This competency includes about 18 multiple-choice questions which make up about 15% of the entire exam.
This section tests your knowledge of the guiding principles of the Constitution. This section also tests your knowledge of the functions of both local and state governments, the ability to compare and contrast various political systems, and your ability to determine the guiding principles and associated results of foreign policy.
Let’s talk about some concepts that you will likely see on the test.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a collaborative effort initiated by Canada, the United States, and a handful of Western European nations in 1949. It was created to offset the Soviet Union’s desire to spread communism throughout the world. It inevitably provided a good forum for the United States to limit the Soviet Union’s expansions and functioned as a counterweight to the Warsaw Pact and Soviet advances. Nuclear testing by the Soviet Union was a major catalyst. The Korean War further strengthened and solidified NATO. The Warsaw Pact was a collective effort of various Soviet satellite countries attempting to offset the NATO Alliance. NATO was essentially the United States’ first peacetime military alliance It was founded under a United Nations charter. Today, NATO has 29 members (countries) and is still dedicated to the security of the North Atlantic region.
Branches of the Federal Government
The Constitution divides the federal government into 3 equal branches- the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.
The President of the United States, along with his Vice President and Cabinet, make up the Executive Branch. The President serves as both Head of State and Commander in Chief but acts with his Vice President and Cabinet to enforce legislation put in place by the Legislative Branch.
The Legislative Branch, or Congress, is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislative branch is charged with making the law for the United States of America. The Constitution grants Congress the sole responsibility of enacting laws, initiating revenue bills, declaring war, impeaching officials like the President, and raising and appropriating funds to put laws, or bills, into action.
The Judicial Branch is appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The Judicial Branch interprets laws passed by Congress and ultimately decides whether or not they are constitutional. The Judicial Branch operates with a system of district courts, courts of appeal, and the highest court, the Supreme Court.