The path to citizenship in the U.S is a long and tiring one. It can take years or even decades to actually finish the process, and one aspect of that process is the citizenship test.
As you could guess, the Citizenship Test is meant to test your knowledge of America and our laws, language, and customs. The test isn’t normally considered difficult, but it can be a problem if you haven’t studied for it or don’t speak or write English very well.
In this blog, take a look at the Citizenship Test and what you need to know to prepare for the test.
What Is On The Citizenship Test?
The Citizenship Test is broken down into two main sections: English and Civics. The English section of the test is broken down into a speaking, reading, and writing test.
The English Portion
Speaking Section: The speaking section of the test is administered by an immigration officer asking about your application. The officer will expect some mistakes but is trying to determine if you meet a specific baseline for speaking.
Reading Section: The reading test is administered by an immigration offer, and the test will be taken on a digital tablet. Sentences will appear on the screen and the immigration officer will ask that you read the sentences aloud.
In this section, you want to recite the sentences as smoothly and consistently as you can. Specifically, long pauses and attempting to use substitute words may hurt your score in this category. Pronunciation and intonation issues are typically allowed, as long as the sentence is fully recited as it appears on the screen.
Writing Section: The writing section will also use a digital tablet, along with a stylus. In this section, an immigration officer will read out sentences that need to be written down on the tablet. Like the reading section, there will be some leeway in terms of grammatical, capitalization, and punctuation errors. However, you won’t be able to use shortened versions of words.
The Civics Portion
The Civics portion is to determine if the applicant meets the baseline requirement for knowledge of U.S history and government function. This section has a total of ten questions, and six need to be correctly answered to pass.
The question list for the Civics component is actually available here. The test only has 10 questions though, while the full list has 100 questions. To study for this section, you will need to study all 100 questions so you are ready for any of them.
Most of the questions in the question list are about the government and the various positions, duties, and laws. The rest of the questions are about U.S history and the facts and events that shape it.
How To Prepare For The Test
Preparation for the Citizenship Test is typically very simple because many of the answers are provided online, and well as guides created by the USCIS. By using the resources provided, you simply will have to memorize the answers provided.
For every section, the information needed to pass can either be accessed prior to the test or will be available during the test.
Often, the largest difficulty comes from the English section, where a certain level of proficiency is needed. The best way to train for this section is to practice those elements of the test at home. Reading a newspaper or practicing English speaking with a friend are great ways to get ready.
Overall, the most important tip when studying for the test is to simply start as soon as you can. The test requires a great deal of information to be fully prepared, so taking as much time to learn the material is best.
What Happens If I Don’t Pass?
If you pass the test, you’ll be one step closer to nearly finishing the naturalization process. If you don’t pass, though, here’s nothing to worry about. If you fail, the USCIS will let you retake the test or the portion you failed (wth different questions). You can expect to retake the test in 60-90 days after the first test.
It is crucial that you attend the second examination or provide valid reasoning to USCIS regarding why you had to miss the appointment. Failure to show up for the exam (or failing the re-examination) will result in having your citizenship application denied. This denial can be appealed.
Why Your Immigration Lawyer Matters
The U.S immigration system is a complex, flawed system. As a result, the legal side of the system is hard to navigate for the millions who interact with it. Immigration lawyers spend years learning about this system, so a good one can change the nature of your case.
For the Citizenship test, a great lawyer can help with getting ready for the test. Lawyers can even administer a mock exam to help clients properly prepare for the test.
If you are getting ready for this test, trust the Law Offices of Anable & Rivera, P.C.!