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Do I need to take a citizenship class?

USCIS provides a lot of self-study materials, but some people feel more confident after taking a citizenship class

A citizenship class can help you prepare for your citizenship test, but it isn’t required. If you’re comfortable studying on your own, you’re free to do that. If you prefer learning in a classroom setting, then citizenship classes may be for you.

What’s on the citizenship test

However you prefer to study, you’ll need to know what to expect during your interview. During the interview, a USCIS officer will test your ability to do 2 things:

  • Speak, read, and write basic English words and phrases.
  • Answer 10 questions about US history and government (civics).

The civics questions come from a list of 100 questions posted on the USCIS website. In most cases your interviewer can choose any questions from this list, and you must get 6 of them right.

USCIS does offer exemptions to these requirements in limited cases.

USCIS provides study materials

For those who prefer to study alone, USCIS offers a variety of downloadable and online study materials.

These materials include:

  • English vocabulary lists, flashcards, and interactive practice tests
  • Flashcards and audio lessons on civics
  • Study booklets covering both civics and the English language There’s also a link to the list of 100 questions and acceptable answers to those questions.

Some questions require you to find your own answer. For example, you may need to name one of your state’s senators or your representative. These answers will depend on where you live.

Also, if there was recently an election or change of power, the names of elected or appointed officials (president, speaker of the house, etc) may have changed. USCIS does update the answers, but it’s up to you to make sure you have the right answers at the time of your interview.

Where to find citizenship classes

If you prefer to take a class, you may be able to find free or low-cost citizenship classes in your community.

Your local library is a good place to start. Many libraries schedule classes at regular intervals. If yours doesn’t, the librarian may be able to point you to other nearby organizations that do:

  • Adult education centers
  • Cultural centers
  • Immigrant or refugee organizations

Before signing up, make sure the class offers the kind of help you’re looking for:

  • Just English-language prep help
  • Just civics instruction
  • Both English and civics help

English language classes may also vary. Some may be geared towards beginners, who need a lot of help. Others are for people who just need to gain a little more confidence with the language.

You can find online citizenship classes, suited for people who prefer to study alone.

Remember, no matter how you study, the key is to know all the civics answers and have a good grasp of the English language.

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