How to prepare for the American citizenship test

Table of contents:

How to prepare for the American citizenship test
How to prepare for the American citizenship test

Two frequent problems in approaching this exam are not having adequate information and being filled with fear. Don't let the amount of resources overwhelm you. Organize your preparation and approve it.


Part 1 of 3: Recognize the American Citizenship Test

Become a British Citizen Step 17
Become a British Citizen Step 17

Step 1. Know the structure of the exam

It's on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You will be evaluated during an interview.

  • The updated version (2013) of USCIS “Study Materials” explains that they will first ask you several questions about the information you provided on your N400 form. The exam will follow immediately.
  • Your communication skills in English (speaking, writing, reading) will be assessed. And your knowledge of civics (government and history) in the United States.
  • A short sample of the exam is helpful. The USCIS English Practice link will take you to various resources. The video "The USCIS Naturalization Interview" features samples from the interview.
Become a British Citizen Step 2
Become a British Citizen Step 2

Step 2. Consider what you need to pass the exam

It is advisable that you print a copy of your N400 form to review the information that you have included in it. So you will speak with security.

  • It is important that you be consistent when answering the immigration officer's questions about your form. Be clear and avoid detours. You can add others about your personal data. Just tell the truth.
  • Of the one hundred study questions on citizenship, he will ask you only ten. You will pass this part of the exam if you answer six correctly. It will stop asking you how much you accumulate that amount.
  • If you read at least one sentence out of three correctly, you will pass this part. Do it out loud, with clarity and fluency. Write without error one of three sentences that the officer will dictate and you will approve this other.
Study English Literature Step 3
Study English Literature Step 3

Step 3. Check your level of English

Except in the cases indicated by law, it is essential that you speak this language to pass the exam. With a solid basic level you will be able to function well in the interview.

  • You can start by measuring your level of English with free online exams. Those from universities or other educational institutions are recommended. He prefers those who use American English.
  • If you don't know anything or have a hard time understanding and speaking English, take a basic course. An in-person English as a Second Language (ESL) course may be better in this case.
  • The United States Literacy Directory (LINCS) portal has a search engine for face-to-face courses. Includes the option of English as a second language.

Part 2 of 3: Prepare Exam Topics

Study for an English Exam Step 15
Study for an English Exam Step 15

Step 1. Practice with the interactive exercises

In the link to USCIS exercises, there are resources in various formats. Prefer the English-only version. It will serve as training for the interview.

  • Interactive tests are an easy-to-use tool. They are designed to practice commands, vocabulary, and grammar separately. The basic topics you will need during your interview.
  • To facilitate study, they contain images or audio samples. They are multiple choice questions. The program will indicate your mistakes and successes. Repeat the tests until you remember everything.
  • The interactive civics test (government and history) also features multiple-choice answers. They also include a brief explanation. Prefer the English version.
Study for an English Exam Step 3
Study for an English Exam Step 3

Step 2. Use books and printed resources

Helping memory with printed materials is advisable. In addition to the free booklet USCIS gives you, you can purchase prep books at their bookstore.

  • Under "Study Materials" on the USCIS website is the official list of one hundred questions on civics (government and history). The second link offers them in Word or PDF format for printing.
  • To have everything in one long list, opt for the questions in Word. It will be helpful to underline or make notes to remember. If you study better with one question per card, download and print the PDFs.
  • Well-known online bookstores offer up-to-date printed guides in English and Spanish. They contain one hundred questions with their answers. They are usually based on past exams. They come with DVD or CD.
Study for an English Exam Step 16
Study for an English Exam Step 16

Step 3. Review with audiovisual material or applications from the network

These are a good complement to improve your listening comprehension and pronunciation. And to remember the correct answers of civility.

  • If you prefer to study with your mobile phone, you have the option of the applications. On Google Play, you can download one with the 100 civics questions for the test.
  • Another option is to use this material in mp3 format. Being smaller in size, it is easier to download. You can practice with the civics questions from your computer or your mobile.
  • There are free videos online with questions in English and Spanish. Use them if you are starting to learn the language. If you already know something, see others with samples of the interview only in English.

Part 3 of 3: Lose fear and reinforce what has been studied

Study English Literature Step 14
Study English Literature Step 14

Step 1. Do a mock exam

It is useful that you complete your preparation trying to develop the entire exam with the study materials. This will greatly influence your positive attitude and the achievement of your goal.

  • The USCIS Citizenship Studyguide website features interactive exercises for all parts (including writing) of the exam. It is in version only in English or in Spanish.
  • You can use flashcards to review the correct answers to the civics questions. Also, a memory game that changes the group of questions every time you start it.
  • The writing exercises train you to form sentences from basic to advanced level. They come with complementary audio. Listen to each sentence and write it without any mistakes.
Study for an English Exam Step 4
Study for an English Exam Step 4

Step 2. Find a course or workshop

It is useful to train with other candidates. It can also help you verify what you know and lose your fear. You will be able to receive specific observations and advice from an instructor.

  • There are parishes, Latino centers, and immigrant support organizations that conduct orientation workshops for the test. They usually occur in one session. Look them up online or ask friends.
  • On the LINCS website, look for the centers that offer exam preparation courses in your city. The directory includes information at the national level. The courses are usually free.
  • A friend with a good level of English or a private teacher are recommended if you do not have a flexible schedule. As a role play, that person should play the role of the immigration officer.
Study for an English Exam Step 1
Study for an English Exam Step 1

Step 3. Take an active role

After you've consulted the study materials for the exam, don't stop practicing. Find your own strategy for remembering the answers to the civics questions.

  • By passively studying it is easier to forget the topics later. If you practice with electronic resources, try to repeat what you hear several times. Little by little, you will remember better.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to use two resources at the same time. Especially if you are still learning English. As you listen to the questions, read the transcript of the questions. On the web or in your printed brochure.
  • You need to decide how you can pass the civics test. You can do this by dedicating yourself to remembering only the answers. Or reading brochures and guides that give you more explanation about them.


  • The immigration officer will assess your English speaking skills throughout the interview. Write short messages or read news. Also, look for opportunities to chat on a daily basis.
  • You can find explanations for each civics answer in the booklet “Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test”. Look for it in the "Resource Center" section of the USCIS website.
  • On the “My Uscis” website, you can access a search engine for English classes and preparation for the civics test.

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