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How to prepare for your naturalization test

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Citizenship |

While receiving a green card is a significant success, there are still rights and privileges that are not available. For example, a green card holder cannot vote or apply for a U.S. passport. For these reasons, a green card holder might elect to apply for U.S. citizenship. It is, however, a challenging process filled with paperwork, interviews and tests.

The coverage of the interview and exam

The USCIS will interview all naturalization applicants regarding their application, background and purpose for applying. However, when it comes to the subsequent exams, some applicants are eligible for a rare exemption and would not need to take them. If you do not qualify for the exemption, you must take the two-part naturalization test as follows:

  • English Test. During this test, the applicant must demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and their ability to speak, write and read in basic English. You should expect to write about American history or civics in the writing portion.
  • Civics Test. The USCIS will assess the applicant’s understanding of the American government and history through a series of questions during this test.

How do I study?

Fortunately, the USCIS is transparent with what you can expect during the tests. For the English test, the interviewer will assess your ability to speak during your eligibility interview. When it comes to the reading and writing sections, the interviewer will ask you to correctly read and write one of three provided sentences to demonstrate your ability to read and write in English.

Regarding the Civics test, there are two versions: the 2008 and the 2020 versions. Which test you will take depends on the date you filed your application. With the 2008 version, you have to correctly answer six out of 10 questions from the list of 100 civic test questions to pass. With the 2020 version, the officer will ask you up to 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions and you must correctly answer at least 12 to pass.

You can study using the USCIS study tools. You can also practice through support and study groups and your daily encounter with English-speaking people.


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