Exploring Changes to the Naturalization Test: What to Expect

In 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it was planning to redesign the naturalization test, a crucial step for individuals seeking to become U.S. citizens. The changes in the test, which includes assessments of English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. history and government, are aimed at improving the test standardization and effectiveness. 

Citizenship Test

The Naturalization Test Redesign Initiative has a targeted implementation date in late 2024. In preparation for that, throughout 2023, USCIS assessed the proposed changes by conducting a nationwide trial, involving volunteer community-based organizations (CBOs) working with immigrant English language learners and lawful permanent residents (LPRs). The trial included a standardized English-speaking test and an updated civics test with modified content and format. 

What changes are being considered 

The trial tests conducted in 2023 give us an idea of the changes being considered for implementation. The tests involved answering a few demographic related questions, a speaking test with color photographs, and a civics test with multiple-choice questions.

The Civics Test part of the trial included ten multiple-choice civics questions, where you would select the one best answer from choices selected.  Much of the content will be similar to the current civics test content as the change is essentially using multiple choice test questions in order to be consistent with industry standards and best practices.  

In the Trial Speaking Test three color photographs will be shown, and the applicants will be asked to describe them.  The photographs will correspond to ordinary usage scenarios, such as the weather, food, daily activities, etc.  Applicants will be scored on their ability to respond in English using vocabulary and simple phrases that are relevant to the image. 

For further information on the upcoming changes, check the USCIS Naturalization Test and Study Resources webpage.

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