How to prepare
Studying adequately for the naturalization test is critical to successfully achieving U.S. citizenship. To help you prepare, USCIS provides study materials for each component of the exam, including the English test and the civics test.
You can follow these helpful tips to help you ace your exam:
Start studying now
This might seem obvious, but the sooner you begin familiarizing yourself with the questions and answers in the citizenship test, the more time you’ll have to learn and memorize the information. Starting early will also give you more opportunities to work on particular areas of weakness.
Read children’s books
Much of the vocabulary used in the English test will be simple words encountered in children’s books. Reading books for kids can help you become familiar with basic English words and how they’re used in a sentence.
Watch and listen
If you’re a visual learner (a person who learns best by watching) or an auditory learner (one who learns best by listening), you may find video and audio study materials more engaging and effective for learning.
USCIS provides such materials, as well as printed guides in large print, which are helpful if you have low vision. Another resource called USA Learns also provides free videos and other multimedia content as alternative ways to learn the citizenship testing materials. Questions about civics, for instance, include images representing the concepts to serve as memory aids and an audio feature that lets you listen to the same questions and answers.
Ask for help
Some people learn best when they can practice what they’ve studied with others. If you’re more comfortable with this learning method, you may want to enlist the help of a friend or family member, especially one who’s proficient in spoken English so they can help you with pronunciation. They don’t have to be civics experts, either, as most of the answers to the civics questions will be provided in the study materials — though prior knowledge certainly helps! Ask them to quiz you now and then, to make sure you’ve retained what you’ve learned.
Take the practice tests
You’re likely to feel more confident on the day of your actual exam if you know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to take the practice exams provided by USCIS that simulate the real tests.
If you’re easily overwhelmed by a lot of information — or if you just don’t have much time on your hands — you may find it easier to study small amounts of the material at a time and gradually build on what you already know. For example, you might focus just on the names of holidays until you’ve mastered the spelling. The next day, you might add another category of words (verbs, for example) and so on until you’re comfortable with the entire list.