To take the oath of citizenship in order to become a Canadian citizen, you must pass the Canadian citizenship test. It doesn’t matter if you have been an outstanding permanent resident in Canada with a clean record who always files their taxes in due time; passing the Canadian citizen test is a rite of passage for anybody between 18 and 54 years who wants to attain Canadian citizenship. But what if you fail? According to the latest statistics, at least 80 percent of applicants pass the Canadian Citizenship test on their first try; but what about the rest? Do they just disappear into the horizon?
In the past, candidates who failed the citizenship test were automatically scheduled for a hearing with a citizenship judge. It was the citizenship judge that decided your fate. However, the rules changed and if you fail a citizenship test, you will be given another chance to retake the test. Not to forget, even if you fail the second time, you will still have another opportunity to do an oral interview with a citizenship officer. Additionally, if you applied for the citizenship test with your whole family, the ones who pass won’t have their applications delayed by those who fail.
The citizenship test results are usually unveiled a few minutes after sitting for the test. If you’re unfortunate to fail the test on your first try, the first thing you should do is to identify your weak areas on the test. What made you fail the test? What were the questions you were unable to answer correctly? Are there any questions you left out? Remember for you to pass the citizenship test, you must answer 15 questions correctly which is an equivalent of 75 percent. That means if you fail the citizenship test, you failed to answer more than 5 questions correctly. Inquire with the citizenship officer if he/she can provide you with the answer sheet to asses with the questionnaire for you to identify the questions you flopped. The purpose of taking notes of the flunked questions is to help identify the areas you should revisit before your next test.
The IRCC automatically reschedules another test for all applicants that failed the initial test. The retry test is typically scheduled 4-8 weeks after the first sitting; although it may take longer. The waiting period for the second test is longer compared to the first test to give applicants more time to prepare and compose themselves. In the event that you will be unable to attend the second test, you should write a letter to the IRCC stating your valid excuse and request for a convenient date.
Perhaps not thoroughly studying and understanding the guide book could be a major reason why an applicant fails the Canadian citizenship test. There is no shortcut around it; if you want to pass the citizenship test, you must cover the Discover Canada guide book page by page without skipping the crucial details. Make sure you focus on the question topics you were unable to answer correctly during the first test. Moreover, you can join citizenship test preparation classes and discussion groups in the local library or immigration centers.
There have been reports of applicants complaining that the citizenship test questions are written in a way that makes it hard to interpret. Hence, just like reading the guide book, preparing for the retry test by doing a mock test is just as effective. Furthermore, the practice tests will make you more familiar with the way the citizenship test questions will likely be framed. Not to forget, if time management is your issue, partaking in numerous online practice tests could improve your capability to answer all questions before the time expires. Practice makes perfect!
Sometimes applicants fail the first citizenship test not because they didn’t prepare but due to simple distractions like fatigue, nervousness or lack of sleep. Strive to sleep for at least 8 hours the night before the test and don’t leave your home on an empty stomach. Just because you failed the first sitting doesn’t mean you should spend the whole night prior to the test studying and cramming. In fact, that would only make you nervous.
The most common reason why most applicants fail the Canadian citizenship test is attributed to poor knowledge of English or French especially in the older demographic. If your language skills are below average, it is better to sit for the Canadian citizenship test after you have improved your reading and communication skills.
Regardless, if you prepared adequately and your English or French skills are impressive, the citizenship test will be fairly easy. Even if you flunked the second citizenship test, it is not the end of the road since the IRCC will send you a notice for an oral interview with a citizenship officer. During the oral interview, the citizenship officer will ask you a few questions to test your knowledge on Canada and evaluate if you clearly understand English or French. Once you meet the minimum threshold, you will receive a letter instructing you to appear at the oath of citizenship ceremony.