Annual Public Affairs Exam

One hundred and four high school student delegates - two from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity - take part in the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program held in Washington, DC on March 8-15, 2014. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur and Erin Lubin).

Each year, the USSYP has a selection examination prepared by a college professor of political science and Constitutional Law. The exam is designed to test knowledge of the United States government and the Constitution, American history and knowledge of public affairs and current events in politics through end of May in the application year, when the exam is finalized. The exam is broken into several sections, including multiple choice, True and False and essay writing.

The USSYP Public Affairs Exam is offered to the states for their voluntary use as part of their individual selection processes. Not all state utilize the exam, and some states utilize only certain sections. States also administer the exam at different points in the selection processes. See your state’s selection contact and specific website for details.

To prepare for the examination, students are advised to study the Constitution, review general knowledge about American history, the U.S. government and political processes and know the current elected and appointed official in each branch of government as well as key historic figures who have served in each branch. Senate Youth delegates are always up to speed on current events in the political world, at home and abroad, and keeping current with political news and newsmakers will be very helpful.