City schoolkids are woeful underperformers when it comes to taking a statewide history exam. Just over a quarter proved capable of passing an 8th grade exam that covered the U.S. Constitution, major wars the U.S. has fought in, and native cultures. The passing average for the rest of the state was 55%, which is hardly impressive, but twice as good as city kids' scores. We sympathize with the 2006 test takers, because we tried to take the test and quickly became incredibly bored around the time we reached question #7, which reduced an interesting subject to a stultifying two-tone diagram.

While the urban passing rate of 27% is a five-percentage-point drop from the prior year, kids are still doing better than in 2004, when only 19% managed to score even a passing grade. City social studies teachers describe an uphill battle, against more high-profile subjects and adolescent distraction:

"Social studies is an after thought [in city schools]," said Rick Figaro, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Brooklyn's Middle School 385.

The test is given in June, when eighth-graders are going to their proms and thinking about summer vacation.

We wrote about the NY State math test earlier this year, where kids score higher, but still underperform statewide averages..

We know this will probably result in a profound amount of eye-rolling among any adolescent readers Gothamist may have, but we'll still recommend that students take advantage of living in a 300-year-old city with a very exciting past. Did you know that Brooklyn was the site of a crucial early battle that could have ended the American Revolution just a month after it started? Rioting draftees almost tore the city apart during the Civil War? And Abraham Lincoln ignited his run for the Presidency after a passion-stirring address in the East Village? Learn it now kids, or you'll be doomed to repeat it. Literally, they'll make you take the class again.

Put your wits against the test - here's a PDF of the test.