What Happens if You Fail the Civics Test?

Becoming a citizen of the U.S. has some important benefits, including being able to vote in U.S. elections and compete for certain jobs. Still, the naturalization process is not something anyone should take lightly. Indeed, before becoming a U.S. citizen, you must pass a citizenship test.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the naturalization test includes two components for most applications: an English proficiency exam and a civics exam. While some applicants can waive the English portion, everyone must pass the civics component.

How does the civics test work?

The purpose of the civics part of the naturalization exam is to ensure you have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government. To administer the test, a USCIS examiner asks you a series of questions. Luckily, the questions come from a list of published ones, so it is possible to study for the civics test before your naturalization interview.

Can you fail the civics test?

USCIS officers should not deviate from the civics test questions. They also should not try to trick you into making mistakes. Nevertheless, USCIS interviews can be intimidating. If you do not answer six of the 10 questions correctly, you will not pass the civics portion of the naturalization exam.

Can you retake the test?

If you fail the civics portion of the citizenship test, the USCIS officer should schedule you for a follow-up interview. This interview is likely to be a few weeks later, so you can use the time to prepare for your second test. At your follow-up interview, you must answer at least six questions correctly to pass the exam.

If you fail the civics test more than once, you may have to file a new citizenship application and go through the naturalization process again.

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