The US Citizenship Test

Updated on Friday 03rd June 2016

The US Citizenship Test Image
Individuals who apply to become citizens of the U.S. have to pass the US citizenship test to become naturalized. During the US citizenship test and interview with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) Officer, most candidates for naturalization must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, as well as the ability to read, write and speak averagely English and knowledge of the U.S. government and history (civics). 

Categories of the US citizenship test

There are four main categories in the US citizenship test: Speaking, Reading, Writing and Civics. The agreement of your citizenship application depends on the candidate’s ability to demonstrate proficiency in each category. These areas of the US citizenship test are defined by the USCIS as follows:

•    Speaking: The candidate’s verbal abilities are determined by his or her answers to questions commonly asked by the USCIS Officer during the naturalization admissibility interview;
•   Reading: In order to prove sufficient ability to read in English, the candidate has to read a sentence, out of three sentences, in a way which suggests to the USCIS Officer that the candidate understands the meaning of it;
•    Writing: In order to prove sufficient knowledge of writing in English, the candidate has to write a sentence, out of three, in a manner which is understood by the USCIS Officer;
•   Civics: To prove sufficient knowledge of the U.S. government and history (civics), the candidate has to answer six out of ten questions correctly. The civil test is made verbally. Our immigration attorneys in Miami can provide further details on the subject.

Exception for older candidates

Candidates who are holding a green card and have lived in the U.S. as permanent residents for minimum 20 years are able to take an easier form of the civics examination which is necessary for the naturalization candidates. This is generally known as the “65/20 exception”.
An individual who falls into this category must study only 20 questions instead of the 100 which the majority of candidates have to study. The candidate is then asked ten questions and has to answer at least six of them correctly in order to pass the US citizenship test.

If you need to know more, please contact our immigration lawyers in Miami.