USCIS recently announced they will be reverting back to the previous (2008) civics test for citizenship after introducing a new civics test in late 2020. Some applicants will have the option of taking the 2020 or the 2008 civics test, but beginning April 19th 2021 USCIS will only offer the 2008 civics test at the initial interview appointment regardless of filing date.
According to USCIS, the decision to cancel the newer version of the citizenship civics test is in response to President Biden’s recent Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems.
Which civics test will you take?
2008 civics Test
- Applicants who filed their Form N-400 before December 1, 2020, will continue to take the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336;
- Applicants who file their Form N-400 on or after March 1, 2021 will also take the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336.
Either 2008 or 2020 civics Test
- Applicants who filed their naturalization applications on or after Dec. 1, 2020, and before March 1, 2021, with an initial examination (interview) before April 19, 2021, will have the option to take either the 2020 civics test, or the 2008 civics test at initial exam, re-exam, or N-336.
What’s the test like?
The 2008 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you up to 10 questions from the list of 100 civics test questions. You must answer 6 questions correctly to pass. If you are taking the 2008 civics test, you can find study materials on the Study for the Test (2008 version) page of the USCIS website.
The 2020 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions. You must answer at least 12 of the 20 questions correctly to pass. If you are taking the 2020 civics test, you can find study materials on the Study for the Test (2020 version) page of the USCIS website. It is generally considered twice as difficult as the 2008 test.
At your initial interview you will be given two attempts to complete the civics test. If you fail both of your attempts you will be retested between 60-90 day from the date of your initial interview.
The civics test is an important part of your naturalization interview so be sure to study the sample questions of the correct test, and remember if you don’t understand a specific question you may ask the USCIS official to repeat it for you!