Few Things You Need to Know Before Appearing for the Naturalization Test
The naturalization test is an essential part in the applicant’s entry for US citizenship. Passing this test will open the doors of US to you forever.
What is a Naturalization Test?
Applicants for US citizenship need to fill and submit Form N-400, which is the Application for Naturalization. Once that is done and USCIS service has taken their fingerprints, the applicants will receive an appointment letter inviting them to appear for an interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in their locality. In the interview, they will be asked questions about their background and application. Applicants would also need to take a test comprising English and Civics topics.
Usually, the candidates need to prove their reading, writing and speaking skills in simple English and their fundamental knowledge of the history and government of US, to the satisfaction of the interviewing officer.
The Language Test
An applicant has to take this English language test to demonstrate his proficiency in the language and prove to the interviewer their ability to participate in the social and economic facets of life in US. This comprises of three parts:
- Reading – The applicant will be asked to read one out of ten sentences correctly in English.
- Writing – The candidate will have to write one out of three sentences of simple English correctly.
- Speaking – The ability to speak in simple English is tested by judging the answers provided by the applicant in the course of their interview.
It is not necessary for an applicant to be bilingual, but simple fluency is required. If you are not that fluent in English, you can start taking English lessons as a second language before your naturalization test.
The Civics Test
The Civics test includes basic knowledge of US history and government. The questions will not be multiple-choice and will be asked orally. 10 questions out of 100 will be asked by the USCIS officer, of which you need to answer at least 6 correctly to secure a passing score. Answers to most of the questions generally remain the same with the only exceptions being to the names of persons who hold different government posts, which keeps changing.
Failing the Naturalization Test
An aspirant is given a second interview for retest, if he/she fails in one or both of the tests, generally within 60-90 days from the first interview. While taking the retest, the candidate has to sit for the same pattern of the test, either the old one or the new one, even though the new test may be listed on or after 1st October 2009.
Exceptions to the Naturalization Test
The necessities of the naturalization test changes depending on age and disability factors. Candidates fulfilling the following criteria need not take the Naturalization Test:
- If an aspirant is above 50 years of age and has lived for at least a period of 20 years, as a permanent US resident or is above 55 years of age and has lived for at least a period of 15 years as a permanent US resident, they can skip the English test, but will have to take the civics test in a language they prefers.
- If an aspirant is above 65 years and has lived for at least a period of 20 years, as a permanent US resident, he/she can skip the English test but has to take a simpler form of the civics test where he/she will be asked 10 out of 25 questions in a language of their preference.
- In case an applicant is physically or mentally impaired, and the disability prevents him/her from taking the test, he/she has to submit Form N-648 along with the main application, appealing for an exemption of Naturalization test. If the medical exception is granted, and if the candidate is not in position to take or understand the vow of loyalty to US, then USCIS can release the him/her from this demand as well.
In case an applicant becomes eligible for a waiver in the English test, he/she needs to bring an interpreter to the interview.