4 Things You Need To Know To Pass Your US Naturalization Test – A guide to success
By: Harlan York
August 4, 2023

People seem to frequently put off filing Form N-400  to take the US Naturalization Test to become a US citizen.

Sometimes they are just procrastinating, thinking they have lots of time.

But many people are afraid to take the test, thinking that if they fail, it will result in some kind of punishment.  This is not true.

Immigrants may fail the test one time, and will be rescheduled to return for another chance, usually within 60-90 days. Even if you fail a second time, you won’t be “in trouble” — your application will merely be denied.

In a worse case scenario, when denied, there are other steps that you can take. Don’t be nervous, the test is nothing to fear, and a very small price to pay to become a US citizen.

It is my strong advice that if you failed the Naturalization test a first time, that you consult with the best immigration attorney you can find so that you can be sure to pass the second time. 


The naturalization test is composed of an interview and a testing component including a Civics Test (check out the study guide here) with basic questions about the United States. You may be required to take a basic English usage test, but you may also be exempt from that part (see below). During the interview you will be asked:

  • about your past,
  • where you live and how long you have lived there,
  • how you feel about the US Constitution,  and whether you can take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

Do NOT worry if your English is not perfect! Also the questions are basically what 4th graders study in school (I am positive about this, as my now-grown kids both passed 4th grade :).

The study guide is very thorough, and comes in many languages.

Many people study the test questions, but fail because they miss the 4 points below.

  1. Don’t be late, don’t miss the test. Show up at least 60 minutes early for the test. If you are late, and miss the test, USICS will close your case.
  2. Bring all your identification, and any additional information that USICS may have asked for.
  3. Tell the truth. If you have had any arrests or crimes you SHOULD speak with an immigration attorney, and definitely do not lie about your past.
  4. Answer all the questions. Do your best to answer all the questions they give you, as honestly and thoroughly as possible.

What are the most asked questions on the test?

The most asked question on the US naturalization test is: What is the supreme law of the land?

The correct answer is: The Constitution

Other frequently asked questions on the naturalization test include:

  • What are the three branches of government in the United States?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of US citizens?
  • What is the name of the national anthem of the United States?
  • What is the name of the current President of the United States?


  1. Arrests and Crimes are Serious. See the best immigration lawyer you can and get advice on the consequences of criminal activity of citizenship.  Never Do It Yourself if you have had trouble with the law. No matter what. I have seen people who erroneously filed N-400 when they were at risk of deportation.
  2. The “70 Rule” – You do not need to take the test in English but still must take the Civics test once you are:  50 years of age or older when filing for naturalization test with green card  for 20 years OR 55 years of age or older when filing for naturalization test with green card for 15 years.
  3. Immigration will look back at your entire immigration history. Often people come to see me with a citizenship denial, caused by the discovery of some problem such as an alleged fraud or crime that occurred before the green card was issued.  Just because you may have gotten away with it before receiving your green card, does not mean that Immigration will not catch it on the day of the naturalization test.  YET ANOTHER reason to seek out assistance from a superior immigration lawyer.  There may be a solution very commonly known by an expert.
  4. The “85 Rule” – If you are 65 years of age or older when filing for naturalization test with green card for 20 years you are supposed to be given special consideration on the civics questions.

If you have any questions regarding your Naturalization, or any other Immigration Related questions please feel free to contact me at Harlan York & Associates.

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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