Are you smarter than a Pennsylvania 5th grader?

Test your knowledge of the commonwealth’s curriculum

A depiction of the tax protest that originated in Western Pennsylvania in 1791.

A depiction of the tax protest that originated in Western Pennsylvania in 1791. Three Lions/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

If you didn’t kill it in school but know how to say Schuylkill, you might be a Pennsylvanian. 

As the end of the school year draws near, we thought our readers needed one final exam before we could officially declare it to be summertime in the commonwealth. 

Test your knowledge – and elementary school memory – of basic government, civics and history with questions pulled directly from the state Department of Education’s social studies curriculum. 

And hey: Put down the phone, pick up the pencil: Send us your best guesses at and a $50 gift card given out to the top student in the class (that we choose at random) could be yours!  


1. What are the four principles and ideals shaping local state, and national government?

a.) Liberty / Freedom; Democracy; Justice; Equality

b.) Choice; Availability; Retail Price; Trim

c.) The Pleasure Principle; The Peter Principle; Principal Skinner; The Dilbert Principle 

d.) One person/one vote; Rule of Law; Checks and balances; Pennsylvania Constitution

2. What individual rights are guaranteed by both the Pennsylvania and United States constitutions?

a.) Religious Freedom and Free Speech

b.) To Bear Arms

c.) To Repair

d.) To Party

3. Name two historical documents, places, or figures integral to Pennsylvania's history and explain their importance.

4. What are Pennsylvania’s three main requirements for a person to be eligible to vote? 

5. Which of the following is an example of a concurrent power? 

a.) The printing and coining of money

b.) The power to declare war

c.) Alternating current and direct current

d.) The levying of taxes

6. What was the significance of the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition?

7. Where does the term “keystone” come from and why was it applied to Pennsylvania? 

8. Which violent tax protest began in Western Pennsylvania in 1791?

a.) The Soda Tax Rebellion

b.) The Whiskey Rebellion

c.) Pittsburgh Tea Party

d.) Green Corn Rebellion

9. Which of the following is NOT a form of municipal government in the commonwealth?

a.) County

b.) Borough

c.) Township

d.) Tribal Council