Could you pass the test to become a US citizen?

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A man holds an envelope from US Citizenship and Immigrations Services during a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, on December 15, 2015.
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Reuters/Carlos Barria

Last year, nearly 730,000 people became naturalized US citizens.

Nearly every one of them would’ve had to pass a civics test, answering questions about US history, government, and geography.

It’s not a huge hurdle, provided that you take some time to prepare. The questions are chosen out of a pool of 100 possible queries, which are publicly available.

You are asked 10, chosen at random, and have to answer six correctly.

And you get a second chance if you fail.

Most of the questions aren’t that difficult, like “What is the name of the President of the United States now?”

Also an easy one? “Name one state that borders Mexico.” Just one. There are four states to choose from.

But even if you paid attention in eighth-grade US-history class, some of these might trip you up. Others will surprise you. Here’s a few of the questions with their answers after each picture.

Remember, you need six correct answers to pass:


How many amendments does the Constitution have?

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Reuters/Brendan McDermid

The answer is 27.


Who makes federal laws?

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Hint: Naming one of these guys would be a mistake.
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Acceptable answers are Congress, US Senate and US House (of Representatives), or US or national legislature.


The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Answer: “We the People”


We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The answer is six years (at a time).


The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

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Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The answer is 435.


Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

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Getty Images

There are four to choose from: to print money, to declare war, to create an army, to make treaties.


If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

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John Goodman did it on “The West Wing.”
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Getty Images

Answer: the speaker of the House


What are two Cabinet-level positions?

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Both of them are.
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Thomson Reuters

There are many to choose from:

Secretary of Agriculture Secretary of Commerce Secretary of Defense Secretary of Education Secretary of Energy Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary of the Interior Secretary of Labor Secretary of State Secretary of Transportation Secretary of the Treasury Secretary of Veterans Affairs Attorney General Vice President


Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

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Hint: the one on the right.
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Jonathan Ernst

It was Thomas Jefferson.


When was the Constitution written?

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REUTERS/Larry Downing

The answer is 1787.