San Antonio (Texas): They came from India, Britain, Mexico and Vietnam. And they were among the first in the United States to try out a new citizenship test that the Government wants to have ready for 2008.

The new test is designed to make immigrants think more about American concepts instead of memorising lists of facts. And those who volunteered said they did quite well.

``It seemed like a good cause,'' said Sandeep Nayyar (37), of India, who answered correctly all 10 of the civics questions he faced. ``If it helps result in a better test, why not?''

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants 6,000 people in 10 cities to take the pilot test, which also includes reading and writing portions that are slightly different as well.

To pass the civics section, applicants must answer six of 10 questions correctly in an oral exam.

There are 140 possible questions in all, which will be trimmed to 100 as immigration officials watch how the volunteers do.