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What should you know about the citizenship civics test?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Employment-Based Immigration |

You took the big step of applying for U.S. citizenship. Now, you must prepare for the naturalization process, which includes steps you must pass such as the civics test.

Understanding the civics test may help put you in the best position to have your application approved and to receive U.S. citizenship.

Test variation

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the services implemented a new civics test in December of 2020. However, after reviewing public comments, USCIS went back to the 2008 version of the citizenship civics test. The variation that you will take during the naturalization process depends on when you filed your application. If you filed after December 1, 2020, but before March 1, 2021, then you will take the 2020 version, otherwise you will need to pass the 2008 test to gain citizenship.

Study questions

USCIS has study questions available for both test variants. The study guide for the 2008 test has 100 possible questions, while the 2020 test guide has 128 potential questions. Reviewing these materials before your interview and test may help you better prepare and improve your chances of having your application approved.

Retest options

If you fail the civics test on your first attempt, do not fret. You have the option for a reexamination. Within 60 and 90 days after your initial exam, USCIS will schedule you for a retest. When retesting, you need only pass the areas you previously failed. For example, if you passed the reading and speaking portion, but failed the writing, then you will retest on the writing portion only.

The naturalization process involves many steps, including the civics test. Preparing for these steps ahead of time may help you avoid issues that could affect your application status.