As of Monday, February 22nd, the USCIS has decided to implement a new policy of reverting back to the 2008 version of the naturalization exam. The exam was “updated” in December of 2020 under the Trump Administration, at which point more questions were added to the test (that applicants needed to answer correctly) as well as more content and testing procedures. Critics of Trump’s alteration stated that it would ultimately cause more anxiety for N-400 applicants and discourage green card holders from going the extra length and applying for U.S. Citizenship.
As of Monday, however, the USCIS determined the 2020 civics test development process, content, testing procedures, and implementation schedule may inadvertently create potential barriers to the naturalization process. This goes against the Executive Order that was signed by Biden in his first week in office that is about restoring faith in our legal immigration system.
In addition, the USCIS advocates for the 2008 version because it, “…was thoroughly developed over a multi-year period with the input of more than 150 organizations, which included English as a second language experts, educators, and historians, and was piloted before its implementation” (USCIS, 2021).
Applicants who filed their N-400 application after December 1st, 2020 and up until March 1st, 2021, and have been studying for the Trump-version of the naturalization civics test may take either version of the test.
The full statement on this USCIS policy is available here: New civics test.