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Page 1 - Writing Study Guide for the U.S. Citizenship Test

How to Prepare for the U.S. Citizenship Writing Test

General Information

For the Writing section of the Citizenship Test, the officer will read a sentence out loud to you and you should write it on paper, as correctly as you can. The sentence is fairly short and will only contain words from an approved list. You can find that list of words here.

How to Practice

  • Write. The best way to practice for this test is to write down things that are spoken by others. Get someone who is fluent in reading, writing, and speaking English to make up sentences using only the words on the specified approved list and read them to you. Then have the person check your work for accuracy in word order and spelling.

  • Study spelling. Be sure you know how to spell all of the words on the approved list. If you have trouble spelling any of them, make a copy of the list and have someone call out those words for you to write until you know them well. You can also practice writing any words that give you trouble repeatedly until spelling them is easy.

  • Practice writing neatly. The officer will not be passing or failing you based on your handwriting, but you must write in a way that can be read. If your handwriting is hard to read, practice writing more clearly. It is best to print, rather than write in cursive, on this test.

On the Day of the Test

When you are taking the U.S. Citizenship Writing test, be sure to:

  • Take your time. You will be given plenty of time to complete your writing. Listen carefully to the examiner as he or she reads the sentence. If you have any questions about what was said, ask the officer to repeat the sentence.

  • Do not panic if you have trouble. You will have three chances to write a spoken sentence, so if you struggle the first time, stay calm.

  • Do not use any abbreviations for words. For example, spell out the word government instead of writing govt.

  • After you have finished writing the entire sentence, read it back to yourself to make sure you did not leave out any words.

  • Remember that you are allowed a few minor spelling errors, so just being stumped on one or two words will not mean that you fail the test.

One Final Word

To fail this part of the test, you would have to write nothing at all, write only part of the sentence, or write in a way that is unreadable. So, practice and do the best that you can!

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