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Contemporary's GED Social Studies
Kenneth Tamarkin
Jeri W. Bayer

Power, Authority, and Governance

GED Practice Quiz


Choose the one best answer to each question. When you have finished the quiz, click on Submit Answers to receive feedback and results. You may also choose to e-mail your results to your instructor.

Questions 1 and 2 refer to the following information.

A number of federal and state laws, generally called "fair employment laws," make it illegal for employers and unions to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, age, disability, or national origin in their hiring, pay, promotion, and firing practices.


Which of the following would probably be considered LEGAL practices under the fair employment laws?
Need a Hint?
A)paying female employees less than male employees
B)refusing to hire a computer programmer because she uses a wheelchair
C)laying off assembly plant workers who have worked the shortest length of time
D)firing an older man to make way for a younger one
E)refusing to hire a Mexican American

The "fair employment laws" enforce which of the following principles?
Need a Hint?
A)equal opportunity
B)full employment
C)one person, one vote
D)free public education
E)representative government

Questions 3 and 4 refer to the following chart.

Any part of the U.S. Constitution may be altered by an amendment. Amendments become a part of the Constitution in a two-step process.
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Which of the following is NOT supported by the information?
Need a Hint?
A)There are two methods by which constitutional amendments may be proposed.
B)There are two methods by which a constitutional amendment may be ratified.
C)A constitutional convention may be called by a petition from thirty-four states.
D)No constitutional convention called by the states has ever been held.
E)An amendment to the Constitution may be recommended by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress.

Which of the following statements is best supported by the information in the chart?
Need a Hint?
A)Once an amendment has been proposed, it is usually ratified.
B)In theory, the entire U.S. Constitution can be changed.
C)The ease with which the Constitution can be amended has caused the power of our most fundamental political documents to erode.
D)A move to make the amendment process easier would find widespread support.
E)Proposing constitutional amendments is easy; ratifying them is difficult.

Questions 5 and 6 refer to the following information.

The federal government is divided into three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Each branch has certain powers, but each branch is also limited by the others in a system of checks and balances.


Which of the following is NOT an example of our system of checks and balances at work?
Need a Hint?
A)The president can veto laws passed by Congress.
B)By a two-thirds vote, Congress can override a president’s veto.
C)The Supreme Court can declare a president’s actions unconstitutional.
D)The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces.
E)The Senate must approve the president’s appointment of judges.

What is the primary purpose of the system of checks and balances?
Need a Hint?
A)to ensure that no single branch of government becomes too powerful
B)to ensure that Congress can act independently of the president
C)to ensure that the armed forces are controlled
D)to ensure that the president is all-powerful
E)to ensure that the states receive an increasing amount of power

Question 7 refers to the following political cartoon.

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Michael Ramirez, Copley News Service. Reprinted with permission.


What is the cartoonist implying about the FBI?
Need a Hint?
A)The FBI doesn’t have enough responsibility.
B)The FBI is a very effective government organization.
C)The FBI needs to hire more agents.
D)FBI agents need to receive more training.
E)The people working at the FBI are not very intelligent.

Questions 8 and 9 refer to the following information.

Each state elects two U.S. senators, but U.S. representatives are allotted on the basis of a state’s population. While senators are elected on a statewide basis, representatives are elected from districts. Before the Supreme Court case of Wesberry v. Sanders in 1964, the number of people who lived in different congressional districts varied considerably. Many large districts had twice the population of smaller districts. In effect, a vote in a large district was worth only half as much as a vote in a smaller district. The Wesberry case required all congressional districts to be approximately equal in population.


What could the rule created by Wesberry v. Sanders also be called?
Need a Hint?
A)due process
B)one person, one vote
C)reverse discrimination
D)separate but equal
E)checks and balances

What was one likely result of the Wesberry ruling?
Need a Hint?
A)Minorities are often underrepresented.
B)Some states have no representatives.
C)Districts are redrawn when populations change.
D)Some states may elect more than two senators.
E)Democrats have an unfair advantage over Republicans.

Question 10 is based on the following information.

Laws are called bills before they are voted on and enacted. Once a draft of a bill is written, it is introduced on the floor of either the Senate or the House of Representatives. "Revenue-raising" (tax) bills must begin in the House of Representatives. Most other bills may begin in either house.

Once introduced, the bill is sent to the appropriate congressional committee, which conducts research, holds hearings, and hammers out the wording of the bill after listening to the views of concerned citizens, constituencies, and lobbying groups. It is in committees where most of the work of Congress takes place, and where, to a large extent, the future of a bill is determined.


After being introduced, what is the second step in the creation of a law?
Need a Hint?
A)The Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality.
B)The president considers whether to veto it.
C)The House and Senate vote on it.
D)It is sent to a Senate or House committee.
E)It is published in the Congressional Record.