The 2020 Civics Test

The new 2020 Civics Test is updated and expanded to cover more information. This test is taken by both adults seeking U.S. citizenship, and American middle/high school students in 40 states who are required to pass the U.S. Civics Test for graduation. Broad changes include:

  • 39 new questions covering specific information or details
  • Rewording many of the 2008 questions
  • Removing some 2008 questions
  • Questions which asked for 1-3 answers now ask for more answers.
  • Expansion of the System of Government and Recent American History sections
  • The Integrated Civics section has been changed to Symbols and Holidays
  • The Geography section has been removed
Comparison of 2008 and 2020 U.S. Civic Tests

Sections

2008 Version

2020 Version

Difference

Principles of Am. Gov.

System of Government

Total Government

12

35

47 Total

15

47

62 Total

+3

+12

+15 Total

Rights & Responsibilities

10 Total

10 Total

0 Total

Colonial Period & Ind.

1800s 

Recent Am.  History

Total History

13

7

10

30 Total

17

10

19

46 Total

+4

+3

+9

+16 Total

Geography

8 Total

2 Total

-6 Total

Symbols & Holidays

5 Total

8 Total

+3 Total

Total Test Questions

100

128

+28

Pass Requirement

6 correct answers of 10 questions

12 correct answers of 20 questions

 

 

For adults who desire to become U.S. citizens, there are new requirements for those who submit their Form N-400 for naturalization after December 1, 2020. Now, applicants must correctly answer 12 out of 20 possible questions on the Civics Test. The reading test, writing test, and verbal interview have not changed. The reading test still requires applicants to read out loud one sentence out of three sentences. Likewise, applicants are required to write one sentence out of the three sentences correctly on the writing test. An USCIS officer still conducts the verbal interview.

Below is a more detailed description of the new questions on the 2020 Civics Test by section.

Systems of Government New questions in this section go into greater detail regarding the difference between the House and Senate election, representation and purpose. Term limits for the president, the Electoral College, parts of the executive branch, parts of the judicial branch, term of a Supreme Court justice, and the 10th amendment are some of the other additional question topics.

Right & Responsibilities This section has one new question about the three ways people can obtain U.S. citizenship.

Colonial Period and Independence New questions added to this section ask about American Revolution events, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.

1800s This section adds several new questions about the Civil War and connects citizenship for all races and men’s voting rights with Civil War history. It also adds a question about women’s rights leaders.

Recent American History This section contains many new questions asking why the U.S. entered various conflicts: WW1, WW2. Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. It also includes when women got voting rights, wars after the 9/11 attacks, and American inventions.

Symbols & Holidays New questions cover the national motto, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.


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