The Naturalization Interview and 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.

 

Due to COVID-19, current interview settings will be different from what is being shown in this video in order to provide additional safety measures.

During your naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application and background. Unless you qualify for an exemption, you will also take a naturalization test which is made up of two components, an English and civics test.

  • During the English test, you must demonstrate an understanding of the English language including the ability to read, write, and speak basic English. 
  • During the civics test, you will answer important questions about American government and history.

See below to learn more about the naturalization test and the free study materials and resources available to help you prepare. 

English Test

Speaking 

Your ability to speak and understand English will be determined by a USCIS officer during your eligibility interview on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Reading 

You must read aloud one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. The Reading Test Vocabulary List will help you study for the English reading portion of the naturalization test. The content focuses on civics and history topics.

Writing 

You must write one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to write in English. The Writing Test Vocabulary List will help you study for the English writing portion of the naturalization test. The content focuses on civics and history topics.


Visit our Study for the Test (2008 version) page and search for "English" test materials.

Civics Test

2008 Version
The 2008 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you up to 10 questions from the list of 100 civics test questions. You must answer 6 questions correctly to pass the 2008 version of the civics test. 

  • Applicants who filed their Form N-400 before December 1, 2020, will continue to take the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336 hearing. 
  • Applicants who file their Form N-400 on or after March 1, 2021 will also take the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336 hearing. 

 
2020 Version
The 2020 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions. You must answer at least 12 of the 20 questions correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics test. 

  • Applicants who filed their naturalization applications on or after Dec. 1, 2020, and before March 1, 2021, with an initial examination (interview) before April 19, 2021, will have the option to take either the 2020 civics test, or the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336. 
Exceptions from English and Civics Requirements

For information on exceptions or modifications to the English and civics requirements for naturalization, visit our Exceptions and Accommodations page.

If You Don't Pass

You will be given two attempts to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at 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. See 8 CFR 312.5(a) and 335.3(b).

Note: Due to recent policy changes, some applicants for naturalization may have the choice to take the 2008 or 2020 version of the civics test at their re-exam. Visit the 2020 version of the civics test page to learn more. See also the USCIS Policy Manual Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.

Applicant Performance on the 2008 Naturalization Test

USCIS regularly reports on the national pass rate for the naturalization test, which represents the cumulative pass rate of applicants who took both the English and civics components of the test since it was fully implemented on Oct. 1, 2009.

Additional Resources

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