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The Naturalization Interview and Test

Important Updates to the Naturalization Test

USCIS has revised the civics portion of the naturalization test. 

  • Applicants for naturalization with a “filing” date (also known as a receipt date) on or after Dec. 1, 2020, are required to take the 2020 version of the civics test. 
  • Applicants for naturalization with a “filing” date before Dec. 1, 2020, are required to take the 2008 version of the civics test.

Find more information about the 2020 version of the civics test and study materials to help you prepare. Find study materials for the 2008 version of the civics test and English language test.

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 version of the civics test, you will take the same English test. 

 

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 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 for naturalization with a filing date (also known as a receipt date) before Dec. 1, 2020, will take the 2008 version of the civics test. Visit the Study for the Test page and search "civics" for the 2008 civics test study materials.

 
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 for naturalization with a filing date (also known as a receipt date) on or after Dec. 1, 2020 are required to take the 2020 version of the civics test. Find more information about the 2020 civics test and study materials to help you prepare. 

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).

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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