Are the Questions on the U.S. Citizenship Test Difficult?

While most of the questions on the naturalization test administered to immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship are fairly basic, a percentage can be considered difficult, according to Business Insider and Public Radio International. PRI and Business Insider agree that one difficult question concerns the authorship of the Federalist Papers, while Business Insider points out that questions whose answers change with elections and political appointments are also difficult to answer.

The naturalization test that U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services administers consists of 100 questions, up to 10 of which the test administrator actually asks and of which the test taker must correctly answer 60 percent, notes USCIS.

As of 2015, 57 questions concern American government, and four of those questions ranks among the 10 questions Business Insiders ranks as most difficult. With 31 questions, American history from the colonial period to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, comprises the next-largest section of the test, and five of those questions are included on Business Insider's "most difficult" list. The final section, with only 12 questions, is integrated civics, including the geography question that rounds out the Business Insider list.

Besides the topics of the questions, the method by which they are administered can make the test difficult for many test-takers, especially those for whom English is a second language, notes PRI.