What It Takes to Pass the Civics Test for US Citizenship

PHOTO: In this file photo, Kristina Drobot holds an American flag as she waits to be sworn-in as a U.S. citizen during naturalization ceremonies at the Old Governors Mansion in Sacramento, Calif., Feb. 13, 2014.

Quick: How many amendments are in the U.S. Constitution?

If you said 27, you’re correct. If you didn’t, don’t worry: Many Americans apparently don’t know the answer.

A recent man-on-the-street video filmed in Miami shows people struggling to answer questions that appear on the civics test given to immigrants, one part of the process to achieve citizenship in the United States.

"I'm not sure the 15 people we interviewed here in Miami are representative of the nation as a whole, but we were surprised to see only one person pass," said Tony Hernandez of the Immigrant Archive Project, which filmed the video.

The group, which collects immigrants' stories from across the nation, said everyone who appears in the film was born in America.

To pass the naturalization test, applicants must answer six out of 10 questions correctly. But applicants are allowed to study beforehand. One hundred possible questions are posted online.

The national pass rate is 91 percent as of December 2013, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Maybe Americans just need to hit the books.

When Xavier University in Ohio polled U.S. citizens by telephone in 2012, only 65 percent got the required six out of 10 questions correct.

Newsweek highlighted civic ignorance with a similar poll in 2011, finding almost 40 percent of Americans would fail the test.

"Oftentimes, people think that the process of coming into the country as an immigrant and getting citizen status is relatively easy, and the fact of the matter is that it's not," Hernandez said. "What we decided to focus on is quite honestly probably the easiest part of that journey."

ABCNews.com randomly selected 10 questions from the USCIS’ website. Do you know the answers?

  • What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?
  • Who is in charge of the executive branch?
  • How many U.S. senators are there?
  • In what month do we vote for president?
  • Who is the chief justice of the United States now?
  • How old do citizens have to be to vote for president?
  • When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
  • What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
  • What major event happened on Sept. 11, 2001 in United States?
  • What is the name of the national anthem?
  • Keep reading for the answers. ...

    • 1
    • |
    • 2
    Join the Discussion
    blog comments powered by Disqus
    You Might Also Like...