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Page 1 U.S History and Civics Study Guide for the U.S. Citizenship test

How to Prepare for the U.S. Citizenship History and Civics Test

General Information

The History and Civics section of the Citizenship Test assesses your knowledge of some very basic concepts about the U.S. Government, American History, and Civics, which includes geography, symbols, and holidays in the United States. The testing officer will read the questions out loud to you and give you ten chances to speak the answer to six questions correctly. There is no reading or writing involved in this section of the test. It is all done orally.

How to Prepare

This is one test for which you can easily know what to study. The only questions you can be asked come from an official list of 100 questions. You can find this list of questions here.

Even though there may be other approved answers to some of the questions, you need to memorize the answers on this list. If a question asks for one or two of something, you only need to memorize a few of them, not the whole list of correct answers. It might be helpful to memorize more than the required number in case you just cannot remember one of them on the day of the test.

Some of the answers to these questions may change with time, such as the answer to “Who is the current U.S. President?” Be sure you know the most current answers for this type of question. These answers can be easily found by checking online, if you are careful about checking the date of the online publication.

Our practice questions and flashcards will help you remember all the facts you’ll need to know! When you cannot be at a computer, one way to practice is to make a paper copy of the questions to take with you everywhere you go. If you keep one in your car, you can use time spent in waiting rooms or breaks at work to study a bit. Use a highlighter to mark questions on which you need extra practice. Just be sure you have updated your list of answers if any of them have changed.

On the Day of the Test

When you are taking this portion of the citizenship test, be sure to:

  • Take your time. There is no time limit and you will have plenty of time to form your answers and speak them. However, if it becomes apparent that you do not know the answers or you cannot speak English well enough to say them, the examiner will end the test.

  • If you do not understand the question, politely ask the officer to repeat it.

  • Think about how to phrase your answer if it is more than a word or two. Then, speak slowly and clearly, trying to pronounce words correctly.

  • If you cannot think of an answer or you think that you missed a question, do not panic. Remember, you will have ten chances to answer six questions correctly.

Tips and Tricks

Since this test is not given in written format, you may want to find a “study buddy” who is fluent in English to help you practice. The friend can read the questions and answers to you, as well as explain the reasons for the correct answers.

The list of possible questions contains some questions for which there is no answer listed. These questions have different answers depending on when you take the test and where you live. So, before you study, look up the answers to the following and keep a list of them with your study materials. Be sure to update the list if there are elections between the time you find the answers and your testing appointment. You can find the answers to these questions online or in recently published books and magazines. Just be sure it is the most current information.

Find the current answers to these and study them:

Who is currently:

  • One U.S. Senator from your state
  • Your U.S. Representative
  • The President of the United States
  • The Vice President of the United States
  • The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • The Governor of your state
  • The Speaker of the House of Representatives

Also:

  • What is the capital of your state?
  • What is the political party of the current president?