During the citizenship application process, an applicant will need to fulfill many requirements. One of these is the passing of a US citizenship exam. This is a written test which is supervised by an officer of the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). The purpose of the test is to ensure that an applicant has adequate knowledge of US history, government, and principles to become a US citizen.
There are many types of questions which may be asked on the exam. Applicants may be asked to answer basic questions about US history. They may be asked about basic ideas of American life or they may be asked about the structure of US government. Questions may also ask the applicant about US citizen’s privileges and rights.
The US citizenship exam has recently received a few updates. On Oct. 1, 2008, the USCIS changed the US citizenship exam to include new types of questions. One of the more significant changes is that the questions now focus more on US values and US government and history.
The current US citizenship exam includes 100 questions. Applicants must receive a 60% score to pass. Each applicant can take the test twice. If the applicant fails the exam twice, he or she will need to begin the US citizenship application again. The exam has a fee of $675.00.
There are many things that can help you pass the US citizenship exam:
1) Study well ahead of time. Start preparing for the US citizenship exam early – as soon as you begin the citizenship application process, or even before that. The earlier you begin to study, the more time you will have to really master all the areas of the test.
2) Take adult education classes. Many communities offer adult education classes that are designed specifically to help students pass the US citizenship exam. If there is such a class in your area, you might wish to take it. If there is no such class near you, consider online classes or take general adult education classes in American history or politics. These, too, will help you pass the US citizenship exam.
3) Study online. There are many online tools and resources that can help you study for the US citizenship exam. Just make certain that the study tools are for the most current version of the exam. The USCIS has a useful study guide section on their website, containing many useful materials that can help you prepare for the exam. MSN also has a useful online test that includes many of the types of questions you might be asked on the exam.
4) Practice the test. You can find old questions from the current version of the US citizenship exam. Some books also offer “mock” US citizenship exams that help you study. Try to take practice exams in the same conditions that you will be taking your actual US citizenship exam. That is, answer all 100 questions at one sitting, within a set time frame.
5) Read about the US. Reading newspapers, articles, and books about US history, civics, and government can help you understand the US and can help you prepare for the US citizenship exam.