Any immigrant between the age of 18 and 54 years that wants to legally be declared a Canadian citizen must pass the Canadian citizenship test. Of course, there are other eligibility criteria like 3 years minimum permanent residency status, filing income tax and a clean criminal record that are considered for qualifications. However, it is the Canadian citizenship test that will eventually decide your fate. If you’re an applicant waiting to sit for the test, you probably can’t help but ask yourself; is the Canadian citizenship test hard? What are the chances that you could pass the Canadian citizenship test?
An internal survey done by IRCC suggests that at least 80 percent of applicants pass the citizenship. To put it into perspective, the passing rate for the citizenship test is high and even if you fail, you will be given 2 chances to re-sit and redeem yourself. Nevertheless, a majority of applicants who fail the citizenship test are those who don’t have a broad comprehension of English or French. Hence, applicants who only learned English or French after migrating into Canada are recommended to constantly work on improving their English or French language skills before applying for the citizenship test.
It is crucial to note that even though most applicants who fail the citizenship test have poor knowledge of English, IRCC statistics also indicate that permanent residents who have spent more time in Canada fail more often than those who apply for the citizenship test as soon as they reach the minimum days required to qualify. In other words, permanent residents who stay in Canada for 6 or 7 years without applying for the citizenship test are more likely to fail than permanent residents who stay in Canada for 5 years. Intriguing, isn’t it? But why is it like that?
Apparently, the complacency and confidence of the applicants is a determining factor on their success rates. For instance, permanent residents who have been in Canada for more than 5 years are usually over-confident about their knowledge of Canada enough not to prepare adequately for the test. On the other hand, those who apply as soon they surpass the minimum days required to be eligible are more motivated to study since they feel there is a wide aspect of Canadian knowledge they haven’t yet absorbed.
The Canadian citizenship test covers a scope of Canada’s history, government structure, judicial system, symbols, culture, economy, geography plus rights and responsibilities of a citizen. Even though any person who has lived in Canada long enough likely knows the name of the prime minister or opposition leader, the knowledge of Canada’s history, culture and symbols that will be evaluated in the citizenship test cannot be learned just by watching the news. If you want to be familiar with the topics that will be covered in the citizenship test, you will need to study the official guide book – Discover Canada; the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. Surprisingly, most Canadians by birth would fail the citizenship test if they had to do it immediately.
Take note that people who cram the night before the test day don’t do well either since they process a lot of information within a short period making it easy to forget. Not to mention, last minute preparations does more harm than good by piling up the pressure and increasing anxiety.
In light of the above observations, it can be deduced that the Canadian citizenship test is fairly easy to pass on your first trial. However, a good understanding of the language used for the test and adequate preparation are the keys to success. If you have a poor understanding of English, there are questions that will be challenging to interpret. In fact, some of the citizenship test questions are phrased in a complex manner to purposely assess the language proficiency level of the candidates. Additionally, it is misleading to assume that just because you’ve lived in Canada for a long period, you’ve absorbed enough information to pass the citizenship test without studying the guide book.
Apart from studying the guide book, applicants can prepare for the citizenship test by answering self-evaluating questions online or on the study guide. Most of the online practice questions are worded almost similar to the citizenship test to give you an impression of what to expect. Remember, since you only need to achieve 75 percent or higher to pass the citizenship test, you should read until you can comfortably score the equivalent score.
There is also an option to attend preparation classes for those who wish to do so at their own convenience. A preparation class will not only make it easier for you to remember the details of the study guide but it will also make you confident enough to sit for the citizenship test.
So, is the Canadian citizenship test hard? The answer is no; as long as you’ve taken your time to prepare yourself until you’re ready.