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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > The U.S. Naturalization Test is Getting Harder

The U.S. Naturalization Test is Getting Harder


Among the requirements to go from a green card holder to citizenship, the requirement that someone take and pass a citizenship should be one of the easier requirements. The government gives applicants a booklet containing possible topics and questions, and in the end, the test is objective-you either pass or you don’t.

But that’s not good enough for the U.S. Government. It was recently announced that the naturalization test will be changing, in an effort to keep as many people from passing.

A More Difficult Test is Coming

The naturalization test has long included questions about U.S. history, civics (government) and a language test. But now, there are two new changes to the test.

1)      The number of possible questions will be increased – The government includes 100 possible questions for applicants to study. The naturalization test includes questions from that list of 100 questions. However, after December 2020, the bank of questions from which test questions will come from, will increase to 128. That means more questions for applicants to learn or memorize.

2)      The number of actual questions will be increased – previously, of the 100 questions, 10 would be selected for the applicant to answer. The applicant had to get 6 of the 10 correct to pass. However, starting in December 2020, there will be 20 questions. Because 12 must be answered currently to pass, the percentage correct remains at 60% as it was when there were 10 questions.

However, the old requirements—getting 6 of 10 questions correct-will still apply to applicants that are 65 or older and who have been lawful permanent residents for the last 20 years.

3)      Some of the questions on the possible question list have been altered, making them more difficult. For example, one question, which asked applicants to identify one branch of government, now asks applicants to identify all three of them. According to some, the new questions are more complex, and less straightforward.

People who apply before December 1, 2020, will be able to take the older, easier version of the test.

Other Problems With Changes

Aside from being more difficult for applicants, the test now promises to be more time consuming for immigration officials to administer, and grade.

Some are also concerned that because the changes are coming so rapidly starting in December 2020, that community organizations that assist applicants in studying for the test, will not have time to adapt and properly train applicants.

The language portion of the test will remain unchanged. In that section, applicants must read and write one of three sentences. That test is more subjective; passing it is based on the opinion of the customs officer that is conducting the interview.

Contact the Palm Beach County immigration attorneys at Devore Law Group to help you understand your immigration options and help you with any problems that you may have.



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