Immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process must have an understanding of the English language and knowledge of the U.S. history and laws. In order to establish that they are good in spoken and written English and that they are well aware of the principles of the U.S. government, they need to take the U.S. citizenship test. The civics test and the English test are the two components of the citizenship test.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a variety of educational resources for the people preparing for the naturalization test. 100 possible civics questions provided by the USCIS will help the applicants to prepare for the civics test. They can memorize the answers to those 100 questions. However, only ten questions will be asked during the test and the applicants need to answer 6 out of ten questions correctly to pass the test.
The naturalization interview will be conducted in English and the interviewing immigration officer will determine the applicant’s ability to speak in English by the way he or she answers questions asked during the interview. Immigration officers will generally ask the applicants questions about their citizenship applications. Followed by that, the interviewee must show that he or she can write and read in English. The interviewee will be required to write one sentence and read aloud one sentence in English.
Not all the naturalization applicants need to take these tests and USCIS grants exceptions for seniors and certain applicants whose physical or mental disability prevents them from taking these tests. Such applicants may qualify for a waiver.
Applicants above age 50 and 55 who have lived in the U.S. as green card holders for the past 20 and 15 years respectively, may not be required to take the English test. But they need to take the civics test and they may be allowed to take this test in their native languages if they are not good in English. Applicants above age 65 may be permitted to take an easier version of the naturalization test. Applicants who are disabled need to submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, to establish that their disability is preventing them from taking the naturalization test.