« New Estimates of Undocumented Youth Eligible for Legal Status under the DREAM Act | Main | Learn History First »

November 18, 2006

Feds Redesign Citizenship Exam

By Melissa Trujillo 11.13.06, Associated Press

“In an effort to make the citizenship exam more meaningful, the federal government said Monday it will test an exam that relies less on trivia - such as asking the name of the president's house - and more on applicants' grasp of American democracy.

The new exam will be given to volunteers beginning this winter in Albany, N.Y.; Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Denver; El Paso, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; San Antonio; Tucson, Ariz.; and Yakima, Wash.

The current test is heavy on historical facts, and includes questions about the colors of the U.S. flag and the name of the form used to apply for citizenship. The new exam will ask about the Bill of Rights and the meaning of democracy.

"The idea is not to toss up roadblocks, it's to make sure people who apply for citizenship and want to become citizens understand and adhere to the values we have as a society, the values that are part of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights," said Shawn Saucier, spokesman for the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The current exam doesn't guarantee knowledge of those values, Saucier said. A person may know which state was the 49th to be added to the union, for example, but not understand voting rights, he said.
The portion of the citizenship exam used to test basic English reading and writing skills also will be changed to include civic vocabulary words, Saucier said.

"We want them to study and look at this information not toward the eye of memorizing it for a trivia exam," he said.

During the pilot, officials hope to work out any problems with the test and refine the exam. The revised test will be given to all applicants for naturalization beginning in 2008…”.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

Posted by VisaLawyer at November 18, 2006 02:49 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)