How To Know When You’re Ready For The Citizenship Exam

Just because you successfully applied for citizenship and received a notice to appear for the citizenship exam, doesn’t mean that you’re ready to sit for the test. Sure, you have been invited for the test but are you confident that you will pass it on your first trial? Keep in mind that this test is not something that you just walk into and get a pass automatically. In fact, according to a poll done by Ipsos Reid, most born Canadian citizens would flunk the citizenship paper if they were given an impromptu notice to sit for the test. It begs the question, how do you know when you’re ready to sit for the real citizenship exam?

Citizenship Test

  • Your proficiency in English or French is good- Even though all applicants must provide proof that they understand either of Canada’s official languages during the application process, a majority of applicants still flop the test due to poor comprehension of English or French. There have been reports of some of the test questions being worded in an intricate manner just to test your proficiency level of English or French. Hence, if you migrated into Canada and you’re not a native English speaker, it would be in your best interest to apply for the test only after you’re confident you can comfortably write, read and speak English without difficulty.
  • You have covered all the chapters in the official guide book- ‘Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship’ is the only official guide book recommended by the IRCC to applicants who are preparing for the test. That makes studying for the test easier since you won’t have to gather information from different sources. However, don’t consider yourself ready to sit for the official exam test until you’ve read and understood all the chapters in the book- including the side captions on the pages. It is not a shame to re-read the book twice or thrice just to make sure the content sticks in your mind. Furthermore, if you’re just feeling lazy to read, there is an option to download the audio copy and just listen to it. No matter what, don’t sit for the test until you’ve covered all the chapters of the guidebook.
  • You have attended preparation classes- Sometimes reading the official guide book alone is not enough. If you need any assistance to study and understand the guidebook, you can attend preparation classes at your local library or immigrant center. The preparation classes will give you a chance to seek clarification and discuss the content of the book with the tutor. The more you discuss a subject, the more likely you will remember.
  • You score more than 75 percent of the practice test questions- To pass the Canadian citizenship test, you must score 75 percent and above. In preparation, you can answer a few practice questions online that are imitative of the citizenship test. Since most of the online practice tests include 20 questions just like the citizenship test, you should aim to correctly answer 15 questions or more without any assistance. Additionally, you should be able to confidently answer all the study questions in the Discover Canada guide book before sitting for the real test.
  • You can answer 20 practice questions within 30 minutes- During the test, applicants are required to answer the 20 questions within 30 minutes. In fact, it is possible to flunk the citizenship exam because you were unable to answer all the questions within the stipulated time. Hence, it makes sense that during the preparation process, you should time yourself to answer 20 mock questions within 30 minutes. If you come across any challenging question, you can skip it to avoid wasting time and revisit it once you’ve answered other questions.

Time is of the essence. As soon as you receive the notice to sit for the citizenship exam, you should start preparing as soon as possible to cover all grounds. The last thing you want is to cram the guidebook the night before the test. If you will not be available on the date of the test, you should email or write a letter to the IRCC explaining your valid reasons. Remember, if you’ve not studied and don’t think you’re ready for the test on the due date, the IRCC will likely not consider that as a reasonable excuse. However, some of the valid explanations the IRCC could accept for missing the test include; clinic appointment/medical emergency, passing away of a family member, sudden accident or a court summon.

Make sure you sleep for at least 8 hours before the day of the test or otherwise your body and mind will feel fatigued. If you have plans during the test day, cancel all of them to avoid distraction and put your focus and energy on the test until it is over. Even though the test takes only half an hour, the whole process can last hours considering all applicants must be verified. Above everything else, don’t skip breakfast!