How hard is the naturalization civics test?

On Behalf of | Sep 24, 2021 | US Citizenship |

At some point, you may have thought your days of studying for tests was long behind you. However, if you have decided to go through the naturalization process to become a citizen of the United States, you have a few more tests to prepare for. One that many find challenging is the civics test. The civics test requires applicants to demonstrate how well they understand the history of the U.S., the workings of the government and the general principals of the country.

You might have heard that, in recent years, the test had become more difficult. In fact, in 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services implemented a new version of the test that was met with mixed reviews. If this concerned you, you may be surprised to learn that the naturalization process could still be within your reach. Within the past year, the government has decided to revert to the previous version of the test created in 2008.

Change for the better

Critics of the 2020 test felt that it was too long and more difficult to pass. Critics also alleged that the questions were too political. They complained that the revised exam slowed down the immigration process and created a backlog, as well as increasing the failure rate for those hoping to qualify for citizenship. This was cause for concern among many immigration advocates as well as those hoping to obtain citizenship.

Whether these assessments are true or not, the 2020 civics test is out, and the old 2008 test is back in. In fact, at this time, applicants for naturalization no longer have the choice to take the 2020 test instead of the 2008 exam. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that the renewal of the old test, developed in cooperation with over 150 organizations, will grant access to the naturalization process to more candidates who are eligible for citizenship.

Preparing for the test

The civics test is about ten questions, but there are dozens of questions an examiner may ask. In addition to the civics portion, your naturalization test will include a demonstration of your ability to speak, read and write in English. The USCIS offers study materials, and you may even be able to find classes in your area of Louisiana. You might also require certain accommodations or exemptions, depending on your age and physical abilities, and it is important that you explore these options and seek any guidance you may need.

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