Some candidates may be exempted only if they qualify,, while others must undergo a naturalization test. During the naturalization interview, there will a USCIS officer who will ask queries about your background and application. The test is composed of two components: English and civics. 

  • In the English test, candidates must express their skills to read, write or speak. 
  • A candidate must answer essential questions about American history and government in the civics test. 

Before these tests, a candidate needs to know how to apply for U.S. Citizenship. 

Preparing For The U.S. Civics Exam

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lists potential questions for the history and government exam, which is part of the naturalization process. These questions and their answers are publicly available for applicants to study. 

The exam consists of 100 questions, and during the naturalization interview, the USCIS official selects ten questions from the list. To pass, applicants must answer six out of the ten questions correctly. Although there were plans to change the requirements in 2021, they were reversed under the Biden-Harris administration, maintaining the six-out-of-ten passing criteria.

Civics Test Exception For Elder Applicants

If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 20 years, you qualify for the “65/20 exception” when applying for citizenship. 

Under this exception, you only need to study 20 questions (indicated by asterisks on the main list) and will be asked ten of them during the exam. To pass, you must answer six questions correctly. Moreover, you can take the test in your native language, but you’ll need to bring your interpreter to assist during the naturalization interview. 

Civics Test Exception For Disabled Applicants

Suppose you have a physical or mental disability that hinders your ability to grasp U.S. history and government concepts or undertake the oath of allegiance. In that case, you may be eligible for waivers of these requirements. 

To pursue this option, you’ll need to complete Form N-648, and your doctor must provide detailed information about your disability, outlining how it impedes your ability to comprehend civic concepts or participate in the citizenship oath.

How To Prepare For The Naturalization English Exam?

You must demonstrate proficiency in speaking and reading English during your citizenship interview. The USCIS officer conducting the interview will engage with you in English and assess your ability to answer questions. 

Furthermore, they will ask you to follow instructions, read a brief passage, and write a sentence dictated by the officer. If you need to enhance your English skills, consider enrolling in a class at a nearby adult school or exploring online training resources available at your local library.

Requirement For English Exception For Advanced Age

Two provisions exempt older individuals from the English language requirement. The “50/20” waiver allows those aged 50 or older, with at least 20 years of U.S. residence as a green card holder, to have the entire citizenship interview in their native language. (Learn more on how to get a green card in the US)

The “55/15” waiver applies to individuals aged 55 or older, with a minimum of 15 years of U.S. residency, allowing the interview and exam to be conducted in their native language. In both cases, applicants must provide their interpreter for the foreign language.

Requirement For English Exception For Disability

Individuals facing physical or mental disabilities that hinder English learning, such as severe drowsiness from medication, developmental disabilities, or deafness, may be eligible for an English requirement waiver. 

To secure this waiver, a doctor must complete Form N-648, outlining the nature of the disability and its impact on language learning. If approved, the applicant can have the citizenship interview conducted in their native language.

How Can An Immigration Lawyer Help You?

An experienced immigration attorney can be crucial in preparing you for the tests required for US citizenship. They guide the civics exam, ensuring you know the questions and answers. Furthermore, they assist in demonstrating English proficiency and providing support in speaking, reading, and writing skills.