The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Service Ombudsman would like to alert stakeholders that on November 13, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plans to implement a revised version of the civics portion of the naturalization test.
According to USCIS, the agency revised the civics test as part of a decennial update. The civics test is administered to individuals who apply for U.S. citizenship and is one of the statutory requirements for naturalization. Per USCIS, “Applicants who apply for naturalization on or after Dec. 1, 2020, will take the updated version of the test. Those who apply before Dec. 1, 2020, will take the current version of the test”.
USCIS states that the revised test will not change the passing score, which will remain at 60 percent. Candidates must answer 12 questions correctly out of 20 in order to pass. Under the current version, applicants must correctly answer a minimum of six out of 10 questions to pass. USCIS 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. According to USCIS, these applicants must correctly answer a minimum of six out of 10 questions 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 accordingly; see Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.