USCIS revises civics test for American citizenship

Washington, DCThose aspiring to become US citizens need to brush up their history and civics as USCIS plans to implement a new naturalization civics test focused on the American way of life.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which had announced plans to revise the civics test in July 2019, will start giving the updated test from Dec. 1.

Those applying for naturalization before Dec. 1 will take the current version of the test.

Indians make up the second largest group to be granted US citizenship. As many as 61,843 Indian-born individuals became US citizens in fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019, making up 7.5% of the total.

In the previous year, 52,194 Indians, making up 6.85% of the total, became US citizens.

USCIS revised the civics test as part of a decennial update to ensure that it remains an instrument that comprehensively assesses applicants’ knowledge of American history, government and civic values, the agency said.

The civics test is administered to applicants who apply for US citizenship and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalizing.

“USCIS has diligently worked on revising the naturalization test since 2018, relying on input from experts in the field of adult education to ensure that this process is fair and transparent,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow.

“Naturalization allows immigrants to become fully vested members of American society, with the same rights and responsibilities as citizens by birth, and offering a fair test, which prepares naturalization applicants for these responsibilities, is of upmost importance to our agency.”

The revised test includes more questions that test the applicant’s understanding of US history and civics, in line with the statutory requirements, and covers a variety of topics that provide the applicant with more opportunities to learn about the US as part of the test preparation process, the agency said

The revised test will not change the passing score, which will remain at 60%. Candidates must answer 12 questions correctly, out of 20 in order to pass.

USCIS said it will maintain the current guidelines for statutorily established special considerations for applicants who are 65 years old or older and have at least 20 years of lawful permanent resident status.

These applicants will be asked 10 questions and must answer a minimum of six questions correctly in order to pass.

The test items and study guides can be found on the Citizenship Resource Center on the USCIS website. USCIS has also updated the USCIS Policy Manual.

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