Even adults get a little scared when they hear the word “test.” But for immigrants, the naturalization test is one of the most important events in their lives. Passing the test puts you closer to your goal of becoming a US citizen, and living out your own personal American Dream.
That’s why we wanted to give you some tips for studying for the exam. As an immigration law firm, we get almost excited and nervous as you do when test time rolls around. To help you prepare, we created this list of things to remember, to help you study more effectively.
- There are two separate tests. There’s no “Big Test,” so to speak. The naturalization process requires you to take a civics test and an English test. The English test has three parts: reading, writing and speaking.
- You can find study guides online. US Citizenship and Immigration Services provides lots of free study guides and practice tests for you to take, so that you’ll be prepared. They have vocabulary guides, too.
- You can take it more than once. Sometimes, we have a bad testing day; it happens to everyone. The UCIS lets you retake each test during your application. So if you ace the English exam but fail the civics portion, you can retake it between 60 and 90 days of your interview.
- There are free community programs. Nashville has two centers which provide services, and there’s one in Franklin and one in Columbia, too.
- You may be eligible for an interpreter. In some cases, the government lets you use an interpreter; you’ll want to speak to an immigration attorney to see if you qualify .
Generally, you’ll take your test during your naturalization interview, though sometimes they split the tests. Remember that it’s okay to ask your interviewer to repeat or rephrase questions if you don’t understand them. In fact, it’s far better to ask the test giver to repeat a question than it is to try to guess what he or she said.
Taking your naturalization exam is a big step; it’s best to be as prepared as you can. By reviewing the practice exams and vocabulary words, you give yourself an advantage when the day comes.
Perry A. Craft has dedicated his life to helping people in need. He has tried, settled, or resolved numerous civil and criminal cases in State and Federal courts, and has represented teachers and administrators before school boards, administrative judges, and the state Board of Education. Learn more about Attorney Craft.