The Pav YMCA has partnered with Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County (LVWCC) to help community members prepare for two important life-changing exams: naturalization (better known as citizenship) and the GED® exam.

Citizenship: Tuesdays 10:30a-12:00pm

In this participant-centered group, we learn and practice for your citizenship interview together. We understand more through each other's questions and cheer each other on. You do not need to have applied for citizenship to join our study group. We study in English because the naturalization test is in English. If you have a language exemption and can speak some English, we welcome you to join us. Citizenship applicants must pass a naturalization test to become naturalized citizens. The test has two parts- English and civics. The civics test allows applicants to show their basic knowledge of U.S. history, government and geography. The English test allows applicants to show that they can read, write, speak and understand basic English. No registration is required. The group is free to the public. Come when you are ready, come with questions and study with us for as long as you need.

*If you are exempt from the English test, you must be age 50 or older at the time of filing for naturalization and have lived as a permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States for 20 years OR you must be age 55 an have lived in the US for 15 years. You still have to take the civics test in your native language. 

For more information, please visit https://www.uscis.gov/. Select Citizenship for the general requirements for naturalization, the N400 application and much more.

To apply for naturalization, a permanent resident:
•    Must have lived continuously in the US for the past 5 years, or
•    Must be married to a US citizen and must have lived continuously in the US for the past 3 years
•    Some exceptions apply

During the school year, our citizenship study group meets on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 to noon. We practice answering the 100 questions and develop better speaking skills for the interview. 

GED® Study Group: Wednesday 6-8pm and Friday 10:30am to 12:30pm
We provide diagnostic testing to determine which content needs to be reviewed and studied. Participants in our study group may take the official GED® Ready Practice Test at no charge to estimate their score. To obtain high school equivalency, all four parts of the 2014 GED® test battery must be passed with a score of 145 or higher in addition to the Illinois constitution test. The four subjects of the new computer-based GED®  test are Mathematics, Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA), Science, and Social Studies. To pass the Mathematics test, a test taker must know basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, and should be able to apply these skills to answer complex multi-step problems. Test takers must also be comfortable writing extended response passages that demonstrate the ability to organize ideas, use facts and figures to support an argument, and write Persuasively.  Extended response writing is required for Science and RLA. 

WANT TO HELP?
Study groups are free and open to the public. We also welcome volunteer tutors who are willing to complete a background check and training through Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County.

Official naturalization and GED® testing are not offered at the Pav YMCA.