After being physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for 3 years, paying your taxes on time and avoiding trouble with the law, you've finally reached a few steps closer to your goal of becoming a Canadian citizen. Once the IRCC has verified your documents, you will receive a notice to sit for a citizenship test on a certain date. Keep in mind that the citizenship test is not just a formality and you must pass it to become a Canadian citizen. The good news is the majority of applicants are successful on their citizenship test. The bad news is er…. well, there is no bad news unless you don't prepare yourself. It is not rocket science, if you want to ace the test; you must do a few things to get the job done; but how do you do it?
Time is of the essence and the clock will start counting down the days, hours and minutes to your citizenship test as soon as you receive the notice. The earlier you start reading for the test, the better your chances of acing the test. In most cases, the IRCC will give you at least 2 weeks to prepare yourself for the test. Set yourself time on your schedule to study 2 to 3 hours on daily basis before the test. If you wait until the last minute to cram, you will only add up the tension and probably forget a few important details during the test.
While studying for the citizenship test, you should only cover the content on ‘Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship’. Don't overwhelm yourself with information from other sources since ‘Discover Canada' is the only official guidebook offered by the IRCC. In other words, the questions you will be asked on the citizenship test will be derived from the content covered in the ‘Discover Canada’ guidebook. The guidebook can be downloaded for free in either e-book or audio version and if you prefer a physical copy, it can be sent to your mailbox. Not to forget, the side notes and the image captions in the guidebook should also be part of the content that you should read and try to remember.
Most local libraries in Canada and Immigrant Centers offer citizenship test preparation classes to anybody interested. The classes usually cover all the chapters in the ‘Discover Canada' guidebook and there are instructors available to discuss the pointers. Attending a preparation class after studying the guidebook will make it easier for you to recall the important detail during the citizenship test. Remember, the brain is a muscle; the more you read and discuss something, the more likely you will remember it.
There are numerous reputable websites that have mock citizenship tests for practice purposes. Although the questions you encounter on the online test will probably not appear on the citizenship test, you will have an idea of what to expect. The Canadian citizenship practice test mock test will also help you overcome test anxiety and gain more confidence. However, you should partake in the mock online test after you've studied the guidebook and probably attended a few preparation classes. Apart from doing the online tests, you can also answer the study questions in the ‘Discover Canada’ guidebook.
A night before the citizenship test, make sure you avoid any distractions that will leave you feeling fatigued the next day. Usually, the mind loses focus when the body is fatigued; hence it is very important that you sleep well the night before the test. Neither should you leave the house on an empty stomach if you want to stay sharp during your test day. Although you will not be permitted to carry water and snacks into the exam room, you are still allowed to bring snacks to the waiting room since the whole verification procedure can take a few hours.
The 30 minutes given to applicants to answer the 20 questions with multiple choices are reasonable. Regardless, there are those who are in a hurry to finish up the test and usually end up misunderstanding the questions. Granted, there are questions that are phrased in a way that is hard to interpret but even so, you should take your time to read the questions carefully. If you're still unsure about certain questions, you can mark them and proceed to the next questions. Even though you should carefully analyze the questions, you shouldn't spend too much time on a single question or else when the time is up, you will end up answering other questions with too much haste. However, once you've answered the simple questions, you can revisit the questions you left behind.