How to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test

02 Nov 2022 - Category: Blog /
U.S. citizenship

Who is the current President of the United States? What are the three branches of the U.S. government? How many stars on the U.S. flag and what do they represent? How has the Constitution changed? If you know the answers to any of these questions, you may be able to pass the U.S. citizenship test. But wait, there’s more to it than that!

In this blog we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about how to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test, including:

What is the naturalization and citizenship process in the U.S.?

The citizenship test is exactly what it sounds like. It is a test to see whether you can become a citizen of a country. In the U.S. the process of becoming a citizen involves a naturalization interview and naturalization test.

The naturalization test consists of two components: an English test and a civics Test. The English test is a test of your understanding of the English language including your ability to read, write and speak English. The civics test is what most people think of when they hear the phrase ‘Citizenship Test’. It is a test consisting of questions about American government, history and life. We’ll be discussing this part in more detail below.

To learn more about the exact form and function of the naturalization interview and citizenship test click here to visit the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

When should you take the citizenship test?

If you are a permanent resident who has been in the U.S. for at least 5 years then you are capable of applying for U.S. citizenship. Ofcourse, it is a personal choice. Some people will want to retain their original home country citizenship and others will be jumping to become a U.S. citizen as soon as possible.

Those who do decide to become a U.S. citizen will then need to take a series of steps to obtain their citizenship. Usually the steps will be:

  1. Complete and submit Form N-400 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with supporting documents and a fee
  2. Then schedule and go to a biometrics appointment where your fingerprints, photo and signature will be recorded. The FBI will conduct a background check to see whether you are eligible.
  3. You will then attend a naturalization interview and citizenship test (normally held on the same day). This usually occurs 1 year after you submit your naturalization application.

Are you eligible to take the citizenship test?

To take the citizenship test you must be a non-U.S. national who is lawfully permitted to reside in the United States. As well as this basic requirement you must also:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have lived as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. for at least 5 years
  • Be able to read, write and speak English
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government
  • Be able to prove that you have lived in the U.S. state or district to which you are applying for at least 3 months
  • Be able to prove that you’ve continuously live in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the date of filing Form N-400
  • Be a person of ‘good moral character’
  • Be able to swear an Oath of Allegiance
  • Be able to demonstrate an attachment to the U.S. constitution

What is in the citizenship test?

The citizenship test is an exam that tests your English language skills and your knowledge of U.S. history and government.

The English language section is comprised of 3 parts:

  • Reading test - you will have to read no more than 3 sentences.
  • Writing test - you will have to write no more than 3 sentences on a digital table with a digital pen.
  • Speaking test - a USCIS officer will ask you a series of questions in the interview and determine whether your English language skills are up to standard.

The civics section will consist of a number of questions about U.S. history and the U.S. system of government. It is not multiple choice but as long as you study for a bit and have immersed yourself in American life in the past five years, this section should not be too difficult to pass.

The kinds of questions you can expect to be asked, include:

  • What are the three branches of the U.S. government?
  • How many stars on the U.S. flag and what do they represent?
  • How can you change the Constitution?
  • What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
  • Name your U.S. Representative
  • Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
  • What are the first three words of the Constitution?
  • What are two Cabinet-level positions?
  • How many years does the President serve after they’re elected?

Before 2020 the civics test was slightly different to what it is today. Iin the 2008 version the USCIS officer would ask candidates up to 10 questions from a list of 100 civics test questions. You had to answer 6 questions correctly in order to pass. Today there are more questions.

In the 2020 version of the civics test the USCIS officer will now ask you 20 questions instead of 10. Moreover, the list of possible questions has gone from 100 to 128. You need to get 12 of the 20 questions right in order to pass. If you filed your naturalization on or after December 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2021, you will have the option to take either the 2020 civics test, or the old 2008 civics test.

How to send money to the U.S.

Learning about how to build and manage your credit score in the U.S. should hopefully help you support family and friends based in the U.S. If you want to start supporting your loved ones in the U.S. as soon as possible then you may want to send them some money. This is where Small World can help.

Small World is an international money transfer service that helps millions around the world send money to their loved ones. There are a number of transfer services you can make use of if you want to support your family and friends in the United States, including cash pickup and bank deposit.

Your first digital transaction is always free of transfer fees!

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