New U.S. Citizenship Test is Longer and More Difficult | What to Know

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New U.S. Citizenship Test is Longer and More Difficult | What to Know

The immigration process can be difficult. There are many different steps and requirements one must meet in order to gain U.S. Citizenship. One of these requirements is the Citizenship test. This is a test that measures one’s ability to understand basic U.S. history and English. Recently, the citizenship test has gone through some changes, which many people feel has made the test more difficult than before. Read on to learn about the changes that have been made to the test and what you can do to prepare for the updated version.

The New Test Has More Questions

Before, applicants taking the citizenship test would need to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly in order to pass. Now, applicants must answer 12 out of 20 questions correctly in order to pass the test. Making the test longer inevitably increases its difficulty.

Harder Questions

The New York Times states that simple geography questions have been eliminated and more complex questions have been added instead. The test is now more nuanced and less straightforward than before.

Potential Consequences of These Changes

Because the test is now longer, has difficult wording, and is harder overall, many worry that this will make it more difficult for immigrants to enter the country legally. According to The New York Times, the new test may make it harder for poor immigrants from non-English-speaking countries to become citizens. This would ultimately suppress the number of immigrants who are able to enter the country and vote. Additionally, the immigration system often plagued by delays, and this new test could result in further hold-ups, making the process even longer.

Will the Test be Changed Back?

It is possible that President-Elect Joe Biden could reverse the changes, it is unlikely to occur, especially early on in his term.

What can You do to Study for the New Test?

There are organizations that help immigration applicants study for the exam, and provide guidance for other aspects of the process. These organizations are currently in the process of revamping their lesson plans to help applicants study for the new test. There are advocates here to help, as well as resources to turn to when it comes to studying for the test and other aspects of the immigration process.

If you are planning on taking the citizenship test, contact our firm for more information regarding the changes to the test and the best study resources.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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