If Americans were taking an examination on the energy problem, many of them would flunk.

Even after President Carter's television messages dealing with America's energy requirements, a surprisingly large number of Americans do not know of U.S. dependence on foreign oil and have no clear idea of how much oil must be imported to meet America energy needs.

Only half the public, 52 per cent, knows that America must import oil to satisfy its energy demands. And of these, only one third (or 9 per cent of all adults) have an accurate idea of how much petroleum the U.S. imports - 42 per cent last year and 47 per cent for the first three months of 1977. The remainder either have the impression there is enough oil produced domesticaly (33 per cent) or do not even venture a guess (15 per cent) - right or wrong.

Oddly enough, many of the country's college educated citizens are uninformed in this area. About three in 10, 27 per cent, think the United States produces enough oil and another 11 per cent are totally in the dark.

Regionally, residents of the North-east and Midwest are more cognizant of the fact that Americans must import a good deal of oil than are people living in the warmer climes of the South and West.

Political implications for the Carter administration are also apparent in the findings showing that those who are best informed about import needs are the most receptive to Carter's call for energy conservation and sacrifice. For example, among those who feel Carter's proposals call for too many sacrifices on the part of the public, 41 per cent think the United States has enough oil. However, with those who think his programs call for about the right amount of sacrifice or for too few sacrifices, the comparable figures are 31 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.