U.S. Citizenship English Test

In the last ten years, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), more than 7.4 million residents in the USA have decided to become real Americans and take on the U.S. citizenship. A part of becoming a real American, naturally, is feeling confident when you speak English – the living proof that you have adjusted to the American lifestyle!

Don’t be nervous and instead be prepared by reading the following article about the U.S. citizenship English test, which will deal with:   

What happens at the U.S. citizenship interview?

You will receive an invitation in the mail to attend a personal interview in a USCIS field office closest to you after you have completed and mailed in your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. At this interview, USCIS officers will test your English skills as well as your basic knowledge of the USA.

  • The interview is to show the USCIS officer that you understand the culture of your future home and are ready to accept the way of life in the USA.
  • In the best case, you have already acclimated to American culture and are familiar with American customs, like their important holidays.
  • In this case, you will be able to confidently answer all questions and be comfortable speaking English.

The English test itself is not really that hard, even if you do not consider yourself the best English speaker. By living your dream living in the United States, you will hear and use English everywhere: at the supermarket, in the bus, at home and work and anytime you have a nice chat with a neighbor. Of course, the USCIS officer does not want to hear about your shopping list. Your English skills will be rated based on your ability to make typical small-talk. You should have at least a basic knowledge of English grammar for the interview.

Speaking Test: How is the interview conducted?

During the speaking test, imagine that you are taking an oral exam at school. What you say and do the moment you step into the USCIS field office will be judged by the officer as part of the exam. During the interview, the USCIS officer will go over your Form N-400 with you and at the same time test your English skills. Do not worry about this part of the interview: you do not need to know any specific vocabulary or describe any complex situations. Important is to be honest with your answers. 

For the interview, it is important to master the following expressions:

  • The greeting “Good afternoon. How are you doing?”;
  • Small-talk topics like having an excited family, your surroundings, the weather and others help lighten the mood and ease any tension;
  • Answer only the questions asked by the field officer; for example, where you come from, where you work, where your parents live, etc.;
  • Give the same answers you gave when filling out the Form N-400;
  • Try to avoid grammatical mistakes, but do not get too nervous about it. Of course, small mistakes happen when you are very excited;
  • There is no need to speak in long complicated sentences. Keep your speech easy, natural and honest.

Your level of speaking and writing should be good enough for you to talk about a variety of topics quite well. This should not be too hard since you have been living in the USA for the last five years with a Green Card. Perfection is not expected.

USCIS is responsible for granting U.S. citizenship

 

Reading and writing test: What will the test be like?

Your English reading and writing skills will be judged by your ability to read and write three different sentences for each category. The officer will read aloud three sentences and you must write them down correctly. You will then be required to read three sentences out loud. These sentences could be taken directly from the Civics Test or the N-400 application. Here, it is important that you show the officer that you can explain and understand what you heard and read.

Naturally, you can ask the USCIS officer to repeat sentences at any time.

How can I prepare for the test?

USCIS has put many learning materials, like vocabulary lists or flashcards, online. Moreover, you can find the whole list of 100 American culture questions of which ten will be asked on the Civics Test. It is a very good idea to become familiar with this list before the test so that you are not surprised by any questions during the interview and are prepared to answer all questions.

  • We advise you to learn the vocabulary needed to answer the questions during the Civics Test
  • for example: U.S. Constitution, American flag, Bill of Rights, government, or capital.
  • It is also important to understand which holidays in the United States are celebrated 
  • for example: Independence Day, Labor Day or Thanksgiving and all the names of the U.S. states.

In general, it never hurts to practice before the test by speaking English with friends or family and by setting yourself small writing tasks.

  • Try your best to read books, newspapers and magazines to increase your vocabulary and get used to English grammar.
  • Listening to the radio and watching movies or television will help you to understand different American accents and improve your listening comprehension skills.

Every USCIS officer has their own way of conducting the U.S. citizenship interview and that is why it is important to be as prepared as possible. Every interview experience is a little different depending on the USCIS officer. But if you combine being well-prepared, a pinch of American charm and the fact that you want to make the USA your new home, you will be certain to leave the USCIS interview as a newly approved American citizen.   

The path ending in American citizenship first begins with getting the Green Card. Participating in the Green Card Lottery is the first step towards becoming a bona fide American.

Civics Test – everything about the American Constitution, history and geography

Many Green Card holders dream of one day becoming an American citizen and being the proud owners of a U.S. passport. True to the American work ethic, dreams do come true when you work hard! Green Card holders must then prove how well they know the new country they now call home. Moreover, those applying for a U.S. citizenship must also have strong knowledge of the English language.

In addition to a three-part English test (speaking, reading and writing), applicants will be asked ten questions about the United States. These questions are asked orally and can be about everything from the U.S. constitution, the presidential system and history to American holidays.

  • You are required to answer six of the ten questions correctly.
  • There is no question about the possibility of passing this test, but preparation is still needed.
  • The civil officer at USCIS will use this opportunity to test how well you express yourself and understand English.

The path ending in American citizenship first begins with getting the Green Card. Participating in the Green Card Lottery is the first step towards becoming a bona fide American. With a Green Card there is nothing standing in the way of learning English and making your American dream come true. What are you waiting for? 

Below is an example of ten questions that might be asked for the Civics Test. You will find the correct answers below the question. As you can see, there can be one or more answers for each question.

  • all people of the state
  • at age eighteen (18)
  • between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War
  • Civil War
  • Spanish-American War
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Alaska

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