Applicants who wish to sit the exam for US citizenship need to understand the English language as read, spoken and written, and need to be aware of the principles of the United States government and have some knowledge of American history.
One hundred possible questions have been provided to applicants by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the government and history exam portion of the citizenship test. These questions, and their answers, are published ahead of time and all applicants can access them in advance. Applicants need to memorize the answers but just six of the ten questions have to be correctly answered in order to successfully pass the test. The specific questions are chosen by the official from USCIS who conducts the interview.
Immigrants need to demonstrate at the exam that they can write and speak English. The official from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services conducts the interview in English and monitors the skill with which they are answered. Applicants will also be asked to write down a short passage or sentence that is read aloud by the interviewer.
Exceptions can sometimes be made for applicants who find it difficult to comprehend English or memorize the answers to the civics exam. An applicant who is 65 or older and has been living as a permanent resident in the United States for a minimum of 20 years can take an easier version of the government and history exam, while applicants who are 50 or older and who have held a green card for at least two decades can have the whole interview held in their own language.