English and Civics Requirements
In September 2007, USCIS introduced a redesigned (new) naturalization test. Naturalization applicants will have the opportunity to take the redesigned test starting in October 2008.
The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.
Although USCIS is aware that there may be additional correct answers to the 100 civics questions, applicants are encouraged to respond to the civics questions using the answers provided below.
A: Principles of American Democracy
What does the Constitution do?
- What is the supreme law of the land?
The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
What is an amendment?
- sets up the government
- defines the government
- protects basic rights of Americans
What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*
- a change (to the Constitution)
- an addition (to the Constitution)
How many amendments does the Constitution have?
What did the Declaration of Independence do?
- petition the government
What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
- announced our independence (from Great Britain)
- declared our independence (from Great Britain)
- said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)
What is freedom of religion?
- pursuit of happiness
What is the economic system in the United States?*
- You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
What is the “rule of law”?
- capitalist economy
- market economy
- Everyone must follow the law.
- Leaders must obey the law.
- Government must obey the law.
- No one is above the law.
B: System of Government
Name one branch or part of the government.*
What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
- the courts
Who is in charge of the executive branch?
Who makes federal laws?
- checks and balances
- separation of powers
What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*
- Senate and House (of Representatives)
- (U.S. or national) legislature
How many U.S. Senators are there?
We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?*
- the Senate and House (of Representatives)
The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. Senators.]
We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?
Name your U.S. Representative.
- four hundred thirty-five (435)
Who does a U.S. Senator represent?
Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) Representatives in Congress.]
We elect a President for how many years?
In what month do we vote for President?*
What is the name of the President of the United States now?*
- (because of) the state’s population
- (because) they have more people
- (because) some states have more people
What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?
- George W. Bush
- George Bush
If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?
Who signs bills to become laws?
Who vetoes bills?
What does the President’s Cabinet do?
What are two Cabinet-level positions?
- Richard Cheney
- Dick Cheney
What does the judicial branch do?
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of Commerce
- Secretary of Defense
- Secretary of Education
- Secretary of Energy
- Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Secretary of Homeland Security
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Secretary of the Interior
- Secretary of Labor
- Secretary of State
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of the Treasury
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs
- Attorney General
- Vice President
What is the highest court in the United States?
How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?
- reviews laws
- explains laws
- resolves disputes (disagreements)
- decides if a law goes against the Constitution
Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?
- John Roberts (John G. Roberts, Jr.)
Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?
- to print money
- to declare war
- to create an army
- to make treaties
Who is the Governor of your state now?
- provide schooling and education
- provide protection (police)
- provide safety (fire departments)
- give a driver’s license
- approve zoning and land use
What is the capital of your state?*
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a Governor.]
What are the two major political parties in the United States?*
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]
What is the political party of the President now?
What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
- Democratic and Republican
C: Rights and Responsibilities
There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*
- Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).
- You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
- Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)
- A male citizen of any race (can vote).
Name one right only for United States citizens.
- serve on a jury
- vote in a federal election
What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
- vote in a federal election
- run for federal office
What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
- freedom of expression
- freedom of speech
- freedom of assembly
- freedom to petition the government
- freedom of worship
- the right to bear arms
What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?
- the United States
- the flag
How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*
What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
- give up loyalty to other countries
- defend the Constitution and laws of the United States
- obey the laws of the United States
- serve in the U.S. military (if needed)
- serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed)
- be loyal to the United States
When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*
When must all men register for the Selective Service?
- join a political party
- help with a campaign
- join a civic group
- join a community group
- give an elected official your opinion on an issue
- call Senators and Representatives
- publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
- run for office
- write to a newspaper
- at age eighteen (18)
- between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)
A: Colonial Period and Independence
What is one reason colonists came to America?
Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
- political liberty
- religious freedom
- economic opportunity
- practice their religion
- escape persecution
What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
- American Indians
- Native Americans
Why did the colonists fight the British?
- people from Africa
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
There were 13 original states. Name three.
- because of high taxes (taxation without representation)
- because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)
- because they didn’t have self-government
What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
When was the Constitution written?
The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.
- The Constitution was written.
- The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
- (James) Madison
- (Alexander) Hamilton
- (John) Jay
Who is the “Father of Our Country”?
Who was the first President?*
- U.S. diplomat
- oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
- first Postmaster General of the United States
- writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”
- started the first free libraries
What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.
- the Louisiana Territory
Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.
- War of 1812
- Mexican-American War
- Civil War
- Spanish-American War
Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
- the Civil War
- the War between the States
What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?*
- economic reasons
- states’ rights
What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
- freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
- saved (or preserved) the Union
- led the United States during the Civil War
What did Susan B. Anthony do?
- freed the slaves
- freed slaves in the Confederacy
- freed slaves in the Confederate states
- freed slaves in most Southern states
- fought for women’s rights
- fought for civil rights
C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information
Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*
Who was President during World War I?
Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?
Who did the United States fight in World War II?
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- (Persian) Gulf War
Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?
During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*
- Japan, Germany, and Italy
What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?
- fought for civil rights
- worked for equality for all Americans
Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
- Terrorists attacked the United States.
- [USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally recognized American Indian tribes.]
Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
Name one U.S. territory.
- Missouri (River)
- Mississippi (River)
Name one state that borders Canada.
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
Name one state that borders Mexico.
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Dakota
What is the capital of the United States?*
Where is the Statue of Liberty?*
- New Mexico
- New York (Harbor)
- Liberty Island
- [Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]
Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
Why does the flag have 50 stars?*
- because there were 13 original colonies
- because the stripes represent the original colonies
What is the name of the national anthem?
- because there is one star for each state
- because each star represents a state
- because there are 50 states
When do we celebrate Independence Day?*
Name two national U.S. holidays.
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
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