- US Citizenship and Immigration Services unveiled its new citizenship exam for expatriates aspiring to become US citizens.
- The new 12-question civil exam is longer and has some updated vocabulary, which may be considered more difficult for examiners to understand.
- The term “citizen” replaces “people” when it speaks to some questions about representation in Congress.
- It is also a new 128-question study guide compared to the previous 100-question study guide.
- For more stories visit the Business Insider homepage.
Although nearing the end of his term following an electoral defeat, the Trump administration surpassed another to-do list item before President-Elect Joe Biden’s new administration, creating a new and more complex test that allows immigrants to take their Must be taken to obtain citizenship. .
Authorities under President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled the new civics test that replaces the President George W. Bush-era test that has been in use for the past 12 years. This is the final obstacle to naturalization before US immigrants receive their decision from US citizenship and immigration services and take an oath to swear in the naturalization ceremony.
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USCIS began revising the test in 2019 in an effort to refresh it every 10 years. The last time it was updated during Bush’s presidency in 2008, the Obama administration had no need to touch the test during his tenure. With a 10-year mark in 2018, it fell squarely under the purview of the Trump administration.
The basic civil questions are the same, including “How many US senators are there?” And “How many amendments are there in the US Constitution?” But for some, the wording is more complicated. “What are the two rights in the Declaration of Independence?” Instead, “two important ideas from the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution” are asked.
In the pre-trial, the applicant only required a combination of the words in the famous phrase: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The correct answer to the new test, however, includes more specific terms such as “equality,” “social contract,” “natural rights,” “limited government,” and “self-government.”
When the Washington Post stated that the word “citizen” takes the place of “people”, when it represents in some questions. Asked, “Who represents the House of Representatives?” Or “Who does the US Senator represent?” The correct answer should include citizens and not people.
For US representatives, the correct answer would be “citizens of their (Congress) district” and “citizens of their district”, while for senators, the correct answer would be “citizens of their state”.
In the previous trial, the term citizen is commonly used to discuss explicit rights given to non-citizens, such as the right to vote. And when asked “Who does the US Senator represent?” In the previous test, the correct answer would be: “All the people of the state.”
The idea of using the word “citizen” instead of “people” was a staple of the Trump presidency, especially when it came to census and representation. The president asked U.S. Census Bureau respondents to fight for their citizenship status, but dropped the question after a legal battle.
Soon Americans can also put their maps away because geography will be completely removed from testing. Former geography questions were usually lay-ups, which included “Which ocean is on the west coast of the United States?” And “What is the capital of the United States of America?” The answers to those are the Pacific Ocean and Washington, DC, respectively.
Changes are also coming for the testing process and scoring. According to the Washington Post, instead of answering only six questions correctly, candidates should answer 12 correctly and answer the full 20 instead of stopping after reaching the passing mark.
And that’s an increase of 28 from the 2008 study guide, after studying from a list of 128 possible questions. The passing threshold is the same at 60%.
Applicants 65 years of age or older or over 20 years of permanent residency in the US are only required to answer six out of 10 correctly instead of 20. Those applicants will also have the number of questions for which they need to study less. 20.
Fortunately, applicants can see the test and its answers before taking it. Both the new 2020 and pre-2008 versions are available on the USCIS website.
According to the Washington Post, there are fears that the change in testing will make it harder for a citizen to become a US citizen and to increase the waiting time. The process of becoming a US citizen can take upwards of two years after having already met the requirements, and does not include the potentially years-long process of obtaining permanent residency to live and work in the country.
Those already taking the test will not need to brush up on new lingo and study guides, though. Citizenship applicants with a filing date after December 1, 2020 will receive the 2020 examination, while current applicants will be given the 2008 examination.