Aspiring citizens asked to play Trivial Pursuit — in English

18 May

Don’t believe it? Then look at what the Daily Telegraph has published as a likely citizenship test.

1 Which colours are represented on the Australian flag?

A Green and yellow
B Red, black and yellow
C Blue, red and white
D Orange and purple

2 Indigenous people have lived in Australia for

A At least 40,000 years
B About 8000 years
C About 800 years
D Less that 400 years

3 Australia’s national flower is the

A Rose
B Wattle
C Kangaroo paw
D Banksia

4 Which is a popular sport in Australia?

A Ice hockey
B Water polo
C Cricket
D Table tennis

5 Australia’s political system is a

A Parliamentary democracy
B Monarchy
C Dictatorship
D Socialist state

6 The Capital of Australia is

A Sydney
B Melbourne
C Hobart
D Canberra

7 Which animals are on the Australian Coat of Arms?

A Wombat and echidna
B. Kangaroo and emu
C Kangaroo and dingo
D Lion and unicorn

8 Where did the first European settlers to Australia come from?

A Spain
B France
C England
D Ireland

9 Who is Australia’s head of state?

A Prime Minister John Howard
B Queen Elizabeth II
C Governor General Michael Jeffery
D Premier Steve Bracks

10 Who was the first Prime Minister of Australia?

A Sir Edmund Barton
B Sir Henry Parkes
C John Curtin
D Sir Robert Menzies

11 What song is Australia’s national anthem?

A God Save the Queen
B Star Spangled Banner
C Advance Australia Fair
D Waltzing Matilda

12 What do you call the elected head of a state government?

A Governor
B Premier
C Mayor
D Prime Minister

13 Which federal political party or parties are in power?

A Australian Labor Party
B Australian Democrats and the Australian Greens
C National Party
D Liberal Party and National Party

14 Which of the following are Australian values?

A Men and women are equal
B ‘A fair go’
C Mateship
D All of the above

15 Australia’s values are based on the

A Teachings of the Koran
B The Judaeo-Christian tradition
C Catholicism
D Secularism

16 What does Anzac Day commemorate?

A The Gallipoli landing
B Armistice Day
C The Battle of the Somme
D Victory in the Pacific

17 In what year did the first European settlers arrive?

A 1801
B 1770
C 1788
D 1505

18 How many states are there in Australia?

A 5
B 6
C 7
D 8

19 Australian soldiers fought in

A World War I and World War II
B Korean War
C Vietnam War
D All of the above

20. What is Australia’s biggest river system?

A The Murray Darling
B The Murrumbidgee
C The Yarra
D The Mississippi

Discussion and answers — I passed, by the way — over the fold.

Essentially that is an English test even more than it is a citizenship test, unless of course they offer it in mother tongues, which they won’t as that could invoke the M-word.

Even so, much of it is either literally trivial (Q4) or could be the subject of very long discussions rather than a forced choice. We do argue about who the Head of State is –de jure or de facto; we do squabble over whether Australia is a (constitutional) monarchy or something else. The Prime Minister, we now learn, thinks the correct answer to Q18 really should be one or none. Imagine too Sir Henry Parkes, Alfred Deakin, Henry Lawson, Mary Gilmore, William Charles Wentworth, Sir Robert Menzies and George Pell having a good old ding-dong argument over Q15! Note too that the correct answer to Q4 is actually any of them, as you are asked only what is a popular sport, and they are in fact all popular, even ice hockey, though it admittedly is less so than the other three.

If they weren’t serious this lazy way around imparting citizenship knowledge and values would be merely pathetic. As tests go, a Dip Ed student could shoot holes in it after about two hours study of the relevant research on examinations and testing. See Multiple-Choice Tests. This whole exercise is deeply flawed, banal, and ignorant.


ANSWERS: 1) C 2) A 3) B 4) C 5) A 6) D 7) B 8]* C 9) B 10) A 11) C 12) B 13) D 14) D 15) B 16) A 17) C 18) B 19) D 20) A

* if you do 8 with a ) you get 8)

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2 responses to “Aspiring citizens asked to play Trivial Pursuit — in English

  1. Oscarandre

    May 19, 2007 at 8:45 am

    And all that twaddle about mateship, a fair go etc – the whole exercise makes those values redundant.

  2. ninglun

    May 20, 2007 at 9:46 am

    See some follow-up posts on Jim Belshaw’s blog, Planet Irf, Arthur’s blog and Legal Eagle. Such unanimity about this asinine project!


    The Kashmiri Nomad has picked up this entry too.

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