Naturalization is the process of becoming a United States citizen. By becoming a United States citizen you gain the right to vote, carry a U.S. passport, and the ability to help family members become citizens themselves. One of the toughest parts of becoming a citizen is passing your Citizenship Test. The test is administered by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer as an oral exam. The officer will ask an applicant 10 out of the possible 100 questions. Six of these questions must be answered correctly. Questions change from time to time, so it is of the utmost importance to study from the most recent listing. While there may be more answers than the ones listed, only documented answers will be marked correct. USCIS officers will never accept an incorrect answer.
The naturalization test contains 100 civics questions based on the history and government of the United States. There are three segments within the test: American Government, American History, and Integrated Civics. Each of these categories has three subsections. They can be found on the USCIS website and are listed below as follows:
Individuals aged 65 years or older who have been green card holders for more than 20 years only need to study the questions marked with an asterisk.
Starting March 1, 2021, the USCIS announced that they will be returning to the set of naturalization questions they were using back in 2008. Former President Donald Trump implemented a new 2020 test that contained 128 questions. In order to pass that test, the applicant had to answer 12 out of 20 questions correctly. This was reversed when President Joe Biden took office.
There are several practice versions of the 2008 oral test that can be found online as a free resource. Here are a handful of tips to prepare for the oral exam:
As mentioned, the test is divided into American History, American Government, and Integrated Civics. Listed below are example questions from each section listed in category order as written above.
What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*
What is one reason colonists came to America?
Name one state that borders Canada.
Versions of the citizenship test dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries no longer exist. During this time period, they were conducted orally by judges in local courtrooms. This was standard practice until 1906 when the federal government took over and created the Bureau of Naturalization. It would take almost another 30 years for the government to decide to remove trick questions from the exam.
The importance of going through practice tests and studying test questions should not be underestimated. There are great resources online that will help you study and test yourself in order to prepare for the oral exam. The USCIS website even has the exact questions and answers being asked in the first link listed below.
Arguably the hardest question on the U.S. citizenship test is number 67:
The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
This answer is unknown to even most American citizens because the Federalist Party ceased to exist back in 1824.
More tough questions can be found at the following link:
An individual’s ability to speak English will be assessed by a USCIS officer through Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. In order to pass, the applicant must correctly read and write one out of three sentences presented by the officer. To improve your English skills, it is a good idea to converse with fluent English speakers, watch American television, and read American news articles.
Becoming a naturalized United States citizen is a multistep process, including:
The U.S. civics test can be incredibly stressful, as you can never be sure which 10 out of the 100 possible questions will be asked. To ensure you are well prepared for the process, you should seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C are based in Chicago but have worked nationally to help clients successfully resolve their immigration issues. With a combined 70 years of experience, we are leaders in the field and will work with you no matter what part of the application process you are currently in. Contact us at 312-444-1940 or visit our website today for more information.