U.S. Citizenship Test Questions and Answers

Questions and answers for the new 2020 naturalization civics test

The Trump administration recently made changes to the naturalization civics test, expanding the number of questions and topics covered.

The updated U.S. citizenship exam, which tests an applicant’s knowledge of U.S. history and government, is given orally during the U.S. citizenship interview.

The new citizenship test consists of 128 questions — more than two dozen additional questions than in the previous test. Applicants will also need to answer at least 12 of the 20 questions asked, compared to 6 out of 10 in the previous test. Along with new questions, some answers have also changed. For example, previously the correct answer for the question “Who does a U.S. senator represent?” was “All the people of the state.” In the new test, that answer is “citizens of their state.”

Below you will find all 128 questions and correct answers for the updated 2020 civics test.

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U.S. Citizenship Test Questions and Correct Answers

Note: Any modified or new questions include an asterisk (*) at the end.

2020 Civics Test for Naturalization
1. What is the form of government of the United States?
Constitution-based federal republic Representative democracy
2. What is the supreme law of the land?*
(U.S.) Constitution
3. Name one thing the U.S. Constitution does.
Forms the government
Defines powers of government
Defines the parts of government
Protects the rights of the people
4. The U.S. Constitution starts with the words “We the People.” What does “We the People” mean?
Popular sovereignty
Consent of the governed
People should govern themselves (Example of) social contract
5. How are changes made to the U.S. Constitution?
The amendment process
6. What does the Bill of Rights protect?
(The basic) rights of Americans
(The basic) rights of people living in the United States
7. How many amendments does the U.S. Constitution have?*
Twenty-seven (27)
8. Why is the Declaration of Independence important?
It says America is free from British control.
It says all people are created equal.
It identifies inherent rights.
It identifies individual freedoms.
9. What founding document said the American colonies were free from Britain?
Declaration of Independence
10. Name two important ideas from the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Social contract
Natural rights
Limited government
11. The words “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are in what founding document?
Declaration of Independence
12. What is the economic system of the United States?
Free market economy
13. What is the rule of law?*
Everyone must follow the law.
Leaders must obey the law.
Government must obey the law.
No one is above the law.
14. Many documents influenced the U.S. Constitution. Name one.
Declaration of Independence
Articles of Confederation
Federalist Papers
Anti-Federalist Papers
Virginia Declaration of Rights
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Mayflower Compact
Iroquois Great Law of Peace
15. There are three branches of government. Why?
So one part does not become too powerful
Checks and balances
Separation of powers
16. Name the three branches of government.
Legislative, executive, and judicial
Congress, president, and the courts
17. The President of the United States is in charge of which branch of government?
Executive branch
18. What part of the federal government writes laws?
(U.S.) Congress
(U.S. or national) legislature
Legislative branch
19. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?
Senate and House (of Representatives)
20. Name one power of the U.S. Congress.*
Writes laws
Declares war
Makes the federal budget
21. How many U.S. senators are there?*
One hundred (100)
22. How long is a term for a U.S. senator?
Six (6) years
23. Who is one of your state’s U.S. senators now?*
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. senators.]
24. How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?*
Four hundred thirty-five (435)
25. How long is a term for a member of the House of Representatives?
Two (2) years
26. Why do U.S. representatives serve shorter terms than U.S. senators?
To more closely follow public opinion
27. How many senators does each state have?
Two (2)
28. Why does each state have two senators?
Equal representation (for small states)
The Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)
29. Name your U.S. representative.*
Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) representatives in Congress.]
30. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?*
Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
31. Who does a U.S. senator represent?
Citizens of their state
32. Who elects U.S. senators?
Citizens from their state
33. Who does a member of the House of Representatives represent?
Citizens in their (congressional) district
Citizens in their district
34. Who elects members of the House of Representatives?
Citizens from their (congressional) district
35. Some states have more representatives than other states. Why?*
(Because of) the state’s population
(Because) they have more people
(Because) some states have more people
36. The President of the United States is elected for how many years?*
Four (4) years
37. The President of the United States can serve only two terms. Why?
(Because of) the 22nd Amendment
To keep the president from becoming too powerful
38. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*
Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the President of the United States.
39. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?*
Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the Vice President of the United States.
40. If the president can no longer serve, who becomes president?*
The Vice President (of the United States)
41. Name one power of the president.
Signs bills into law
Vetoes bills
Enforces laws
Commander in Chief (of the military) Chief diplomat
42. Who is Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
The President (of the United States)
43. Who signs bills to become laws?
The President (of the United States)
44. Who vetoes bills?*
The President (of the United States)
45. Who appoints federal judges?
The President (of the United States)
46. The executive branch has many parts. Name one.
President (of the United States) Cabinet
Federal departments and agencies
47. What does the President’s Cabinet do?
Advises the President (of the United States)
48. What are two Cabinet-level positions?
Attorney General
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary of Homeland Security
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of State
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Vice President (of the United States)
49. Why is the Electoral College important?
It decides who is elected president.
It provides a compromise between the popular election of the president and congressional selection.
50. What is one part of the judicial branch?
Supreme Court Federal Courts
51. What does the judicial branch do?
Reviews laws
Explains laws
Resolves disputes (disagreements) about the law Decides if a law goes against the (U.S.) Constitution
52. What is the highest court in the United States?*
Supreme Court
53. How many seats are on the Supreme Court?
Nine (9)
54. How many Supreme Court justices are usually needed to decide a case?
Five (5)
55. How long do Supreme Court justices serve?
(For) life
Lifetime appointment
(Until) retirement
56. Supreme Court justices serve for life. Why?
To be independent (of politics)
To limit outside (political) influence
57. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?*
Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the Chief Justice of the United States.
58. Name one power that is only for the federal government.*
Print paper money
Mint coins
Declare war
Create an army
Make treaties
Set foreign policy
59. Name one power that is only for the states.*
Provide schooling and education
Provide protection (police)
Provide safety (fire departments)
Give a driver’s license
Approve zoning and land use
60. What is the purpose of the 10th Amendment?
(It states that the) powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or to the people.
61. Who is the governor of your state now?*
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a governor.]
62. What is the capital of your state?*
Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]
63. There are four amendments to the U.S. Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.*
Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).
You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)
A male citizen of any race (can vote).
64. Who can vote in federal elections, run for federal office, and serve on a jury in the United States?
Citizens of the United States
U.S. citizens
65. What are three rights of everyone living in the United States?
Freedom of expression
Freedom of speech
Freedom of assembly
Freedom to petition the government
Freedom of religion
The right to bear arms
66. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?*
The United States
The flag
67. Name two promises that new citizens make in the Oath of Allegiance.
Give up loyalty to other countries
Defend the (U.S.) Constitution
Obey the laws of the United States
Serve in the military (if needed)
Serve (help, do important work for) the nation (if needed)
Be loyal to the United States
68. How can people become United States citizens?
Derive citizenship
Be born in the United States
69. What are two examples of civic participation in the United States?*
Run for office
Join a political party
Help with a campaign
Join a civic group
Join a community group
Give an elected official your opinion (on an issue)
Contact elected officials
Support or oppose an issue or policy
Write to a newspaper
70. What is one way Americans can serve their country?
Pay taxes
Obey the law
Serve in the military
Run for office
Work for local, state, or federal government
71. Why is it important to pay federal taxes?
Required by law
All people pay to fund the federal government
Required by the (U.S.) Constitution (16th Amendment)
Civic duty
72. It is important for all men age 18 through 25 to register for the Selective Service. Name one reason why.
Required by law
Civic duty
Makes the draft fair, if needed
73. The colonists came to America for many reasons. Name one.
Political liberty
Religious freedom
Economic opportunity
Escape persecution
74. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?*
American Indians
Native Americans
75. What group of people was taken and sold as slaves?*
People from Africa
76. What war did the Americans fight to win independence from Britain?
American Revolution
The (American) Revolutionary War
War for (American) Independence
77. Name one reason why the Americans declared independence from Britain.
High taxes
Taxation without representation
British soldiers stayed in Americans’ houses (boarding, quartering) They did not have self-government
Boston Massacre
Boston Tea Party (Tea Act)
Stamp Act
Sugar Act
Townshend Acts
Intolerable (Coercive) Acts
78. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?*
(Thomas) Jefferson
79. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?*
July 4, 1776
80. The American Revolution had many important events. Name one.
(Battle of) Bunker Hill
Declaration of Independence
Washington Crossing the Delaware (Battle of Trenton) (Battle of) Saratoga
Valley Forge (Encampment)
(Battle of) Yorktown (British surrender at Yorktown)
81. There were 13 original states. Name five.*
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
New Jersey
North Carolina
South Carolina
82. What founding document was written in 1787?
(U.S.) Constitution
83. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.*
(James) Madison
(Alexander) Hamilton
(John) Jay
84. Why were the Federalist Papers important?
They helped people understand the (U.S.) Constitution.
They supported passing the (U.S.) Constitution.
85. Benjamin Franklin is famous for many things. Name one.
Founded the first free public libraries
First Postmaster General of the United States
Helped write the Declaration of Independence
U.S. diplomat
86. George Washington is famous for many things. Name one.*
“Father of Our Country”
First president of the United States
General of the Continental Army
President of the Constitutional Convention
87. Thomas Jefferson is famous for many things. Name one.
Writer of the Declaration of Independence
Third president of the United States
Doubled the size of the United States (Louisiana Purchase)
First Secretary of State
Founded the University of Virginia
Writer of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom
88. James Madison is famous for many things. Name one.
“Father of the Constitution”
Fourth president of the United States
President during the War of 1812
One of the writers of the Federalist Papers
89. Alexander Hamilton is famous for many things. Name one.
First Secretary of the Treasury
One of the writers of the Federalist Papers
Helped establish the First Bank of the United States
Aide to General George Washington
Member of the Continental Congress
90. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?*
Louisiana Territory
91. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.*
War of 1812
Mexican-American War
Civil War
Spanish-American War
92. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.*
The Civil War
93. The Civil War had many important events. Name one.
(Battle of) Fort Sumter Emancipation Proclamation
(Battle of) Vicksburg
(Battle of) Gettysburg Sherman’s March
(Surrender at) Appomattox
(Battle of) Antietam/Sharpsburg Lincoln was assassinated.
94. Abraham Lincoln is famous for many things. Name one.*
Freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
Saved (or preserved) the Union
Led the United States during the Civil War
16th president of the United States
Delivered the Gettysburg Address
95. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
Freed the slaves
Freed slaves in the Confederacy
Freed slaves in the Confederate states
Freed slaves in most Southern states
96. What U.S. war ended slavery?
The Civil War
97. What amendment gives citizenship to all persons born in the United States?
14th Amendment
98. When did all men get the right to vote?
After the Civil War
During Reconstruction
(With the) 15th Amendment 1870
99. Name one leader of the women’s rights movement in the 1800s.
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Lucretia Mott
Lucy Stone
100. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
(Persian) Gulf War
101. Why did the United States enter World War I?
Because Germany attacked U.S. (civilian) ships
To support the Allied Powers (England, France, Italy, and Russia)
To oppose the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria)
102. When did all women get the right to vote?
After World War I
(With the) 19th Amendment
103. What was the Great Depression?
Longest economic recession in modern history
104. When did the Great Depression start?
The Great Crash (1929)
Stock market crash of 1929
105. Who was president during the Great Depression and World War II?*
(Franklin) Roosevelt
106. Why did the United States enter World War II?
(Bombing of) Pearl Harbor
Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
To support the Allied Powers (England, France, and Russia)
To oppose the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan)
107. Dwight Eisenhower is famous for many things. Name one.
General during World War II
President at the end of (during) the Korean War
34th president of the United States
Signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 (Created the Interstate System)
108. Who was the United States’ main rival during the Cold War?
Soviet Union USSR
109. During the Cold War, what was one main concerns of the United States?
Nuclear war
110. Why did the United States enter the Korean War?
To stop the spread of communism
111. Why did the United States enter the Vietnam War?
To stop the spread of communism
112. What did the civil rights movement do?
Fought to end racial discrimination
113. Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous for many things. Name one.*
Fought for civil rights
Worked for equality for all Americans
Worked to ensure that people would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”
114. Why did the United States enter the Persian Gulf War?
To force the Iraqi military from Kuwait
115. What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States?*
Terrorists attacked the United States
Terrorists took over two planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City
Terrorists took over a plane and crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia
Terrorists took over a plane originally aimed at Washington, D.C., and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania
116. Name one U.S. military conflict after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
(Global) War on Terror War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
117. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
For a complete list of tribes, please visit bia.gov.
118. Name one example of an American innovation.
Light bulb
Automobile (cars, combustible engine) Skyscrapers
Assembly line
Landing on the moon
Integrated circuit (IC)
119. What is the capital of the United States?
Washington, D.C.
120. Where is the Statue of Liberty?
New York (Harbor)
Liberty Island [Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]
121. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?*
(Because there were) 13 original colonies
(Because the stripes) represent the original colonies
122. Why does the flag have 50 stars?
(Because there is) one star for each state
(Because) each star represents a state
(Because there are) 50 states
123. What is the name of the national anthem?
The Star-Spangled Banner
124. The Nation’s first motto was “E Pluribus Unum.” What does that mean?
Out of many, one
We all become one
125. What is Independence Day?
A holiday to celebrate U.S. independence (from Britain)
The country’s birthday
126. Name three national U.S. holidays.*
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Presidents Day (Washington’s Birthday)
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
127. What is Memorial Day?
A holiday to honor soldiers who died in military service
128. What is Veterans Day?
A holiday to honor people in the (U.S.) military
A holiday to honor people who have served (in the U.S. military)