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The Naturalization Test: Language Test for US Immigration

By Ella Bergquist June 15, 2018 (Updated August 13, 2021) 4 min. read
English Immigration Language Test

When you’re attempting to become a U.S. Citizen, you will be required to pass the US citizenship test or other known as, the naturalization test. There are several pieces to the naturalization test: interview, civics test, and language test. The language test will assess your English skills in order to approve you for living in America as a citizen.

English Language Test

What is the US English Language Test?

The English test has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. Your ability to speak English will be determined by a USCIS Officer during your eligibility interview on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. For the reading portion, you must read one out of three sentences correctly. For the writing test, you must write one out of three sentences correctly. Several study tools are available to help you prepare.

What Should I Score on the Language Test?

Speaking Section of Language Test

An applicant’s verbal skills are determined by the applicant’s answers to questions normally asked by USCIS Officers during the naturalization eligibility interview. USCIS Officers are required to repeat and rephrase questions until the Officer is satisfied that the applicant either fully understands the question or does not understand English. If the applicant generally understands and can respond meaningfully to questions relevant to the determination of eligibility, the applicant has demonstrated the ability to speak English.

Reading Section of the Language Test

To sufficiently demonstrate the ability to read in English, applicants must read one sentence, out of three sentences, in a manner suggesting to the USCIS Officer that the applicant appears to understand the meaning of the sentence. Once the applicant reads one of three sentences correctly, USCIS procedures require that the USCIS Officer will stop administering the reading test. Applicants shall not Be failed because of their accent when speaking English. A general description of how the reading test is scored follows:

Pass:

Fail:

Writing Section of the Language Test

To sufficiently demonstrate the ability to write in English, the applicant must write one sentence, out of three sentences, in a manner that would be understandable as written to the USCIS Officer. An applicant must not abbreviate any dictated word in the written sentence. Once the applicant writes one of three sentences correctly, USCIS procedures require that the USCIS Officer will stop administering the writing test. An applicant shall not be failed because of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation errors unless the errors would prevent understanding the meaning of the sentence. A general description of how the writing portion is scored follows:

Pass:

Fail:

How To Study for the English Language Test

The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) test is designed for people who are not native speakers of English. But the test questions assume that the people being tested for citizenship have a basic knowledge of English. As you prepare for the USCIS test, you should have two goals:

Sample Questions to Test Your English

For the questions below please choose the best option to complete the sentence or conversation:

1. Can I park here?

A. Sorry, I did that.

B. It’s the same place.

C. Only for half an hour

2. What color will you paint the children’s bedroom?

A. I hope it was right.

B. We can’t decide.

C. It wasn’t very difficult.

3. I can’t understand this email.

A. Would you like some help?

B. Don’t you know?

C. I suppose you can.

4. I’d like two tickets for tomorrow night.

A. How much did you pay?

B. Afternoon and evening.

C. I’ll just check for you.

5. Shall we go to the gym now?

A. I’m too tired.

B. It’s very good.

C. Not at all.

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