Before receiving U.S. citizenship, those applying for naturalization must meet several requirements. In addition to background checks and medical reviews, these requirements also include submitting to a naturalization interview that involves a U.S. civics test and an English test.
To best prepare for their naturalization interviews, people applying for U.S. citizenship may benefit from understanding the tests they must pass.
The civics test
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, during the naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will assess applicants’ knowledge of U.S. government and history. The officer will orally ask 10 questions from a list of 100 possible questions. To successfully pass the civics test portion of the naturalization interview, applicants must answer at least six of the questions correctly.
USCIS officers typically conduct the civics test portion of the naturalization eligibility interview in English. Certain applicants, however, may have an exemption from the English requirement and may instead take the civics test in the language they choose.
The English test
According to the USCIS, the citizenship process also includes a test of applicants’ English reading, writing and speaking abilities. To test applicants’ reading and writing skills, the USCIS officer conducting the interview will ask them to read and to write three sentences. Their readings must convey an understanding of at least one of the sentences’ meanings. At least one of their written sentences must have legibility to the USCIS officer. The USCIS tests people’s speaking ability by assessing their answers to questions asked during the eligibility interview.
While the naturalization test process has stringent requirements, the USCIS offers a range of resources to help those seeking U.S. citizenship to succeed.