According to data released by Statistics Canada after the 2016 population, it is estimated that there are at least 7.5 million Canadians who are immigrants. That is roughly 21.9 percent of the total population or rather more than 1 in 5 Canadians are foreign-born citizens. Usually, immigrants can apply for Canadian citizenship after going through the standard procedure that involves attaining a permanent residency, living in Canada for at least 5 years and knowing how to write and speak in English or French. Of course, you should be on your best behaviour by avoiding a criminal record and submitting your tax returns on time. Eventually, you will have to take the Canadian citizenship test which you must pass to become a citizen. After everything is said and done, how do you prepare for a Canadian citizenship test?
Read the Study Guide
The questions on the citizenship test are derived from the ‘Discover Canada’ study guide, which is provided for free by the IRCC. Applicants can download the study guide for free in pdf or e-book format. Additionally, there is an mp3 version of the audiobook for those who want to listen. You can also request the physical book to be sent to your mailbox. Keep in mind that ‘Discover Canada’ is the official study guide recommended by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada department; hence it should be your primary source of information. Make sure you read the study guide as much as possible a few weeks prior to the citizenship test.
Enroll in a Review Class
If you have extra time, you can enroll in a review class to help you remember and understand the information on the study guide. Most immigration centers in Canada offer free citizenship classes or discussion groups to any willing participants. If there are parts of the study book you don't fully comprehend, a review class would give you a chance to ask questions and discuss pointers with your instructor or classmates. A typical review class will only take 2 hours of your time once a week thus you shouldn't be worried if you're working on a job with a tight schedule. Even if your schedule is overwhelming, you can still start your own review class at home to discuss it with your friends or family members. Just make sure you use the official study guide for reference. You can also take this Canadian citizenship test preparation course online.
Do Online Practice Tests
Once you've covered the ‘Discover Canada’ study guide, doing a few citizenship practice tests online will prepare you mentally and help you gain self-confidence. Moreover, an online test will provide you with an insight into how the questions will be structured during the citizenship test. Although the sample questions asked on the online tests will not be the exact same questions you will be asked on the citizenship test, the online practice test will cover the same material from the study guide and the subject will be very similar. Most websites that have online practice tests offer coaching support for a fee. This is especially useful for applicants who don't have much time to prepare for the citizenship test, probably less than a week.
Before the Test
Usually, applicants receive a notice stating the time, date and venue of the test. If you're not familiar with the venue, there is always Google Maps or Navigo to counter-check the location. Suppose you will not be available on the date and time of the appointment, you can write or email to the address that sent you the notice explaining why you will not be available. Additionally, you can fill up an IRCC web form online explaining your situation. Once the IRCC receives your email or letter, they will re-schedule your appointment to a different date. However, if you don't provide an explanation on why you won't make it or your explanation is unreasonable, you risk getting your application revoked.
During the Test
Make sure you bring all the original documents you sent when applying for the citizenship test. Don't forget to bring the invitation letter just in case they ask for it. The citizenship test process usually starts at the exact time indicated on the invitation letter and if you're late, you may have to wait for 2 to 3 weeks until the next exam. Hence, try to make it to the venue at least 20 to 30 minutes early before the scheduled appointment. If you have a job, taking a whole day off may help you ease the tension to fully focus on the test. A typical Canadian citizenship test will only take you 30 minutes to complete but if you count the time it takes to verify the applicants, it can take longer.
Make sure you read and understand the questions before giving out the answers. If you come across a hard question, you can move on to the next to avoid wasting time and after you're done with everything else, answer the questions that you skipped. Most importantly, answer all the questions to your best capability before submitting the answer sheet.