Archived Content

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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.

Preparing for the Naturalization Test: The Citizenship Resource Center

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At USCIS, we know that the decision to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most meaningful decisions in an individual’s life. USCIS has a lot to offer for those wishing to become citizens. The form required to apply, the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization is available for free on our website, or you can order it by mail or phone at 1-800-870-3676.

We also invite those preparing for the naturalization test to also visit our Citizenship Resource Center.

What Happens During the Interview?

During the naturalization interview with a USCIS Officer, you will be tested on your knowledge of civics and your ability to speak, understand, read, and write English.

  • Your ability to speak and understand English will be determined by a USCIS Officer from your answers to questions normally asked during the eligibility interview on the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400.
  • For the English portion, you will be given both a reading test and a writing test. You must read 1 out of 3 sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. You must write 1 out of 3 sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to write in English.
  • For the civics portion, you will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 questions. You must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.
Certain applicants, because of age and time as a permanent resident; or others because of a disability, have different English and civics requirements; see the “Exceptions & Accommodations” web page for details.

Preparing for the Test

Under the “Study for the Test” section of the Citizenship Resource Center, you can find free study materials for the English and civics portions of the test:
We also offer a variety of educational products to help you prepare for the test, including:
Test Your Knowledge

After reviewing the educational products we offer, try the Naturalization Self Test as a means to test your knowledge. Please note that the actual civics test is NOT a multiple choice test, but an oral test. This “Self Test” was prepared as a learning tool to help you assess your progress.

What Happens if You Don’t Pass?

You will be given two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions related to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests during your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.

What is the Pass Rate?

For those applicants taking both the English and civics tests, the overall national pass rate as of June 2011 is 92 percent. To view scoring guidelines and background data, and other information, visit the “Applicant Performance on the Naturalization Test” page.