The Department of Homeland Security announced that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) intends to conduct a trial for updates to the current naturalization test. The trial is tentatively scheduled for a five-month period in 2023. 

The purpose of the trial is to test a civics component with updated format and content and a newly developed English-speaking component “that could become standard.” The naturalization test has four components: reading, writing, civics, and ability to speak English. Currently, the reading and writing portions of the naturalization test are standard.

In response to President Biden’s executive order 14012, which included a directive to review the naturalization process, USCIS subject-matter experts reviewed the naturalization test and recommended redesigning the speaking and civics portions to improve standards. The proposed revisions are also “consistent with the feedback that USCIS has received from multiple external stakeholder groups,” the agency said.

USCIS will conduct the trial with the help of volunteer community-based organizations (CBOs) that work with immigrant English-language learners and lawful permanent residents preparing for naturalization. USCIS will seek approximately 1,500 individuals enrolled in adult education classes to take the trial test. The agency will conduct national engagements for interested CBOs and will then publish a request for volunteer CBOs.