Wouldn’t it be a blast if the civics exam required for naturalization as a US citizen could be played in the format of a TV Game Show? It would make learning more fun, and encourage many more people to become aware of their history and government.
As a final part of the naturalization process, applicants have an interview with a USCIS officer. Part of that interview is a civics test on US government and history. There are one hundred possible questions the applicant must study. The examiner asks ten questions, drawn randomly from the set of one hundred. To pass, the applicant must get at least six of the ten questions correct.
Here is a link to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services page that has study resources for the naturalization interview and exam. There are study sheets, flash cards, and interactive apps to help you study. These are handy for anyone who wants to know more about US history and government. If you are concerned about the fees required for USCIS services, here is a blog post on fee waivers.
The USCIS exam questions are straight forward for most high school graduates:
- Name ONE branch of government.
- Name TWO Cabinet level positions.
- How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
But what if you can name all three branches of government, all 16 cabinet level positions, and give the NAMES of all the judges on the Supreme Court. You deserve bonus points! Could you share bonus points with family members who had a harder time studying? Could you dial a friend?
Imagine Alex Trebek saying:
The Jeopardy Answer is : The initial B in the name of this women’s rights champion stands for Brownell.
Question: WHO IS SUSAN B. ANTHONY?
(By the way, Jeopardy TV host Alex Trebek was born in Ontario, Canada, and became a naturalized US Citizen in 1998.)
On a game show, most Americans would be hard pressed to beat immigrants applying for naturalization. It would certainly shatter stereotypes (and maybe be funny) to have non-citizens competing against regular Americans. A national stage, promoting US history and civics would benefit all of us.
Granted, the prize from the USCIS is much greater than a million dollars, or a new car. It is the priceless gem of US citizenship.