national saints' days in the UK, one for each nation. Which order do they fall in the calendar?
  • St Andrews, St Patrick's, St David's and St George's
  • St David's, St Patrick's, St George's and St Andrews
  • St George's, St Patrick's, St Andrews and St David's
Life in the UK explains what to do if you spill someone's pint in the pub. What, according to the book, usually happens next?
  • You would offer to buy the person another pint
  • You would offer to dry their wet shirt with your own
  • You may need to prepare for a fight in the car park
"The origins of our Parliament were in the early Middle Ages. In 1215 the great barons forced rights from a tyrannical King John". What is that document called?
  • The Mappa Mundi
  • The Magna Carta
  • The Bill of Rights
Then there's the Australian citizenship test. Issues such as the correct name for a swim suit (budgie smugglers) and the rules of cricket feature in the test. You can get a sense of where a country is coming from when they require you to know that 'a fair go' and 'mateship' are core values of the culture before they'll let you in. In which cricket tour did Sir Donald Bradman break almost all the existing batting records?
  • Australia's England tour in 1930
  • Australia's England tour in 1882
  • Australia's England tour in 1948
Who lit the Olympic cauldron in Sydney Olympics 2000?
  • Cathy Freeman
  • Phar Lap
  • Sir Donald Bradman
Give three Australian colloquialisms for swimming suit
  • budgie smugglers, cossies, swimmers
  • budgies cossers, toggie batties, swimmy budgers
  • togs, bummies, sossies
  • swommies, cossies, mugglers


JL said...

Ok, I'm dying to know the answer to the last question :-).


Paul said...

Well, I certainly need to study up if I'm to become and Aussie. Those are cool names! Also, I must admit that I'd have no idea what to do, other than offer to buy another pint, if I spilled someone's. I certainly hope that the correct answer is that I'd have to prepare for a fight! :-) Crikey!

Colin [auspiciousdragon.net] said...

The answer to the pint question would depend on what sort of establishment you were drinking in. However, I suspect that the authors of the test only drink in the sorts of places where the correct answer is 'offer to buy another pint'.

Paulo Bono said...

Great post, Gordon.

Here's some more inside information about budgie smugglers.

Also a few remarks about the general irrationality of Aussie nicknames.

If you abandon Texas you don't really have to memorise Don Bradman's batting records ... just bring a few cold ones and you're in, mate!

Paulo Bono said...

By the way, if you do come Down Under, I can tell you your own nickname now: Macca.