Applicants aspiring to become US Citizens should be aware that USCIS is changing the civics test. According to the latest policy alert, the updated test will be applied to any N-400 application filed on or after December 1, 2020. Applications filed before December will still incorporate the old history test, even if the interview is conducted after December.
A few things should be noted: the revised test increases the pool of potential questions from 100 to 128, some of which are more sophisticated than the current ones. Fortunately, the requisite passing score remains the same: applicants must answer 60% correctly, or 12 out of the 20 questions that will be asked. Interestingly, the officers will be expected to ask all 20 questions, even if the applicant has already answered the required number correctly. Also, USCIS has confirmed that it will continue its current practice for those who qualify for special consideration. Candidates who are at least 65 years of age and who have had their green cards for at least 20 years will only be expected to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly. However, the 20 potential questions have also been modified, so it is extremely important to take a look. The 128 civics questions, as well as the 20 questions for the 65/20 exemption, can be viewed here: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/2020test.
Of course, the two other components of the N-400 naturalization examination remain the same. In general, applicants must demonstrate basic English proficiency with respect to speaking and understanding, and basic verbal competence in reading and writing in the English language. (There are certain exceptions that may allow some parts of the test to be waived or conducted in the candidate’s native language.)
Obviously with all these changes, it might be well worth it to consult with an immigration attorney to determine how all these changes affect your prospects for naturalization. The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.