U.S. citizenship test:
naturalization interview questions

Learn about all the questions you could be asked at your naturalization interview.
Check in | Oath | Form N-400 review

English Test | Civics Test | Exceptions
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woman interviews man in citizenship test
Photo courtesy of USCIS

The U.S. citizenship test

The U.S. citizenship test is also known as the naturalization interview or naturalization test. The immigration officer will ask you questions to see if you are eligible for U.S. citizenship. 

You will be asked different questions throughout the parts of the interview: 

Respond clearly and honestly. If you do not understand a question, ask the officer to repeat or rephrase the question to say it in a different way. 

Check-in questions

The immigration officer will greet you and direct you to their office. The officer will begin to test your English language skills from this point.

The officer may ask questions such as:

  • How are you?
  • Did you have any trouble getting here?

Oath questions

The officer will ask you to take an oath, to tell the truth during your interview. An oath is a serious promise.

They may ask you questions such as: 

  • Do you understand what an oath is? 
  • Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Once you are under oath, the officer will ask questions about your application and U.S. civics. The questions an officer asks and the order they ask them may be different for each person.

Form N-400 questions

The officer will review your application with you at your naturalization interview. The officer will ask you questions that:

  • Make sure the information in your application is correct
  • Check for changes to your application 
  • Confirm that you understand a question
  • Test your English language skills

You may be asked questions such as: 

  • Do you understand this question?
  • What is your current home address?
  • Is your mother or father a U.S. citizen?
  • Are you married, divorced, single, or widowed now?
  • Have you traveled abroad recently? 
  • Have you ever been a part of any organizations? 
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime or offense?
  • Have you ever been in jail or prison?
  • Have you ever lied to any U.S. government officials?
  • Have you ever been denied entry to the U.S.?
  • Have you ever been deported from the U.S.?
  • Are you willing to take the oath of allegiance?

The officer will usually ask questions in a way that is different than how they are worded in the application to make sure you have not just memorized the form. It is very important that you understand each question and review your application before your interview.

The officer may repeat questions or ask them in a different way until they can decide whether you understand English or not. Officers are no longer allowed to ask you for a definition of a word or phrase. You need to understand the meanings of words in Form N-400 to answer questions correctly and truthfully.

English test questions 

The English test checks your reading, writing, and speaking skills. You must show that you can read, write, and speak basic English to qualify for citizenship. Your English is being tested throughout the interview.

Speaking 

In this section, the officer tests your ability to speak and understand English. The officer will test you from the point they greet you and as they review your application. 

You may be asked questions such as:

  • Do you understand why you are here today? 
  • Why do you want to become a U.S. citizen?

Reading

In this section, the officer asks you to read 3 sentences out loud in English. These sentences are from the list of civics questions. You must read 1 sentence correctly to pass. 

You may be asked to read sentences such as:

  • George Washington was the first president.
  • Washington DC is the capital of the United States.
  • The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States.

You will pass the reading section if you: 

  • Read one sentence without long pauses 
  • Read all the words in the sentence
  • Leave out short words or pronounce words incorrectly but only if it does not change the meaning

You will fail the reading section if you:

  • Do not read the sentence 
  • Do not read a word or say another word instead
  • Pause for a long time while reading the sentence 
  • Pronounce words incorrectly where it changes the meaning 

Writing 

In this section, the officer asks you to write 3 sentences in English. These sentences are from the list of civics questions. You must write 1 sentence correctly to pass. 

You may be asked to write sentences such as:

  • U.S. citizens have the right to vote.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on January 16.
  • Congress makes federal laws.

You will pass the writing section if you: 

  • Write a sentence with the same meaning as the sentence the officer read aloud 
  • Use numbers spelled out or written as digits
  • Have some grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or capitalization errors but only if it does not change the meaning
  • Leave out short words but only if it does not change the meaning

You will fail the writing section if you: 

  • Write nothing or only one or two words 
  • Write a sentence that is not readable
  • Write a different sentence or words 
  • Write a sentence that means something different than the sentence the officer read aloud 
  • Use an abbreviation for a word

Civics test questions 

The civics test checks your understanding of the U.S. government and history. It is what is usually referred to when people say citizenship test. The officer will ask questions from an official list of civics questions. You must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly. 

You may be asked questions such as:

  • What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment? 
  • Who is one of your state senators now? 
  • What is the rule of law?

Learn more about the civics test and questions.

Exemptions to questions

Some people do not have to take the English or civics tests. Learn if you qualify for an exemption or accommodation.

Be prepared for your citizenship test

USAHello offers a free online class to help you prepare for the citizenship test. You can take this class in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.

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Free U.S. Citizenship Class

USAHello has a free online class to help you prepare for the civics test in the naturalization interview.

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Next: Study the list of 100 citizenship test civics questions with answers and videos.


The information on this page comes from trusted sources, including USA.gov and USCIS.gov. We aim to offer information in plain language that is easy to understand and updated regularly. This page is for guidance. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice.