Test For U.S. Citizenship

  • POSTED: August 15, 2013
  • POSTED BY: LawrenceGruner


Test For U.S. Citizenship

This article is about the test for U.S. Citizenship  Those seeking to become U.S. citizens must go through a rigorous process in order to be granted citizenship. One of the final steps to being granted U.S. citizenship is to go through a naturalization interview. This will consist of being asked varying questions by a USCIS Officer in order to determine whether or not you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen. You will also be administered two tests during this process. To become a U.S. Citizen you will need to pass the English test and the Civics test.



The English Test


To qualify to become a U.S. citizen you must have an understanding of the English language.  This understanding includes the “ability to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage”. 

This test is made up of three parts, the speaking test, the reading test, and the writing test. While the interviewer is speaking to you he will be evaluating how well you speak and understand English.  The interviewer will also ask you to write a simple sentence in English.  For example the sentence could be: ” I like to drink coffee”.  These are designed to make sure you will be able to communicate effectively with other U.S. citizens. These are easily passable as long as you have a decent understanding and ability to speak the English language.


English Requirement Can Be Waived Based on Age and Time Being a Green Card Holder 


 If you are older than 50 and have lived in the U.S. with a green card for at least 20 years then you can have the citizenship interview and exam held in your language.  Also if you are older than age 55 and have lived in the U.S. with a green card for at least 15 years you can have the citizenship interview and exam held in your language.  You may also have this requirement waived if you have a mental or physical disability which prevents you from learning English.  If this is your situation you should seek advice from an immigration attorney.


What is the Civics Test?


The first step towards being able to pass the civics test is to understand exactly what it is and what will be required of you during the examination. The U.S. history and government exam is not a written exam. Instead you will be asked ten questions by the USCIS Officer who is conducting your interview. These ten questions will come from a predetermined list of 100 questions. You can look up these questions online or you should be given the questions and answers when you go in for your fingerprints (biometrics) during the waiting period before your interview.  In order to pass the exam you must correctly answer six of the ten questions asked. If you answer less than six of the questions asked you will fail the exam. At first this process may seem daunting and frightening, but when analyzed more carefully it will not seem as difficult.

I recommend studying for the test so you will be confident when you are at your interview.  One of our past clients did not study (even though our office urged her to do so).  While in the waiting room waiting for the interviewer to call her she told me that she had decided not to study for the test.  I reminded her that she would not pass the interview if she could not get at least 6 of the questions correct.  For an hour we worked on the test together (thankfully in this case her interview was delayed due to a high volume of interviews that day).  She went into her interview with a working knowledge of U.S. civics.  She proceeded to answer the 6th question correctly on the 10th question.  She passed this portion of the interview and was sworn in as a U.S. Citizen shortly after her interview.

How to Pass the Civics Exam


With a little bit of preparation the U.S. history and government examinations can be passed on your first try. The best way to go about studying is to use all the resources available to you. On the USCIS website there is a document which lists what the 100 questions are that the ten for your exam will be pulled from. Going over this and memorizing the answers is the best way to ensure that you pass the exam. The one hundred questions are divided into several categories allowing you to focus on the categories where your knowledge is less. Most of the information you will be tested on is relatively simple and can be learned quickly if the proper amount of dedication is applied to learning it. Do not wait to study for the last minute.  You are much better off studying 10 minutes a day then studying for hours during the last few days prior to your interview.


What if You Don’t Pass?


If you do not pass the civics exam during your interview you are allowed to retake it within 60 to 90 days of your first interview. Knowing this will relieve the stress you have while taking the exam knowing that you have the opportunity to take it again if you mess up. If you do fail you will have adequate time to go back over the material to make sure you pass it when you are given the test for the second time.

If you would like to become a U.S. citizen, our experienced and qualified immigration lawyers can help. Your next step is to contact our immigration attorneys to get the naturalization process started. Call a qualified immigration lawyer now at (888) 801-6558. You should read our blog article titled:”10 things USCIS checks at your citizenship interview.

The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. Laws can and do change and additional laws may apply in your case. Contrary to what your friends tell you every immigration case is different. Please contact our office to review your matter prior to filing any documentation with USCIS

Lawrence Gruner is a fiancé visa attorney, fiancé visa lawyer, and green card attorney with almost 20 years of experience handling immigration cases. He has office locations throughout northern California. His office handles immigration cases throughout California (including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento) the United States and the World. You may reach us from anywhere in the world toll free at 888-801-6558 . You may also email us your questions. Attorney Gruner would be happy to review your situation and all of your options. He can help you come up with a plan for your Immigration case. His office handles green card cases (both family based green cards and business based green cards  K1 fiance visa cases  (see our article 10 things to know about K1 visas), naturalization and citizenship cases, E1-E2 investor cases, H1b cases ( visit our blog: How to get an H1b visa)and marriage visa cases.

We handle cases throughout the state of California and the World. California cities include: Sacramento, Stockton, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Daly City, Fremont, Hayward, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Richmond, Fairfield, Grass Valley, Nevada City,Vallejo, Berkeley, Concord, Walnut Creek, Orinda, South San Francisco, San Bruno,Daly City, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Brisbane, Burlingame, Hillsborough, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Modesto, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Coronado, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Roseville, Rocklin,Auburn, Dixon, Davis.  This article was titled “Test For U.S. Citizenship“.

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