In November 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would be implementing its new version of the naturalization civics test on December 1, 2020. The agency has been working on the revised test since July 2019.
Who Will Be Affected by the Revision?
Applicants who file an application for citizenship on or after December 1, 2020, will take the revised 2020 civics test. However, applicants who applied before this date will receive the 2008 older version of the test. So, for a period of time, both tests will be administered to applicants, depending on when they filed their Form N-400 application for naturalization.
Why Was the Test Revised?
According to the USCIS, the civics test is used to ensure that applicants have the knowledge of American government, history and civics needed as a newly minted American citizen. The test is given to all applicants and is a requirement for naturalization.
The revisions were done with recommendations from adult-education experts so that it will be fair to all applicants. An applicant will have all the responsibilities and rights of naturally born American citizens, so the test is intended to ensure that they will be prepared for this new role.
How Has the Test Changed?
The new test version has about 128 questions for the applicant to study to ensure their understanding of American civics. The questions use a variety of topics that will assist the applicant in learning more about the United States as they prepare to take the test.
In the 2020 version, an applicant will need to answer 20 questions from the 128 questions they studied. The applicant must answer a total of 12 questions correctly to register a passing grade in the civics section. The questions posed to the applicant are asked orally by the test administrator.
Are Other Sections of the Test Different?
No, the only section that is affected is the civics section. For instance, the English section is the same and applicants are asked to demonstrate an understanding of the English language.
How many Questions Does an Applicant Need to Answer on the Civics Section to Pass?
The revisions to the civics section does not change the score that is needed to pass. It is still at 60 percent. This translates into 12 correct answers out of 20 questions.
Some applicants are still given special consideration. This includes adults over 65 years of age. In order to be eligible for special consideration, the applicant must have lived in the United States for 20 years as a legal permanent resident. The test administrator will ask 10 questions in such cases with an expectation the applicant will answer six correctly to pass.
What Will Happen If an Applicant Does not Obtain a Passing Grade?
The applicant will have one more opportunity to obtain a passing grade. The applicant who fails any part of the civics test will be retested on that part only. The retest will occur within 60 to 90 days after the first test.
When an Applicant Is Retested, Will They Receive the Same Version of the Test?
Yes. If the applicant fails any part of the 2020 version, they will be retested using the 2020 version. Likewise, if they fail any part of the 2008 version, they will be retested using that version.
Where Can I Find the Test Guides?
Contact Us With Questions
At DYgreencard, we are ready to answer your queries. Just contact us if you have any questions about the examination process or if you are not sure about your eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship.