Critics, of course, say that it's an anti-immigration tactic that seeks to target immigrants with little or no grasp of English.
Meh, doesn't a country have the right to set its own immigration agenda?
Anyway, I thought I'd have a quick crack at the five questions the Beeb identified as being on the new test.
Okay, so you only have my word for it, but this is off of the top of my head:
Why does the United States have three branches of government?
The major powers were split into three distinct branches so that no one person or group could wield total control over the USA.
Name two rights that are only available to US citizens:
The right to bear arms and the right to vote.
Name two cabinet level positions:
The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense. Off the top of my head I can also name: the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Transportation, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Energy. (after checking, I found that this list was under half of the positions. I missed the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. I also missed the Vice President, the White House Chief of Staff, th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Angency, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy, and the United States Trade Representative. Still, with that many, it shouldn't be hard to remember two.)
Name one important idea found in the Declaration of Independence:
That power derives from a mandate of the people, not by right of birth.
What does the Constitution do?
The Constitution lays out the structure, rights and responsibilities of the Federal government, and guarantees, through the ammendments, the rights of the people and the States.
Man, it's a shame I'm not interested in becoming a citizen, that was pretty easy.
Oh, why not?
Because the oath goes:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
No, it's not the "so help me God" bit - that's optional - it's the "renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity" bit.
I'm British, a subject of Her Majesty The Queen, and any oath I take to the contrary would be a lie, and I'm not about to lie under oath.