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Everything you need to know about your Naturalization Test

Everything you need to know about your Naturalization Test

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Connie Kaplan

N 400 Form | The citizenship test is perhaps one of the most intimidating parts of the whole naturalization test process.

It is normal to want to do your best on the naturalization test. It’s the last step before being able to take your Oath and become a Citizen. But don’t be afraid! If you study with enough time, you should do well in the exam.

When and where will I have my interview?

After having your biometrics appointment, you will receive a notice for the interview. The date and place of your interview will be listed on the notice. On the day of the appointment, make sure you show up at least 30 min early. Those extra minutes will give you enough time to check-in.

If you cannot attend the appointment, you can reschedule it. However, this could cause a long delay. Months can pass before you receive a new date for your interview. However, if you do not notify USCIS that you can’t attend, they will consider your application abandoned and close it.

Your appointment notice will also indicate which USCIS field office you must go to for your interview. Usually, they use the ZIP code you provided in the “Current Physical Address” section of your N 400 Form to select the office. Remember to keep your address up to date. You don’t want to miss any notices.

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How is the Naturalization Test?

During the interview, they will test your knowledge and understanding of the United States history, government, and the legal system. You will also need to show your ability to read, write, and speak English. Most naturalization test applicants must take both parts of the exam.

However, some applicants may be eligible for an exemption based on their age and time as green card holders, or based on certain medical conditions. Each applicant has two chances to take the exam, which usually takes place on the same day as the citizenship interview.

There are exceptions and modifications to the naturalization requirements that are available to those who qualify. USCIS also provides accommodations for individuals with disabilities. There are two exemptions for the English requirement:

  • “50/20” exception: If you are age 50 or older at the time of filing for naturalization and have lived as a permanent resident (Green Card holder) in the United States for 20 years.
  • “55/15” exception: If you are age 55 or older at the time of filing for naturalization and have lived as a permanent resident in the United States for 15 years.

Even if you qualify for one of the exceptions listed above, you must still take the civics test. You will be allowed to take the civics test in your native language. If you are taking the test in your native language, you must bring an interpreter to the interview. The interpreter must be fluent in both English and your native language. For the civics requirement, some individuals might receive special considerations; for example, if you have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years.

English Proficiency test

The English proficiency part of the naturalization test demonstrates your ability to take part in the economic and social aspects of life in the United States. The test has three parts; reading, speaking and writing.

For the reading part of the test, you may have to read aloud certain parts of the N 400 Form. USCIS provides the complete list of vocabulary words used in the reading test. Try avoiding long pauses or replacing the words you are reading with words that are familiar to you.

It’s okay if you mispronounce some words. What matters the most is to convey to the immigration officer that you understand the meaning of what you read. For your writing test, you will have to write a couple of simple sentences. The immigration officer will read each sentence aloud to you for you to write them down.

Many of the words are the same as the vocabulary list from the reading test. Remember to write legibly and not abbreviate any word. For the speaking part, the immigration officer will ask you a couple of questions about yourself. Specifically about your citizenship application and eligibility, to evaluate your ability to speak and comprehend the language.

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Civics test

The actual civics portion of the naturalization test is NOT a multiple-choice test. The citizenship test consists of 100 questions. The USCIS officer will ask you 10 of the 100 questions. To pass, you need to answer correctly at least 6 of the questions.

Some examples of the questions are: What does the Bill of Rights protect? Who elects Congress? In what month is the new President of the United States inaugurated? You can find more questions and material to prepare for your naturalization test at the USCIS website.

What happens if I fail the test?

You will have two attempts to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any part of the test, you can retake it between 60 and 90 days after.

What happens if I pass?

Once you have completed your interview and your application is approved, USCIS will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance. You are not a United States citizen until you have your naturalization ceremony.

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Successfully naturalizing in the United States requires a thorough understanding of the process and careful preparation at each stage. You should contact an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through each step o the process and protect your legal rights.

We are working with immigrants whose future embody peacefulness and accomplishment. If this is how you see your future and want us to help you get there, give us a call! We look forward to guiding you in your naturalization journey.

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