Welcome to Direct U.S. Immigration’s channel where you get direct access to our most up to date immigration and global mobility space. My name is Miatrai Brown, and I’m going to talk about everything you need to know about the U.S. Citizenship test. You are not going to want to miss this one, stay tuned.
11 Second DUSI Intro Video
Thanks for tuning in, my name is Miatrai Brown, and I am a U.S. immigration attorney based in Washington DC. I am also the Principal Attorney at Direct U.S. Immigration where we work with clients in all 50 states and around the world. Before we start, click the like and subscribe button to follow our immigration hub to get the latest immigration information that could be vital to your case. And also, be sure to stick around until the end to get bonus tips on what you will do next after taking the citizenship test.
As you know, doing your best on the naturalization exam (also known as the “citizenship test”) is important. But more importantly, don’t be intimidated! With enough preparation, you should perform well. Keep in mind that you’ll have just two opportunities to pass, so the harder you study for the exam, the sooner you can start your life as a U.S. citizen.
Here’s what to expect from each section of the test:
The English exam will consist of three parts: a speaking test, a reading test, and a writing test. The reading and writing tests will be conducted using a digital tablet, which an immigration officer will show you how to use before you begin.
Although it’s helpful to have flawless English pronunciation and excellent spelling and grammar skills, it’s okay if you aren’t perfect in some of these areas. The English test uses basic grammar and vocabulary, and immigration officers administering the exam expect that most people will make common mistakes.
As you’re taking the test, don’t be shy to ask for clarification about some questions from the immigration officer. They’re instructed to repeat certain words or rephrase questions at your request.
For this part of the English test, the immigration officer will ask you questions about your citizenship application and eligibility to evaluate your ability to speak and comprehend the language. It’s a good idea to review your application’s answers before attending your exam appointment.
During the reading test, you will be given a digital tablet. A sentence will appear on the tablet, and the immigration officer will ask you to read it aloud. You will be asked to read three sentences in total until you’ve read one successfully.
USCIS provides the complete list of vocabulary words used in the reading test. Examples of words you’ll encounter include names of presidents and places (such as “Abraham Lincoln” and “United States”), simple verbs (for example, “can” and “lives”), and some longer terms (such as “Father of Our Country” and “Bill of Rights”).
It’s important to avoid pausing extensively while reading aloud. Generally, you’ll be allowed to leave out short words, mispronounce some words, or use non-standard intonation (the rising and falling of a person’s voice).
You may not use a word you’re familiar with in place of an actual word in the sentence. The important thing is to convey to the immigration officer that you understand the sentence’s meaning.
To complete this part of the English test, you must write one out of three sentences correctly as the immigration officer reads each sentence aloud. You will use a stylus to write each sentence on a digital tablet.
To pass this component of the citizenship test, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government by answering at least six out of ten questions correctly. The immigration officer will randomly select the questions, read them aloud, and stop the test once you’ve provided the right answer to six questions. You’ll be allowed to phrase your answers in any way as long as they are correct.
USCIS provides the complete list of questions asked in the civics test (you may be able to find them in your language, as well). You must study all 100 questions on the list — unless you’re aged 65 or older, in which case you’ll need to study only the 20 questions marked with an asterisk.
Make sure to check the page of the USCIS website for answers to some questions that have changed based on recent historical events.
More than half of the questions are about the U.S. government; the rest are about American history.
For some questions, the answers will be provided in the study materials. For instance, “Who is in charge of the executive branch?” (Answer: the President). Others will require you to do some research. As an example, you might encounter the question, “Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?” (The answer will depend on the state you live in).
As I promised, here’s some bonus information that you may not know about:
Once you’ve completed your citizenship test, you can expect to hear back from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about the results on the same day. Here’s what you can expect to happen afterward based on your exam results:
- If you passed
Congratulations! You’re almost finished with the naturalization process. You can ask the officer or your lawyer for the U.S. citizenship timeline for details about the final step.
- If you did not pass
You’ll be able to retake the whole exam (or just the portion you didn’t pass), but the questions on the second test will differ from those on the first. USCIS will schedule your re-examination at a later date.
- If you do not show up for the re-examination
Unless USCIS excuses you from attending your re-examination appointment — for example, if you were hospitalized — you must not miss your second exam appointment. Otherwise, USCIS will consider your absence a failed attempt, and your U.S. citizenship application will be denied.
- If you do not pass the re-examination
USCIS will deny your naturalization application. You’ll have a chance to appeal the denial by writing to USCIS within 30 days of receiving the letter stating their decision. If they grant your request, USCIS will schedule a hearing within 180 days of receiving your request. During the hearing, a USCIS officer will re-test you on the exam portion you did not pass on your second attempt.
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