How Is the New Citizenship Test Different From the Old Test?


Quick Answer

The new U.S. citizenship test is different from the old test in that it is more standardized and focuses more on history and civics, according to Eyeball Interactive Learning Solutions. The goal of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, in revising the test was to create a more uniform and consistent experience for applicants across the country.

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Full Answer

The reading and writing part of the test, in which applicants are tested on their knowledge of English, remained most unchanged in the redesign, according to Eyeball Interactive Learning Solutions. The only changes in this portion of the test was that some of the vocabulary was changed to be more related to civics. The vocabulary is also set at a level more in keeping with Immigration and Nationality Act Standards.

Previous studies on the old test showed that it was not applied in the same manner everywhere and that the standards for grading differed depending upon location, reports Eyeball Interactive Learning Solutions. This led the USCIS to hire strategy consulting group for the redesign of the test that included panels of U.S. government history scholars, English-as-a-second-language experts and test development researchers. Advice was also sought from ESL teachers, immigrant advocacy groups and citizenship test instructors. The redesigned test went to effect in 2008.

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