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The US Citizenship Test Gets Big Changes — Could You Pass?

If you've already memorized how many stars are on the US flag in preparation for the citizenship test, look out, new types of questions are being implemented — and the emphasis is shifting away from trivia questions that can be memorized to conceptual questions that emphasize practical aspects of being an American citizen. Chief of US Citizenship and Immigration Services office said of the changes, "What we're against is rote memorization of trivial and arbitrary facts that have no impact in a citizen's life or do not cover fundamental concepts of American democracy."

Here's what a sample change looks like: "The House of Representatives has how many voting members?" would now read: "Why do some states have more representatives?" It's a change that would require a greater sophistication with English, and one that could be much more advanced and difficult for some, especially the elderly. One immigration services program director says that tons of citizens couldn't pass the old test — the new fancier, harder one is "just going to widen that gap between the person who passes the test and the average American, who doesn't have a clue."

The old test will be around for another year. Anyone who applied by Tuesday can choose their test, as long as they take it within the year. Though the real test isn't multiple choice, I've picked five questions from the new test so you can test your mettle.


The US Citizenship Test Gets Big Changes — Could You Pass?

What does the Constitution do? (Pick one, more may be correct.)

Join The Conversation
gbychan gbychan 8 years
LOL I chose "hold public office" because I misread the question. Oh, well.
CityStyleLife CityStyleLife 8 years
3/5 I need to brush up on my history
honey_02_07 honey_02_07 8 years
2/5. haha.
JaeB JaeB 8 years
5/5, YES, which is what I should get after having recently taken two government classes and two U.S. history classes, lol.
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
1 of 5....yikes.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 8 years
i agree, ilanac, to understand why things are the way they are seems much more crucial to me. i personally could explain much more easily why a state would have more representatives than to pull out the exact number...
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Darn, I thought John Adams wrote some of the Federalist Papers. 4/5.
juju4 juju4 8 years
I love the Federalist papers...makes me so happy to see them get a shout out. :-)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
as soon as i answered the last question i knew that i clicked on the wrong answer - but at least i got all the others right. i think that its' a good thing that they are changing the questions that are being asked. it's important in my opinion that you know WHY things are what they are not just memorize it.
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 8 years
5/5 easy peasy
Roarman Roarman 8 years
I got a 4/5, better than I thought I would do.
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
Haha! Guess I'll just have to wait and just my standard keyboard ones! ;o)
stephley stephley 8 years
It was months before I dared tried a smiley!
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
Wow, I obviously don't know how to post smileys either...please forgive me!
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
Ouch...not so good here, but i passed on a different news article yesterday! Not a good way to start out as newbie here.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
4 out of 5, not bad!
ohkate ohkate 8 years
geebers geebers 8 years
LMAO I would fail this. But I know I would. I volunteered with immigrants that were going for their citizenship test and had to quiz them. I was so shocked how hard those questions were and I even admitted to them that I would fail. So embarrassing.
MrsJamesTKirk MrsJamesTKirk 8 years
Yay! 5/5. I'm totally proud of myself. :)
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
lol. What exactly is a "Pass"ing score again? I got 60%. :oops:
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Woah -- glad I passed -- that was a nail biter!
stephley stephley 8 years
HEY NO FAIR! It says I got them all right, then lists me as 80%!!! You answered 5 out of 5 questions correctly. Your score: 100% The average score is 3.7 or 73% Top Scorers 100% Woop [+] 100% liliblu [+] 100% True Song [+] 100% ktseyf [+] 100% telewyo [+] 80% popgoestheworld [+] 80% stephley 80% LibertySugar [+] 80% verily [+] 80% kittennoir0 [+]
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
OH wait I got 4/5 right....I underestimated myself :D
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I didn't even take the quiz but I'm sure I couldn't pass. But that just shows issues in our education system...they don't even teach Civic's anymore in most schools!
RobyTose RobyTose 8 years
Well... that was embarrassing. Maybe I should go back to my middle school government class. I remember learning those things but I don't think I've even discussed a lot of it since then!
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