After acquiring the minimum criteria necessary to become a Canadian citizen, the citizenship test is the last step of the process. Everything will be futile if you don’t pass the Canadian citizenship test. The purpose of the Canadian citizenship test is to allow immigrants who are yet to become Canadian citizens to prove that they know the country’s history, identity and values, geography, politics, demography, national symbols and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Anybody who is between 18 and 54 years when applying for the Citizenship test qualifies. Of course, before sitting for the citizenship test, you will have to show that you’ve stayed in the country for 1095 days as a permanent resident, understand English or French, no criminal record and all your tax obligations are in order.
After signing up for the citizenship test, you will receive an invitation letter from the IRCC. The letter will congratulate you on the approval and inform you of the venue and date of the test. Usually, the date for the citizenship test is usually set at least 2 weeks after you receive the invitation letter. The invitation letter will also include a list of documents you should bring to the test. If you will not be available to attend the citizenship test on the date stated in the invitation letter, contact your local IRCC office explaining your reasons for a reschedule. Additionally, if you have special needs, you can contact the IRCC for accommodations such as wheelchair access, large print or braille.
‘Discover Canada’ is the official study guide provided by IRCC. The book can be downloaded in pdf or audio format or ordered via mail. Granted, the Canadian citizenship test is not something that can be passed through general knowledge by watching the news. In fact, according to a research project done by Dominion Institute, most Canadians by birth would fail the citizenship test if they had to do it right now. Hence, preparation is very important to anybody who wants to pass the citizenship test. Apart from reading and summarizing the official guidebook, you can attend review classes or take an online citizenship test review course and do Canadian citizenship practice tests online to prepare yourself.
Before you leave your residence, make sure you bring along all the necessary original documents requested including the invitation letter. Keep in mind that if you forget any requested document, you will not be allowed to take the test. To avoid any inconvenience, arrive at the test center at least 15 to 30 minutes before the time stated in your invitation letter. Once you’re at the venue, a receptionist will call out your name and you will be directed to a citizenship officer who will conduct a background check. The informal interview will involve questions such as; why do you want to be a Canadian citizen? Where do you work? Where have you lived? If you’ve been absent from Canada (before or after citizenship application), be prepared to explain your reasons for travel. The test will only start after everybody in the waiting room has been verified by the citizenship officer.
Once you access the exam room, you will be requested to switch off your electronic devices and leave any food or water outside in a secure place. Do not bring along your children since they will not be accepted into the exam room. After everybody is settled, the examiner will give you a pre-sharpen pencil, an answer sheet, and a question booklet. The language used for the test is either French or English and you will have 30 minutes to answer 20 questions. For you to pass the test, you will have to answer 15 questions correctly. The answers will be presented in 4 multiple choices where only 1 answer is correct. However, there will be some questions where you be given an option to answer ‘true’ or ‘false’. Depending on the answer sheet provided, you will be given instructions on how to highlight the correct answer. Avoid talking or looking into your neighbor’s answer sheet or else you will risk getting disqualified from the test. As long as you covered the Discover Canada study guide, there should be no surprise to the topics presented in the questionnaire.
Usually, the test results are handed out in person a few minutes after the test is over. If you are unfortunate to fail the test on your first try, a second test will be rescheduled at least 4 to 8 weeks later. The procedure for the second test will still be similar to the first citizenship test but if you fail the retry, you will meet up with a citizenship officer for an oral interview. However, no need to worry since most applicants pass the citizenship tests on their first attempt. If you pass the citizenship test and meet other requirements to become a Canadian citizen, congratulations in advance; you will take the Oath of Citizenship at a ceremony a few weeks or months after the citizenship test.