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Sample Test for U.S. Presidential Candidates

26 August 2016

Presidential seal

To become a candidate for President of the United States, a person doesn’t need his or her high school transcript, college degree, record of public service, character references or an employment resume. Even a driver’s license isn’t necessary.  The only qualifications for POTUS are to be over the age of 35 and a native born citizen who has lived in the country for fourteen years. The presidential hopeful must pay a $5000 filing fee to demonstrate financial responsibility. That’s it!

Pre-schools for 3-to 4 year olds require a long waitlist and a single, easily guessable qualification.  High schools have varying rules of behavior, but bullying, fighting, name-calling and bringing dangerous weapons can mean expulsion in enlightened districts.    

Accredited colleges and universities require prospective students to take the SAT. If that test isn’t mandatory, the ACT might be. At the very least, an applicant should submit a complete transcript, a list of advanced placement subjects and a personal essay; the package bolstered with teachers recommendations. Applicants who are gifted musicians, sports stars and who have spent their holidays building houses in foreign countries are heartily welcomed, especially if they have all those accomplishments. None of these criteria pertain to for-profit enterprises, which exist to enrich their founders and impoverish their attendees.

To become a candidate for any public office, a sizeable sample of the local population should respect you for a good reason. (Honesty, sincerity, public spirit, philanthropy and expertise in your field are helpful examples of good reasons) Governors need to be well-known for something or other, though other seems to be gaining on something.  Those whose ambitions reach even higher, to the US Senate and Congress, must register with the Federal Election Commission, pay a fee, and advertise themselves expensively, extensively and expertly. One tweet is worth a billion lawn signs.

Perhaps there should be some sort of test, similar to the SAT, but minus the advanced calculus, something the candidate for President wouldn’t necessarily need. Maybe just History, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, a couple of foreign languages and a quote recognition section would be enough. 

Sample Vocabulary Test for POTUS

All electronic devices with the exception of heart pacemakers must be given to proctors upon entry. If found in your clothing or on your body, they will be immediately confiscated and you will never be allowed to take the Official Test.  Underline just one. (NOTA) INDICATES none of the above.

1. AGRIMONY:
wages of farm workers;
child support;
flowering plant;
(NOTA)

2. BATHETIC:

plumbing term;
spa treatment;
shared emotion;
(NOTA)

3. CORRUGATE:
political scandal;
bribe;
agree with;
(NOTA)

4. DIVINATION:
preliminary to sainthood;
blessing;
estimate;
(NOTA)

5. EUROPIUM:
union of France, Italy, & Germany;
skin disorder;
Greek temple;
(NOTA)

6. FURFURAL:
noisy crowd;
women’s mink scarf;
ceiling molding;
(NOTA)

7. GENRO:
style of art & literature;
people born after WWI;
dark brownish red;
(NOTA)

Sample History Test for POTUS

Identify the answer with a checkmark.

THE BANDUNG CONFERENCE:
International meeting to prohibit fertilizing produce with manure
A trade agreement among the US, Africa & Asia
A city in northwest China, known for its shirt factories
(NOTA)

THE AFFAIR OF THE DIAMOND NECKLACE:
A gift to a leading oil company lobbyist
50th birthday present to Michelle Obama
An 18th century French political scandal
(NOTA)

THE ODER-NIESSE LINE:
The frontier between German & Poland
World War I system of fortifications
A geometric term for rhomboid figures
(NOTA)

THE KELLOG-BRIAND PACT:
Anti-Trust decision passed in late 1920s
Peace agreement between US & France
SCOTUS decision in favor of subsidies for ranchers.
(NOTA)

THE EMERGENCY QUOTA LAW OF 1921:
Determines surplus wheat & corn quotas
Enforces immigration quotas based upon country of origin
Forbids discriminatory quotas for universities
(NOTA)

Sample Foreign Language Test

Translate in the space below:

Avoir la těte dans le guidon

Essere bevuto il cervello

Ètot muzcina platit za vsë

¿Desea que un maniático tienen el códico?

Honi soit qui mal y pense

Useful Quotations

Candidates often use quotations, but not always properly crediting their authors. Check the correct answer from the options below the quote.

"No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar."
George Bernard Shaw
Richard M. Nixon
Abraham Lincoln
(NOTA)

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
Barack Obama
Steven Jobs
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(NOTA)

"Let them hate us so long as they fear us."
Winston Churchill
Benito Mussolini
Caligula
(NOTA)

"Sometimes people mistake the way I talk for what I am thinking."  
Henry Kissinger
Donald Trump
Idi Amin
(NOTA)

"Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them." 
Bill Clinton
Joseph Stalin
King Richard III
(NOTA)

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach."
Mitt Romney
Alan Dershowitz
Adolph Hitler
(NOTA)

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
Dr. Martin Luther King
Eleanor Roosevelt
Hillary Clinton
(NOTA)

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
James Joyce
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
(NOTA)

Reading Comprehension

What is Professor Gardner talking about?

“Thater makes no attempt to hide the mechanics of her arrangement: wires and plugs are fully visible in much the same way that structural film lays bare the device so that the filmic apparatus is implicated in the very act of (re)presentation. In this way Thater activates the time and place of the work of art in relation to its ostensible subject so that the video acts a spatio-temporal event, as much virtual as actual.”

Source: Colin Gardner Ph.D. “The ecosophical work with wolves, bees, dolphins and gorillas. Diana Thater’s Untitled Windowwall, instigated by the Monarch Butterfly Project of 2006-2008.

Thank You for Taking the Sample POTUS Test

Your test results will not be published, announced or uploaded on social media. Sample questions will not be used on the actual examination. The official test will be a collaboration of European heads of state, university professors of economics, history and politics; joined by eminent scientists and psychiatrists. The panel will meet in Washington, D.C. All questions on the OFFICIAL POTUS TEST will be entirely original and secret, existing solely in the minds of the specialists. They will not be available on any internet search engine. The sample version will be published by Education Testing Service.


Elaine KendallA journalist and playwright, Elaine’s books of American cultural history were published by Little, Brown, Putnam and Capra; her plays by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and Art Age. Musical plays are An American Cantata; The Would-be Diva; Isadora! and COLE and WILL: Together Again! Non-musical dramas are The Chameleon; Two Margarets; The Trial of Mata Hari and The Nominee. The “I” Word; Gun Show Follies and Secrets of the Showroom are short comedies. She has written for many national magazines; The New York Times and the LA Times. Current articles appear monthly in the aptly-named online journal The Satirist.