The US Citizenship Exam: What to Expect

Naturalization is a process that all applicants must go through in order to become a U.S. citizen. As part of this process, applicants must pass the U.S. citizen exam, which tests their knowledge of U.S. history and government. Taking the time to practice and study for the U.S. citizenship exam will give you the best possible chance of getting your certificate of naturalization and becoming a U.S. citizen.


The Naturalization Process: Step by Step

The first step in the naturalization process is to fill out form N-400 and submit it, along with two standard passport photos and supporting documents, to the USCIS Lockbox Facility. Once your application has been received, you will be sent a letter giving you an appointment to have your fingerprints taken. Bring the letter, along with your Permanent Resident Card and another form of photo identification, to the fingerprinting center. Your fingerprints will be used to run a criminal background check, after which your interview will be scheduled. Although you can reschedule your interview, doing so could mean that you have to wait several months longer, so it's best to attend on the original date you are given if you possibly can. Your English language and civics exams will take place at the interview, so make sure you are prepared.


What to Expect During the Interview and Exam

During the interview, expect to be asked questions about your background, the places you have lived in the U.S. and how long you have lived there, and your willingness to swear allegiance to the United States. You will also be asked questions about any evidence that you are using to support your case for naturalization. Remember that you must answer questions honestly, or your citizenship could later be taken away. For the English test, you will need to prove your ability to speak, read, and write in English. You must demonstrate that you have read and understood one of three sentences presented to you, write at least one sentence that is understandable to the interviewer, and demonstrate adequate ability to speak English throughout the interview. The list of vocabulary used in the reading and writing sections of the test is available on the USCIS website. As well as common words, you will also need to know some vocabulary related to the history, politics and geography of the United States. Example sentences that you may be asked to write down after listening to them being spoken include "Alaska is the largest U.S. state" and "George Washington was the first President". To pass the the civics test, you must correctly answer at least 6 out of 10 questions about the U.S. constitution and U.S. history. Example questions on the U.S. constitution include "How many amendments does the Constitution have?" and "What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?". You will also have to demonstrate knowledge of the governmental system, which may include naming your U.S. Representative, explaining the role of a U.S. Senator, or identifying the political party of the current President. There may also be questions about U.S. geography, such as "Name a state that borders Canada." You can find practice questions for the citizenship exam on our website. It is a good idea to study these questions carefully, learn the correct responses, and practice answering them by having a friend ask the questions to you.


Final Step: Taking the Oath

Once you have passed the U.S. citizenship test, the final step to becoming a U.S. citizen is to take the Oath of Allegiance at a special ceremony. You will be notified by mail of the time and place of the ceremony. Once you have taken the oath, the process is complete and you can start your new life as a naturalized U.S. citizen. can help you to prepare for and pass the U.S. citizenship exam. With careful preparation, you can get your certificate of naturalization and become a U.S. citizen.