There are no dumb questions.
h With the engine off,press brake pedal several times to deplete all
vacume.Then hold light foot pressure on pedal,start the car,if power brake is working pedal will fall away under foot pressure.If no action is felt when engine is started,power brake is not working.
To check hydralics, deplete vacume again.Hold pedal.If the pedal gradually falls away under foot pressure,hydraulic system is leaking.
Start car rev to about 2500 rpm turn engine off.This builds up vacuume.Wait about 90 sec then try brake. you should have two or more vacuume assisted pedal applications.If not check valve is crap or you have a leak in the vacuume system.