The 2020 Version of the Civics Test

New Resources released in connection with Constitution Day and Citizenship Day!

USCIS is pleased to announce the following new resources are now available:

Two-Generational Family Approaches to Citizenship (PDF, 170.13 KB) - This tip sheet highlights ways K-12 schools and adult citizenship education programs can engage the entire family through civics education.

N-400 Topic Exercises: Oath of Allegiance (PDF, 1 MB) - This educational handout describes the key principles found in the Oath of Allegiance that applicants take at their naturalization ceremonies.

A More Perfect Union: The USCIS Civics Test Guide to the Monuments and Memorials on the National Mall (PDF, 2.66 MB) is a series of 13 interactive resources that allows applicants to learn about the individuals and events represented by the monuments and memorials in Washington, DC, while studying for the naturalization civics test. The Civics Test Guide to Constitution Gardens is the first in the series to be released, and it highlights the naturalization civics test questions relating to the principles and structures of government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens that are identified in the U.S. Constitution.

National Park Service Expedition Series (Video) - Developed for students by the National Parks Service, this fun and informative five-part video series explores the history and significance of Ellis Island.

N-400 received date

If you filed your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization on or after December 1, 2020 and before March 1, 2021, and are currently scheduled for your initial examination (interview) before April 19, 2021, you may choose to take the 2008 or 2020 civics test. All others will be required to take the 2008 civics test.

To help determine if you are required to take the 2008 civics test, or if you can choose between the 2008 and 2020 civics test, follow these two steps:

1) Check your filing date, also known as a “received date” on your N-400 notice at the top left corner (see sample notice to the right). 
2) Once you have your received date, go to the table below and find which scenario applies to you based on your filing and initial examination dates.

Which civics test will I take?

My filing date (also known as a received date) for my N-400 is…
 
My initial examination (interview) is scheduled…
 
Which test will I take at my initial examination (interview)?  If I fail the civics test, which test will I take at my re-exam?

Which test will I take at my N-336 hearing?

*Applicable for applicants whose N-400 was denied and a request for hearing was filed…

before December 1, 2020 (12/1/2020). on any date. 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test
on or after December 1, 2020 (12/1/2020) and
before March 1, 2021 (03/01/2021).
before April 19, 2021 (04/19/2021).

You can choose between the:
2020 Civics Test
or
2008 Civics Test

You can choose between the:
2020 Civics Test
or
2008 Civics Test

You can choose between the:
2020 Civics Test
or
2008 Civics Test

on or after December 1, 2020 (12/1/2020) and
before March 1, 2021 (03/01/2021).
on or after April 19, 2021 (4/19/2021). 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test
on or after March 1, 2021 (03/01/2021). on any date. 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test 2008 Civics Test

Note: USCIS will offer both the 2008 and 2020 tests for a certain time period. For more information, refer to the USCIS Policy Manual Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.


What should I expect at my naturalization interview if I am taking the 2020 version of the civics test?

If you have the option and choose to take the 2020 version of the civics test, you will need to study 128 questions about American government and history. You must answer correctly 12 of the 20 questions (or 60%) to pass the 2020 civics test. All questions on the test are asked orally.

What should I expect at my naturalization interview if I am taking the 2008 version of the civics test?

If you decide to take the 2008 civics test, you will need to study 100 questions about American government and history. You must answer correctly 6 of the 10 questions (or 60%) to pass the 2008 civics test. All questions on the test are asked orally.

See also the USCIS Policy Manual Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.

Has the English test changed?

No. The naturalization test has two components: an English and civics test. The English portion has not changed. Whether you are taking the 2008 or 2020 test, you must demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including the ability to read, write, and speak basic English.

  • Speaking: A USCIS officer will determine your ability to speak and understand English during your eligibility interview on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Reading: You must read out loud one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English.
  • Writing: You must write one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to write in English.
What if I fail the naturalization test?

Applicants are given two opportunities to pass the naturalization test. If you fail any part of the naturalization test at your first interview, you will be retested only on the portion of the test that you failed, between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.

Note: Please refer to the information in the table above to learn more about which test you will take at your second appointment.

What if I qualify for the 65/20 Special Consideration?

Certain applicants, because of age and time as a lawful permanent resident, are exempt from the English requirements for naturalization and may take the civics test in the language of their choice. Further, the 65/20 applicants are given special consideration and only have to study 20 designated test questions. For more information about the 65/20 special consideration and other exceptions, see our Exceptions and Accommodations page.

If you qualify for the 65/20 special consideration, you will only need to study the civics questions that are marked with an asterisk found at the end of each question regardless of which version of the civics test you are taking.
Refer to the table above to determine if will need to take the 2008 civics test or be able to choose the 2008 and 2020 test.
To pass the 2020 version of the civics test as someone who qualifies for the 65/20 special consideration, the USCIS officer will ask you to answer 10 out of the 20 civics test questions. You must answer at least 6 out of 10 correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics test.

How can I prepare for the 2020 version of the civics test?

To help you prepare for the 2020 version of the civics test, you can find study materials that are available on the Study for the Test (2020 version) page.

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