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Applicant Performance on the Naturalization Test Archives

Archived Content

The information on this page is out of date. However, some of the content may still be useful, so we have archived the page.

Section 312 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that naturalization applicants must demonstrate an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language, and have a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). To meet the requirements of Section 312 of the INA, applicants must pass a naturalization test to become naturalized citizens. The naturalization test consists of two components – an English and a civics component.

As part of a multi-year redesign, the naturalization test was modified to achieve two basic objectives:

  • A uniform and consistent testing experience for all applicants
  • A civics test that can effectively assess an applicant’s knowledge of U.S. history and government

The new test’s content emphasizes the founding principles of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship while also serving as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and attachment to the country.

On October 1, 2008, USCIS began administering the new naturalization test. Up until October 1, 2009, applicants who had filed for naturalization before October 1, 2008, had a choice of taking the old test or the new test. On October 1, 2009, following a one-year transition, the new test became mandatory for all naturalization applicants.

Background on the Data

USCIS provides information on a monthly basis on the overall national pass rate of applicants who were administered the naturalization test. The data reflected in the months listed below were taken from internal case management systems used to track naturalization applications and have been gathered to provide a general snapshot of how applicants are performing on the naturalization test. 

The overall national pass rate is determined based solely on an applicant's first test within the current naturalization application. Please note that test results for each applicant are manually entered into the case management system and some errors may occur during manual entry. Although every effort has been undertaken to eliminate any errors made during manual data entry, errors may exist that would impact the publicized national pass rate. See the links below for archived data from 2010.

For the latest data, visit Applicant Performance on the Naturalization Test.

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