U.S. Citizenship Test: Types of Questions

To prepare for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) test, you must understand the various kinds of test items. The USCIS written citizenship test covers reading, writing, and civics (U.S. history and government). The citizenship test can consist of different kinds of test items, such as Question-Answer, Multiple Choice, Completion, and more.

To demonstrate the different kinds of test items, this article begins with a brief sample passage for reading:

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain in 1492. He was looking for a western route to Asia. After a long and dangerous journey across the Atlantic Ocean, he landed in the New World. Instead of Asia, he had discovered the Americas.

Use this passage to explore the different kinds of test items. The answers to the questions in the sample test items are found in the preceding passage.

Question-Answer Items (Written or Oral)

Question

Answer

Who sailed from Spain in 1492?

Columbus

What was he looking for?

Asia

What was long and dangerous?

the journey

What did Columbus discover?

the Americas

Sentence Writing

Directions: Rewrite the sentence in the first blank. Write it in the second blank from memory.

He sailed from Spain in 1492.

________________________

________________________

Your answer should look like this:

He sailed from Spain in 1492.

He sailed from Spain in 1492.

Multiple Choice Questions

Directions: Circle the letter of the word or phrase that answers the question.

1. In what year did Columbus sail from Spain?

  1. 1066

  2. 1492

  3. 1776

  4. 1812

Answer: (b)

2. What was Columbus looking for?

  1. The Atlantic Ocean

  2. Spain

  3. A western route to Asia

  4. The Americas

Answer: (c)

Multiple Choice Completion

Directions: Circle the letter of the word or phrase that best completes each sentence.

1. He ______ in the New World.

  1. Journey

  2. Route

  3. Landed

  4. Discovered

Answer: (c)

2. ______ of Asia, he discovered the Americas.

  1. Instead

  2. Dangerous

  3. Across

  4. Looking for

Answer: (a)

Completions

Directions: Fill in the blank with any appropriate word from the above passage.

1. Instead of Asia, Columbus had __________ the Americas.

Answer: discovered

2. After a long and __________ journey, he landed in the New World.

Answer: dangerous

Substitutions

Directions: In the blank, write the word from the above passage that can replace the underlined word.

1. Columbus found the Americas. __________

Answer: discovered

2. The trip across the Atlantic was long and dangerous. ___________

Answer: journey

When you understand what the test item is looking for, you are on the right track to answering the item correctly. These different types of question items have an important purpose: They give you a way of looking at new information or a new idea from different angles.

Consider how the same information in the above passage was examined differently by the different types of question items. For example:

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain in 1492.

1. Columbus sailed from ________ in 1492.

  1. The Atlantic Ocean

  2. Spain

  3. Asia

  4. the Americas

2. He sailed from Spain in 1492.

________________________

________________________

3. In what year did Columbus sail from Spain?

  1. 1066

  2. 1492

  3. 1776

  4. 1812

4. __________ sailed from Spain.

Looking at information from different angles can help you to learn the new information and, at the same time, make that information useful to you and easier to remember.