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U.S. Citizenship Test Questions and Answers (2008 Version)

In a Nutshell

People who wish to naturalize as U.S. citizens have to pass a U.S. citizenship test. In addition to English language questions, the test includes civics questions about American government, history, geography, symbols, and holidays. This article contains all 100 of the civics questions from the current citizenship test and their answers, as taken from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website. The USCIS officer quizzing you will ask you 10 of these 100 questions. You’ll pass the naturalization test if you answer at least six out of those 10 questions correctly. We hope you find this study guide helpful!

Written by Jonathan Petts
Written May 30, 2022


Questions on American Government

These questions will test your knowledge of American government, including the principles of American democracy, the American system of government, and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens.

Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

Correct Answer: The Constitution

2. What does the Constitution do?

Correct Answers: 

  • Protects basic rights of Americans

  • Sets up the government

  • Defines the government

3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

Correct Answer: We The People

4. What is an amendment?

Correct Answers:

  • A change to the Constitution

  • An addition to the Constitution

5. What do we call the first ten amendments of the Constitution?

Correct Answer: The Bill of Rights

6. What is one right or freedom from the first amendment?*

Correct Answers:

  • Petition the government

  • Speech

  • Religion

  • Assembly

  • Press

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

Correct Answer: Twenty-seven (27)

8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

Correct Answers:

  • Declared that America is free from Great Britain

  • Said that America is free from Great Britain

  • Announced that America is free from Great Britain

9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

Correct Answers:

  • Life

  • Liberty

  • The pursuit of happiness

10. What is freedom of religion?

Correct Answer: You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

11. What is the economic system in the United States?*

Correct Answers:

  • Market economy

  • Capitalist economy

12. What is the “rule of law”?

Correct Answers:

  • No one is above the law

  • Everyone must follow the law

  • Leaders must obey the law

  • Government must obey the law

System of Government

13. Name one branch or part of the government.*

Correct Answers:

  • Executive

  • Judicial

  • Congress

  • President

  • The Courts

  • Legislative

14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

Correct Answers:

  • Checks and balances

  • Separation of powers

15. Who is in charge of the Executive branch?

Correct Answer: The President

16. Who makes federal laws?

 Correct Answers:

  • Congress

  • Senate and House of Representatives

  • Legislature

17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?*

Correct Answer: The Senate and The House of Representatives

18. How many U.S. Senators are there?

Correct Answer: One hundred (100)

19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

Correct Answer: Six (6) years

20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?*

Correct Answer: Correct answers will vary by state. If you live in Washington D.C. or in a U.S. territory, the correct answer is that you have no U.S. senators.

21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

Correct Answer: Four hundred and thirty-five (435)

22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?

Correct Answer: Two (2) years

23. Name your U.S. Representative?

Correct Answer: Correct answers will vary by state. If you live in a U.S. territory with non-voting Delegates or Resident Commissioners, you can provide their name. You will also be correct if you opt to say that your territory has no voting Representatives in Congress.

24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?

Correct Answer: All the people of the state

25. Why do some states have more Representatives than others?

Correct Answers:

  • Some states have more people than others

  • Some states have a higher population than others

26. We elect a President for how many years?

Correct Answer: Four (4) years

27. In what month do we vote for President?*

Correct Answer: November

28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

Correct Answer: See uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the most updated information on who the President of the United States is.

29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?

Correct Answer: See uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the most updated information on who the Vice President of the United States is.

30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

Correct Answer: The Vice President

31. If the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

Correct Answer: The Speaker of the House

32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

Correct Answer: The President

33. Who signs bills to become laws?

Correct Answer: The President

34. Who vetoes bills?

Correct Answer: The President

35. What does the President’s Cabinet do?

Correct Answer: Advise the President

36. What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Correct Answers:

  • Vice President

  • Attorney General

  • Secretary of Defense

  • Secretary of Homeland Security

  • Secretary of Education

  • Secretary of Agriculture

  • Secretary of Commerce

  • Secretary of Energy

  • Secretary of Health and Human Services

  • 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

37. What does the judicial branch do?

Correct Answers:

  • Explains laws

  • Reviews laws

  • Decides if a law goes against the Constitution

  • Resolves disagreements and disputes

38. What is the highest court in the United States?

Correct Answer: The Supreme Court

39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

Correct Answer: Check uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

Correct Answer: Check uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the Chief Justice of the United States.

41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

Correct Answers:

  • To print money

  • To create an army

  • To declare war

  • To make treaties

42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

Correct Answers:

  • Provide schooling and education

  • Provide protection through the police

  • Provide safety through fire departments

  • Give out driver’s license

  • Approve zoning and land use

43. Who is the Governor of your state now?

Correct Answer: Correct answers will differ on a state-to-state basis. If you live in Washington D.C., the correct answer is that you have no governor.

44. What is the capital of your state?*

Correct Answer: Correct answers will differ on a state-to-state basis. If you live in Washington D.C., the correct answer is that D.C. is not a state and so has no capital. If you live in a U.S. territory, you should name the capital of the territory.

45. What are the two major political parties in the United States?*

Correct Answer: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party

46. What is the political party of the President now?

Correct Answer: See uscis.gov/citizenship/check-for-test-updates for the political party of the President of the United States.

47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

Correct Answer: See uscis.gov/citizenship/check-for-test-updates for the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States.

Rights & Responsibilities

48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.

Correct Answers:

  • A male citizen of any race can vote

  • Women and men can vote

  • You don’t have to pay to vote

  • Any citizen 18 years and older can vote

49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*

Correct Answers:

  • Vote in a federal election

  • Serve on a jury

50. Name one right only for United States citizens.

Correct Answers:

  • Run for federal office

  • Vote in a federal election

51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

Correct Answers:

  • Freedom of expression

  • Freedom of speech

  • Freedom of religion

  • Freedom of assembly

  • Freedom to petition the government

  • The right to bear arms

52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?

Correct Answers:

  • The United States

  • The flag

53. What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

Correct Answers:

  • Be loyal to the United States

  • Give up loyalty to any other countries

  • Obey the laws of the United States

  • Defend the Constitution and laws of the United states

  • Serve in the U.S. military if needed

  • Serve the nation if needed

54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*

Correct Answer: Eighteen (18) years old

55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

Correct Answers:

  • Vote

  • 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

  • Call Senators and Representatives

  • Publicly support or oppose an issue or policy

  • Run for office

  • Write to a newspaper

56. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*

Correct Answer: April 15 

57. When must all men register for the Selective Service?

Correct Answers:

  • Age eighteen (18)

  • Between ages eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

Questions on American History

This class of questions tests your knowledge of U.S. history, from the colonial period and independence, to the 1800s and more recent American history.

The Colonial Period & Independence

1. What is one reason colonists came to America?

Correct Answers:

  • Freedom

  • Political liberty

  • Religious freedom

  • Economic opportunity

  • To escape persecution

2. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?

Correct Answers:

  • Native Americans

  • American Indians

3. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?

 Correct Answers:

  • People from Africa

  • Africans

4. Why did the colonists fight the British?

Correct Answers:

  • High taxes

  • The British army stayed in their houses

  • Colonists didn’t have self-government

5. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Correct Answer: Thomas Jefferson

6. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

Correct Answer: July 4, 1776

7. There were 13 original states. Name three.

Correct Answers:

  • New Hampshire

  • North Carolina

  • South Carolina

  • New York

  • New Jersey

  • Rhode Island

  • Massachusetts

  • Connecticut

  • Pennsylvania

  • Delaware

  • Maryland

  • Virginia

  • Georgia

8. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

Correct Answers:

  • The Constitution was written

  • The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution

9. When was the Constitution written?

Correct Answer: 1787

10. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

Correct Answers:

  • James Madison

  • Alexander Hamilton

  • John Jay

  • Publius

11. What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?

Correct Answers:

  • U.S. diplomat

  • Started the first free libraries

  • Oldest member of the Constitutional Convention

  • First Postmaster General of the United States

  • Writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”

12. Who is the “Father of Our Country”?

Correct Answer: George Washington

13. Who was the first President?*

Correct Answer: George Washington

The 1800s

14. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

Correct Answers:

  • Louisiana

  • Louisiana territory

15. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.

Correct Answers:

  • Civil War

  • War of 1812

  • Mexican-American War

  • Spanish-American War

16. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

Correct Answers:

  • The Civil War

  • The War between the States

17. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.

Correct Answers:

  • Slavery

  • States’ rights

  • Economic reasons

18. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?*

Correct Answers:

  • Emancipation Proclamation

  • Freed the slaves

  • Saved the union

  • Led the United States during the Civil War

19. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

Correct Answers:

  • Freed slaves

  • Freed slaves in the southern states

  • Freed slaves in the Confederacy

  • Freed slaves in the Confederate states

20. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

Correct Answers:

  • Fought for women’s rights 

  • Fought for civil rights

Recent American History & Other Important Historical Information

21. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.*

Correct Answers:

  • World War I

  • World War II

  • Vietnam War

  • Korean War

  • Persian War/Gulf War

22. Who was President during World War I?

Correct Answer: Woodrow Wilson

23. Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?

Correct Answer: Franklin Roosevelt

24. Who did the United States fight in World War II?

Correct Answer: Italy, Japan, and Germany

25. Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in?

Correct Answer: World War II

26. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?

Correct Answer: Communism

27. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

Correct Answer: Civil Rights Movement

28. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*

Correct Answers:

  • Fought for civil rights

  • Fought for equality for all Americans

29. What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?

Correct Answer: Terrorists attacked the United States

30. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.

Correct Answers:

  • Cherokee

  • Navajo

  • Inuit

  • Hopi

  • Cheyenne

  • Sioux

  • Chippewa

  • Choctaw

  • Pueblo

  • Apache

  • Iroquois

  • Creek

  • Blackfeet

  • Seminole

  • Arawak

  • Shawnee

  • Mohegan

  • Huron

  • Oneida

  • Lakota

  • Crow

  • Teton

Questions on Integrated Civics

This group of questions tests your knowledge of U.S. Geography, symbols, and holidays.

Geography

1. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.

Correct Answers:

  • Mississippi River

  • Missouri River

2. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?

Correct Answer: Pacific Ocean

3. What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?

Correct Answer: Atlantic Ocean

4. Name one U.S. territory.

Correct Answers:

  • Puerto Rico

  • U.S. Virgin Islands

  • American Samoa

  • Guam

  • Northern Mariana Islands

5. Name one state that borders Canada.

Correct Answers:

  • New York

  • Maine

  • Pennsylvania

  • Montana

  • Idaho

  • Alaska

  • Washington

  • North Dakota

  • Vermont

  • Ohio

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • New Hampshire

6. Name one state that borders Mexico.

Correct Answers:

  • Arizona

  • Texas

  • California

  • New Mexico

7. What is the capital of the United States?*

Correct Answer: Washington D.C.

8. Where is the Statue of Liberty?*

Correct Answers:

  • New York Harbor

  • Liberty Island

  • On the Hudson River

  • New Jersey

  • Near New York City

Symbols

9. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?

Correct Answers:

  • There were 13 original colonies

  • The stripes represent the 13 original colonies

10. Why does the flag have 50 stars?*

Correct Answers:

  • There are 50 states

  • Each star represents each state

  • There is one star for each state

11. What is the name of the national anthem?

Correct Answer: The Star-Spangled Banner

Holidays

12. When do we celebrate Independence Day?*

Correct Answer: July 4

13. Name two national U.S. holidays.

Correct Answers:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  • Presidents’ Day

  • Memorial Day

  • Independence Day

  • Labor Day

  • Columbus Day

  • Veterans Day

  • Thanksgiving

  • Christmas

Key

Some of the questions in this article have a star (*) next to them. If you’re 65 years or older, you will not be asked any of the starred questions.


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