Civic Literacy Exam

Passing the Florida Civic Literacy Exam is one of the newer requirements for Polk State College students to earn a degree.

For degree-seeking students who enrolled in college for the first time for the Fall 2021 Semester or after, the state requires them to pass National Government (POS2041) or American History (AMH2020) with a C or greater and score at least 60% on the Civic Literacy Exam. The exam is an 80-question test broken into four parts of 20 questions each, requiring 48 total correct answers.

The requirement was implemented by the Florida Legislature to ensure that students “demonstrate competency in civic literacy.” According to the Florida Department of Education, this includes an understanding of basic principles of American democracy, the United States Constitution, landmark Supreme Court cases, and founding documents’ impact on law and society.

  1. + Where can I take the Civic Literacy Exam?

    Exams can be taken at the Teaching Learning Computing Centers (TLCCs) on Polk State’s Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander Center campuses. Students can schedule an appointment at their preferred location here.

  2. + What resources are available to help with the Civic Literacy Exam?

    free course and study guide are available in Canvas.

    To optimize the success of Polk State College students, advisors are emphasizing the requirement in conversations with students and urging them to take the exam within 30 days of passing POS2041 or AMH2020.

    Additionally, Polk State faculty from diverse disciplines such as English, Nursing, and History are working collaboratively to integrate Civic Literacy content across all courses.

  3. + If I already passed the exam in high school, do I still have to pass it in college?

    No. Once the Civic Literacy Exam has been passed, the student has satisfied the requirement.

  4. + How do I know if I passed the Civic Literacy Exam?

    Students can meet with an advisor or check their degree audits in Passport under the “Degree Benchmarks” and “Civic Literacy Competency” sections to confirm they’ve met the requirement.

    Under Degree Benchmarks, an “X” will appear in the parenthesis to the left of where it reads “Civic Literacy Competency.” Under Civic Literacy Competency, it will read “Area requirements are satisfied.” Students’ scores on the exam will not appear on their degree audit or transcripts.

  5. + How long do I have to take the exam?

    Students will have two hours to complete the exam. Most complete the exam in considerably less time.

  6. + When do I need to successfully complete the exam?

    The Civic Literacy Exam must be passed prior to graduation. A degree will not be conferred until the requirement is complete.

  7. + How many times can I take the exam?

    There is no limit to how many times students can take the exam.

  8. + Is there a cost to take the Civic Literacy Exam?

    No. The Civic Literacy Exam is free to take.

  9. + How have Polk State students fared on the Civic Literacy Exam?

    At the end of 2023, Polk State students boasted greater than a 75% pass rate on the Civic Literacy Exam, including a 68% first-time pass rate on nearly 1,500 attempts.

    The 75% rate is the unduplicated rate, meaning failures are not reflected in the data in cases where students needed multiple attempts to pass the exam. For example, if a Polk State student passed on their third try, the previous two failures would not be reflected in the College’s overall pass rate.