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USCIS Redesigned the Naturalization Test
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In the interest of creating a more standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a multi-year redesign of the Naturalization test. The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of US Citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans.

Redesign Process
The major aim of the USCIS’ decision to redesign the Naturalization process is to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the redesigned test will serve as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.

To accomplish these goals, USCIS initially piloted a new test–with an overhauled English reading and writing section, as well as new history and government questions–in ten sites across the country. The feedback from this pilot was then used to finalize testing procedures, English reading and writing prompts, and a list of 100 new history and government questions. To ensure the pilot accounted for a representative sample of candidates with a variety of education levels, the test was also piloted at adult education sites nationwide.

The resulting redesigned test was publicly introduced on September 27, 2007. Naturalization applicants will begin taking the revised test on October 1, 2008.

Which Test Do I Take?

USCIS will begin administering the redesigned (new) naturalization test on October 1, 2008. Use the chart below to determine if you will take the current or redesigned (new) test.

Date Form N-400 Filed* FDate of Initial Exam Test to be Taken If Applicant Fails Initial Exam, Re-test to be Taken
Before October 1, 2008 Before October 1, 2008 Current Test Current Test
Before October 1, 2008 On or After October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009 Applicant's Choice of -Current Test or -Redesigned (New) Test The same version of the test as the one taken during the initial examination
On or After October 1, 2008 On or After October 1, 2008 Redesigned (New) Test Redesigned (New) Test
At Any Time (i.e. Before, On or After October 1, 2008) On or After October 1, 2009 Redesigned (New) Test Redesigned (New) Test


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