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Are You a Good Candidate for the U.S. Citizenship Test?

Many immigrants hoping to become citizens of the United States apply to be naturalized each year. Part of this process requires taking and passing a U.S. Citizenship test, which occurs after the individuals file their N-400 Application for Naturalization. While the Citizenship test gauges the applicant’s ability to understand the common language of the U.S. and know about its systems of governance and history, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible, including:

  • The individual must be a lawful permanent resident who has maintained continuous residence in the U.S. since becoming a permanent resident.
  • He or she must be at least 18 years of age and physically present in the U.S.
  • He or she must be of good moral character and be willing to declare loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.
  • He or she must pass the Citizenship test.

USCIS, or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, administers the Citizenship test during an interview process. At this time, there are four competencies that are assessed: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Civics Knowledge. The most common reason for denial of naturalization is because the individual failed the Civics and Writing (English) portions of the test.

The Speaking and Reading skills are assessed by the applicant’s ability to speak English during the eligibility interview, and read one out of three written sentences aloud to demonstrate English literacy. Writing is assessed by the applicant’s ability to write one out of three sentences correctly, and the Civics test comprises 10 randomly selected questions from a list of 100 questions. At least six of the questions must be answered correctly.

Given this, the best candidates for taking the Citizenship test are those who are able to communicate by speaking, reading, and writing in English and those who know about how the U.S. government works, or are willing to learn. The list of 100 questions on the test is available, so those who would like to study are able to. This will be a key step in successfully passing the U.S. Citizenship test.

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