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Facts about the U.S. citizenship test

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | immigration |

California has many immigrants who love this country and want to become citizens. To accomplish this, they must be permanent residents of the United States for at least five years. After that, they must pass a citizenship test and interview. Applicants only have two chances to take the test, so it’s essential to understand what the exam entails.

Test components

There are two parts to the citizenship test. One section evaluates an applicant’s fluency in English while the other tests their knowledge of U.S. history and government.

English portion

An interviewer tests applicants’ ability to read, write and speak English. It’s a straightforward process with three chances to pass each portion. For example, the interviewer may require someone to read a written sentence out loud, write a spoken sentence and answer questions about themselves.

Civics portion

The civics part of the examination might be the more difficult section for most individuals to pass. There are 10 questions, and the applicant must answer six correctly, or they fail. They can retake this portion of the exam within 90 days. If they fail again, they lose their opportunity to become a naturalized citizen. Applicants with a learning or relevant physical disability may not have to answer the civics questions.

Preparation tips

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishes a list of required vocabulary words that may appear in the reading test. Anyone taking the exam should understand what they mean and how to pronounce them correctly. Reading children’s books may prove beneficial.

The USCIS also provides a document with 100 civics questions and answers, which includes the test questions. Memorizing this information will help someone pass the civics portion of the exam.

Don’t let the fear of taking an exam keep you from becoming a U.S. citizen. Study the provided material, and walk into the testing site knowing you can do this.