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Changes to Naturalization Test

Yekrangi & Associates

A key part of naturalization (the process of getting your citizenship) for most people includes a civics test. On November 13, 2020, USCIS announced plans to revise the naturalization civics test. The test has two parts: (1) the English test and (2) the civics test. The English portion of the exam will not be seeing a change, but the civics test is seeing some slight changes that might make it tougher for people to pass the exam.

If you have already applied and are waiting for the exam to be naturalized, do not worry. You will still be taking the older version of the exam. However, anyone who applies for naturalization after December 1, 2020 will be taking the new version of the exam.

What is the old version of the exam?

The old version of exam from 2008 had examines answer 10 questions and would need to get 6 of the 10 correct to pass. These ten questions were pulled for a full list of 100 civics questions.

What is new in the 2020 version?

The new version of the exam will have examinees answer 20 questions and they will need to get at least 12 correct in order to pass. The exception is for applications who are 65 years or older and who have been lawful permanent residents for at least 20 years, who will instead continue to answer only 10 questions.

Regardless of how many questions the examinees are answering, these questions will be pulled from an enhanced list of 128 possible questions. Therefore, not only will most examinees have to answer twice as many questions, but they will need to study an additional 28 questions.


These changes are intended to ensure that the exam remains a proper instrument that can properly and effectively assess applicant’s knowledge of American history, government, and civic values. These changes will likely require more effort for applicants to pass, but all the resources you need to pass are out there. If you need help or guidance with any other steps of the naturalization process, we recommend you consult an experienced immigration attorney.

If you need further guidance or have specific questions about your own case, you can schedule an initial consultation with us today, don't hesitate to contact us at (949) 478-4963.


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