To become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you are expected to clear the citizenship test. This test proves to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer that you are ready to become a US citizen.
What is the US Citizenship Test and Recent Changes?
The US citizenship test is an important part of the naturalization process for a lawful permanent resident transitioning to citizenship. It is conducted on the day of your citizenship interview. It has 2 parts: an English test and a Civics test. Recently, on March 1, 2021, the USCIS announced that the 2008 version of the citizenship test will be restored for the Civics section.
To obtain US citizenship, you are required to pass this test. Based on your age and how long you have been a permanent resident, you may be eligible for some exemptions from giving the test in the English language. You may also be exempt based on certain medical conditions. However, you have 2 chances to take this test.
What Are the 2 Parts of the Citizenship Test?
There are 2 parts to the test:
The English Test:
This part assesses your ability to read, write and speak the English language. You must demonstrate that you understand the English language. A USCIS officer will listen to your speech closely to determine your fluency in the language.
The English test is made of 3 parts: Speaking, Reading and Writing. For the reading and writing tests, you will be provided with a digital tablet that the USCIS will explain how to use. It is helpful to have fluency in the English language and excellent grammar and spelling skills.
However, it is also okay if you aren’t flawless in some areas. The basic use of language is enough to get you through this test. Do not be intimidated and ask for clarifications if you are confused about anything.
For the speaking part, the USCIS officer may ask you specific questions about your citizenship application and eligibility and evaluate your responses based on your ability to speak and comprehend the language. It is a good idea to practice beforehand.
For the reading part, you will be required to read at least 3 sentences in total on a digital tablet. You will be assessed based on your pronunciation, annotation and familiarity with words.
For the writing test, you will be asked to write 3 sentences in English on the digital tablet. These sentences will be read out loud by the USCIS officer to determine your eligibility.
The Civics Test:
For the Civics test, the USCIS officer will ask you 10 random questions out of a list of 100 questions regarding US history and government. To pass the test, you must answer at least 6 of the questions correctly. This is an oral test, therefore, it is easier to take. The complete list of questions is already provided by the USCIS. You may be exempt from taking the test if you meet the exemption requirements.
You can also expect questions based on your age, background, education level, the time you have spent in the US and other factors.