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What to Study for a Citizenship Test

Instructor: Rachel Diamond
To prepare for the United States citizenship test, you will have to practice reading and speaking English and study up on American history, government and customs. Read on to learn more about what you need to study and what prep materials are available to help you get ready for the test.

Studying for the Citizenship Test

Before you take the United States Citizenship Test, you'll want to study English and American civics. You'll need to practice speaking, reading and writing English. You'll also want to study the three branches of American government and the major rights and responsibilities of citizens.

English Test Study Materials

The USCIS publishes a list of vocabulary words on their website to help you prepare for the test. The suggested words cover a broad range of topics related to U.S. government and history. Here are some vocabulary words that you may want to study before taking the test:

  • Names of US presidents like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington
  • Major branches of the government like Congress and the President
  • US holidays like Independence Day and Thanksgiving
  • Question words like who, what and where
  • Verbs like to elect, to vote and to be
  • Miscellaneous words like north, south and dollar bill

Prep Tips for the English Test

Take a look at these tips to help you prepare for this part of the test:

  • Put sticky notes with the English names for things where you will see them frequently, at home and at work. For instance, put a sticky note with the word 'door' on your door.
  • Make some flash cards so you can drill English words by yourself or with a friend.
  • If you have friends who speak English, insist on speaking with them only in English.
  • Try to use English when you speak with people in your everyday life, including bus drivers and restaurant servers.
  • Take a prep course before signing up for the test. Study.com offers a US Citizenship Study Guide course, which covers all subjects tested on the exam.

English Test Info

The English portion includes reading and writing tests and an interview. The reading and writing portions ask you to select one sentence out of three to read aloud or write. These sections test your accuracy and ability to recognize what each sentence means.

During your interview, an officer will verify your English speaking proficiency while he asks you about your circumstances, where you have been living and for how long, among other things.

Civics Test Study Questions

Quick - what are the first three words of the U. S. Constitution? (Answer: We the people.) In what war was President Eisenhower a general? (Answer: World War II.) What is the American national anthem? (Answer: The Star-Spangled Banner.)

These are some of the types of questions that you'll want to study for before taking the Civics portion of the test, which covers American government and history. In this section, you'll need to be ready to answer questions on the following topics:

  • U.S. geography
  • The Constitution and democracy
  • Government systems
  • Individual rights
  • U.S. history from the colonial period through present day
  • American symbols and holidays

Preparation Materials for the Civics Test

Study.com has several courses that you can take to prepare for this part of the test. Each course features short video lessons that only take a few minutes to watch, so they're easy to fit into your busy schedule. Each lesson also has a short quiz you can use to test yourself on the material. The entertaining videos use graphics and animations that help reinforce key concepts. Courses that might help you on the civics test include:

Civics Test Info

You will have to orally answer ten questions from a pre-selected list of 100 questions. To pass this part of the test, you must accurately answer six of the ten questions asked.

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