Apart from meeting other eligibility requirements, taking the citizenship test is a part of the American citizenship process. Most applicants have to demonstrate an understanding of the English language and should prove that he/she can read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in English. Additionally, your knowledge of basic US government and history (civics) will also be tested.
When to Take the Citizenship Test?
Once you submit the application to the USCIS with the correct fee and necessary supporting documents, your application will be reviewed. The USCIS will notify you about the date and place to get your fingerprints taken and subsequently, will notify you about the interview.
As mentioned earlier, you have to demonstrate that you can read, write and speak English. Your English speaking ability will be determined by how well you respond to the questions asked by the USCIS officer. You have to read one sentence out of three given sentences correctly, giving the USCIS officer the impression that you are able to understand the meaning of the sentence. However, the accent is not given much importance and you will not be failed because of your accent. In addition to these, you have to write one sentence out of three given sentences correctly. Ensure that you do not abbreviate any dictated word in the written sentence. Once you have successfully written one out of three sentences correctly, the USCIS officer will stop the writing test. It is important to note that you will not be failed because of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation errors unless such errors change the meaning of the sentence.
Coming to the Civics section, you will be asked ten questions out of which you have to answer at least six correctly. This will be an oral test. Per immigration law, you will be considered PASS if you can provide a correct answer or if you provide an alternate phrase of the correct answer, which does not change the meaning of the answer. If your answer is not correct or you do not respond to the questions, you will be considered as FAIL.
Not all applicants are required to take the citizenship test. You can be exempted from taking the tests depending on your age and any medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
What If I Fail?
If your application is rejected because of failing in the English or Civics test, you can re apply as soon as you have mustered enough knowledge in English or Civics to pass the tests. If you fail, you will be given a second chance and will be retested on the portion of the citizenship test that you failed between 60 and 90 days from the date of your original interview. If you fail again, your case will be denied.
If you think that the USCIS made a mistake in rejecting your application, you can request a hearing with an immigration official. The denial letter that the USCIS sent, will have all the details about how to request a hearing. You will be required to file Form N-336,”Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings” under Section 336 of the INA along with the necessary fee within thirty days from the date you received the denial letter from the USCIS.
In the citizenship test, you will be asked 10 out of the available 100 questions and you have to answer at least 6 of the 10 questions correctly to pass this section.Even after the appeal hearing, you feel your case is justified, you can file a petition for a new review of your application in a US district court.