The U.S. citizenship test is one of the last steps of the naturalization process. You should prepare yourself for it with the right U.S. citizenship test prep tool, such as our U.S. citizenship test DVD.
Once you file your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and have gone to your bio metric (fingerprint) appointment, you will receive a notice with an appointment date and time for your citizenship (naturalization) interview.
It’s during this citizenship interview that you will take the U.S. citizenship test.
The naturalization processing time (from filing Form N-400 to getting your naturalization certificate) varies. In some cases, it can take 6 months or even a year. No two cases are alike so the processing time will vary on a case by case basis.
The best way to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test is to understand what’s expected of you.
Not all citizenship interviews are the same, but in general, this is what you should know.
The citizenship test is made up of two basic parts:
- Testing your knowledge of English (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
- Testing your knowledge of U.S. history and civics
During the interview, the USCIS officer will ask you questions about your citizenship application in English. So as soon as you begin speaking with the USCIS officer, the test has already begun. By listening to your responses, the officer is already testing your English-speaking skills. If you don’t understand a question, you are allowed to ask the USCIS officer to repeat the question or to rephrase it.
It’s hard to know exactly what sort of questions in relation to your answers on your Form N-400 will be asked during your citizenship interview. You should review your entire application before the interview to ensure you will be relaxed and can focus on your pronunciation rather than struggling to remember your answers and stumbling over your words.
You also want to make sure that your answers at the interview are consistent with your answers on your application.
After asking you questions about your application, checking some of your documents, and having you sign some forms, the USCIS officer will have you take the U.S. history and civics test, the English reading test and the English writing test.
The U.S. history and civics test has 10 questions. You must get 6 out of 10 questions correct to pass the history and civics test. These 10 questions will be asked to you orally and you will have to answer orally as well.
The reading and writing tests each have 3 sentences. The USCIS officer will hand you a piece of paper with 3 sentences and you will have to read them out loud. To pass, you must read at least 1 out of the 3 sentences correctly.
The USCIS officer will then hand you another piece of paper and tell you to write the sentences the officer speaks to you. To pass, you must write at least 1 out of 3 sentences correctly.
In most cases, the USCIS officer will let you know if you have passed at the end your interview. The officer will let you know the next steps, which are waiting to see if your application has been approved and finding out the date and time of your naturalization oath ceremony or, if you did not pass, your second test.