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Can You Retake A Citizenship Test?

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

There are two parts to the United States citizenship exam: an English language test and a civics exam on American history and government. Many first-time applicants who have never set foot in the United States find the citizenship exam too challenging. If an applicant fails a test, it is not the end of the world; they may try again.

What Makes The Citizenship Test Difficult?

The citizenship test is a crucial step in the naturalization process. A USCIS official will conduct an interview to learn more about the applicant’s background, followed by a three-part English test and a ten-questions civics test.

To succeed, candidates must correctly answer at least six of the ten questions in the civics exam. Applicants should receive a study guide with the exam topics when they arrive for their biometrics appointment.

What makes the civics test challenging is that it covers topics relating to the government, history, geography, symbols, and holidays in the United States. The USCIS official may ask questions on specific historical events, names of political leaders, or constitutional rights.

Meanwhile, the English test consists of three parts: oral, reading, and writing. Its purpose is to determine whether the applicant can speak and understand the language. While there are fewer questions for this test, non-native English speakers may find the English exam just as difficult as the civics exam.

If the applicant is successful, they will receive a notification from the USCIS to attend the naturalization ceremony.

What Happens If The Applicant Fails?

Fortunately, if the applicant does not pass the exam, they will still have one more chance to take it again. The USCIS will provide a new interview wherein the applicant can retake the exam around 60 to 90 days after the initial interview. However, it is important to remember that the questions asked could change.

If the applicant fails for the second time, they will need to redo the entire citizenship application again.

Taking such an important exam can make people feel anxious. However, there is no need to be perfect. It is fine to make a few mistakes.

As long as applicants put in the effort to study and review for the civics exam and work to improve their command of the English language, they should be able to pass with flying colors.

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