What You Need to Know to Pass Your Naturalization Test

Imagine this scenario: You have been a green card holder for the past five years and have made sure to spend less than six months a year outside of the United States. You can now finally apply to become a U.S. citizen!

After submitting your application to USCIS and attending your biometrics appointment, you have been scheduled for your final naturalization interview. You’ve heard that the tests are fairly easy and did not think you would need to study. You’re shocked when the interviewing officer asks you question after question that you do not know the answer to. You sadly do not pass the naturalization test that day.

The naturalization interview may seem intimidating, but with a little studying and the right resources you can easily pass your naturalization test. Below we will break down each part of the naturalization test to help you understand each section and conquer it. The naturalization test is comprised of two parts:Tthe civics test and the English language test.

The Civics Test
In order to become a citizen of the United States, you are expected to know a little bit about our country. The purpose of the civics test is to test your knowledge of U.S. government and history. The questions may be from a range of categories including: Principles of American Democracy, System of Government, Rights and Responsibilities, the Colonial Period and Independence, the 1800s, Recent American History, Geography, Symbols and Holidays.

You will be asked a series of 10 questions in English verbally. These 10 questions will be chosen from a list of 100 questions. Of the 10 questions asked, you must get at least six correct. Here are some examples of what you may be asked:
What is an amendment?
Who makes federal laws?
Who is the Chief Justice of the United States?
When was the Constitution written?
What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
Why does the flag have 50 stars?

For the full list of 100 questions, please visit:
http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/100q.pdf.

USCIS also offers other comprehensive study aids, such as flash cards, video examples, and online practice tests here: http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test/study-materials-civics-test.

The English Language Test
In order to become a citizen of the United States, you are expected to have a basic understanding of the English language. The English language test is given in three portions, broken up into reading, writing and speaking English.

The USCIS officer administering your eligibility interview will gauge your ability to speak English throughout the test. For the reading portion of the test, you will be asked to read one out of three sentences correctly out loud. To put the sentences together, USCIS has issued a list of 64 words you should be familiar with. These words include people (e.g. Abraham Lincoln), places (e.g. United States), holidays (e.g. Presidents’ Day), civics (e.g. Bill of Rights), question words (e.g. who, what, where, why), verbs (e.g. do, have, is), function words (e.g. a, for, in, here), and content words (e.g. many, most, one). For the full list of words, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/PDFs/M-715_reading.pdf.

For the writing portion of the test, you will be read three sentences and must correctly write down one of the three. There are 75 words used for this portion of the test. The categories of these words are people (e.g. Adams, Washington), civics (e.g. capital, citizens), places (e.g. Alaska, California, Mexico), months (May, September, November), holidays (e.g. Flag Day, Labor Day), verbs (e.g. can, come, elect), function words (e.g. and, during, the), and content words (e.g. blue, north, people). To view the full list of words, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/PDFs/M-715_writing.pdf.

USCIS offers other study materials for this section of the test as well, including online practice tests, flash cards and study booklets here: http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test/study-materials-english-test.

If you pass both portions of the test and your application is complete, you will then be scheduled for your Naturalization Ceremony where you will officially be sworn in as a United States citizen. If you were unable to pass the Civics and English tests the USCIS officer may “continue” your case. This means your case will be put on hold for the time being and you will be scheduled a time to take the tests again. If you do not pass the naturalization test a second time, your application will be denied.

Remember, the naturalization test should not be taken lightly, but with a bit of hard work and some studying you can pass with flying colors!

If you have other questions regarding naturalization or the naturalization process, please schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!

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