USCIS to Conduct Trial for New Naturalization Test

The USCIS has announced that it will conduct a nationwide trial of planned changes to the United States naturalization test in order to improve testing standards. A naturalization test is taken when a green card holder of at least 5 years can apply to become a US citizen. This test seeks to determine whether or not the applicant has a basic knowledge and understanding of fundamental US history, US government, and evaluates their understanding of the English language.

The current naturalization test includes 4 parts: reading, writing, civics, and ability to speak English. The new trial will include a new standardized English-speaking test to assess understanding of the English language as well as new content and a new format of the civics test. The understanding of English will be through questions or prompts given with the speaking test instead of using the interview questions and Form N-400. The trial testing will not include the reading or writing portions of the test, as these will not be altered.

The USCIS reports that these updates are based on outside feedback they have received from stakeholders regarding the test’s standardization and structure. For this trial run, the USCIS will seek 1,500 volunteers who are enrolled in adult education to take the test. It will run for a 5 month period in 2023.

Participating in the trial is voluntary and does not affect the participants naturalization application outside of the trial test. The USCIS will announce the request for volunteers on the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center here before the trial begins. 

The sole purpose of the trial testing is for USCIS to decide if the results support implementing the changes for naturalization testing in the future. They expect this initiative to take approximately 2 years and anticipate that it will be ready in late 2024.

Naturalization Trial Test National Engagement

The USCIS is holding a national engagement on Thursday, January 12, 2023 from 2 to 3pm Eastern to provide more information on the nationwide trial for the naturalization test redesign initiative. During the engagement, the USCIS will give an overview of the changes, explain the trial test parameters and volunteer process, and will respond to any questions. Comments and feedback will also be noted. 

To register to attend the national engagement session, you may register online here. Comments can also be emailed to [email protected]

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