First, before you are eligible to become a citizen, you must either:
1. Be a permanent resident for 5 years; or
2. Be a permanent resident and married to a US citizen for 3 years.
Second, you must demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character. If you have past criminal convictions or serious traffic violations, sometimes this can cause serious problems in the naturalization. Some people should not apply for citizenship because it could jeopardize their permanent residency status. If you have any of these issues, talk with an immigration attorney to look over and analyze your specific situation.
Third, you must speak and understand English. Most people that have lived in the US for 3 to 5 years have picked up enough English to pass the test.
Forth, you must demonstrate a knowledge of US civics. Part of the process involves a test about US civics including the history and basis for our form of government.
Fifth, you must be willing to declare your allegiance to the United States.