USCIS Implements New Naturalization/Citizenship Test

Following about 2 years of testing, USCIS has revised and implemented a new Test, as part of the Naturalization process.

The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans.

According to USCIS, the redesign process was to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the new test now serves as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.

Which Test Do I Take?

An applicant who:

* Files the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, BEFORE October 1, 2008, and is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview ON or AFTER October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009, can choose to take the old test or the new test.
* Files the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, ON or AFTER October 1, 2008, will take the new test.
* Is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview ON or AFTER October 1, 2009, regardless of when he or she filed the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, will take the new test.

USCIS considers an application properly “filed” when Form N-400, is received by the appropriate USCIS location with signature, correct fee, and the form is completed according to instructions.

Note: If an applicant fails the English and/or civics test during the first examination, the applicant will be required to take the same version of the test, old or new, when the applicant is retested, even if the retest is scheduled on or after October 1, 2009.

The relevant study materials, etc. can be obtained from the USCIS website directly.

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