Seniors brace for civics literacy exam


photo by Sophia

Economics teacher Adam Stansbury guides his students through a brief review of the topics to be covered in the upcoming Civics exam. Although not given much information in advance, teachers are trying to provide students with as much information as possible to ensure them a passing score.

What freedoms are guaranteed by the First Amendment? The separation of powers is meant to balance what three arms of government? What were the key thoughts behind the “I have a dream” speech?

Seniors will have to answer questions like these and more on Oct. 25, following the amendment to Senate Bill 1108, which requires all students to take a Civics Literacy Exam.

According to the Florida Department of Education, the exam is only a requirement for students currently enrolled in or planning to take U.S. Government or AP U.S. Government and Politics. However, if students pass the exam by scoring above a 60%, they are exempt from taking the assessment after highschool.  

Seniors will be given 130 minutes to complete 80 multiple choice questions on the basic topics covered in most government courses: the U.S. Constitution, landmark Supreme Court cases, and principles of American democracy. 

Though the exam is scheduled to take place on Oct. 25, many seniors still lack any knowledge about the FCLE. 

 “I’m in Economics right now and don’t have American Government until next semester,” senior Kailtyn Dudley said. “We don’t really focus on civics in my class.”

Although most of this information is easy to recall for students currently taking U.S. Government, seniors that have not yet taken the course are forced to  utilize other resources to prepare for the test. 

“There’s not enough information out there whatsoever,” Economics teacher Adam Stansbury said.  “As teachers, we have barely seen or heard of any specific ways to help our students review.”

With the exam fast approaching, Stansbury plans to compensate for the lack of preparation by reviewing as much content with his students as he can in the days leading up to the test. 

“We have two borrowed reviews from [AP Government teacher] Malkovich, and the state has given us a couple suggestions that we’ll review today, which are a few different crash courses online,” Stansbury said. 

The test will be administered again in the spring between Apr. 11 and May 27, providing seniors with a second chance to take the exam in case they want to improve their raw score, which they will receive immediately after the test.