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USCIS Plans to Possibly Update the Naturalization Test

person taking a test

Individuals in the process of transitioning from a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status to obtaining their U.S. Citizenship are required to take a naturalization test. This test has four (4) components: reading, writing, civics, and the ability to speak English. USCIS plans to conduct a five (5) month trial in 2023 to see whether updates to the current naturalization test are needed. Specifically, they will be conducting a trial on the civics and the ability to speak English sections of the exam. The reading and writing parts of the exam will remain the same.

Currently, the civics part of the exam consists of an officer asking questions to the candidate with questions found on Form N-400. The candidate may respond with either simple words or phrases. With regards to the ability to speak English portion of the naturalization test, presently, the officers pay attention to the responses the candidate gives in response to the officer’s questions. The officers pay attention to whether the candidate understood the question and can reply. USCIS received feedback from stakeholders about the standardization and structure of the naturalization test. Therefore, USCIS is wanting to conduct a trial as a part of its efforts to restructure the naturalization test to make certain that the English-speaking part of the English Language requirements is standardized and sufficiently tests the ability to understand words in ordinary usage of the English language. USCIS also wants to ensure the understanding of English can be tested via questions or prompts given with the speaking test instead of using the interview questions on form N-400.

USCIS expects the Naturalization Test Redesign Initiative will take approximately two (2) years with it being ready for implementation by the end of 2024. USCIS is expecting to conduct trials with volunteer community-based organizations (CBO) nationwide. They are planning to work with adult English language learners and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) preparing for naturalization. USCIS is seeking approximately 1,500 individuals to partake in the trial test. USCIS will conduct national engagements for interested CBOs and will then publish a request for volunteer CBOs on the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center. USCIS welcomes all interested parties to submit written data, views, comments, and arguments on all aspects of this trial and test. Comments may be emailed to

Are you thinking about becoming a U.S. Citizen and/or the entire naturalization process? We are happy to assist you with any questions related to the process and how this trial test could affect you. You can give our office a call at 972-241-4698 or visit our website at to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Attorneys.