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4 tips if you are preparing for your citizenship test

If you are between 18 and 54 and applying for Canadian citizenship, you will likely need to take a citizenship test. The stakes of passing this test can be high, so it is crucial to know what you can do to increase your chances of passing.

Know what is on the test

Citizenship tests consist of 20 questions. They are either true-or-false questions or multiple-choice questions about:

  • Canadian history
  • How the government works
  • Canadian regions
  • People, objects and events that hold special meaning

It will take about 30 minutes to take the test. It can be in English or French. In some cases, it could be oral if you have trouble reading or writing in English or French.

Give yourself time to prepare

A citizenship test should not come as a surprise to you. Generally, you will get a testing date within weeks after receiving an acknowledgment of receipt (AOR) letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Once you receive your invitation to take the test, you have 21 days to take it.

In other words, you should have weeks or months to prepare for this test. 

Consider taking classes

A good place to start when it comes to studying is this study guide many newcomers use. However, you might also want to consider taking classes.

Citizenship classes are often free or low-cost, and they give you the opportunity to work with others, ask questions and get individual guidance as you learn more about the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.

Don’t panic

While this test can be one of the most important tests you take, try not to panic or become overwhelmed. You do not need to be perfect; passing requires you to answer just 15 out of 20 questions correctly.

Even if you do not pass when you take the test, you still have options. Depending on whether you meet all other citizenship requirements, you could take the test a second time. If you also fail that one, you can have an oral interview with a citizenship officer.

In other words, answering a question or two wrong – or even failing the test the first time – will not necessarily jeopardize your path to citizenship. However, thorough preparation and knowing what to expect from the process can help increase the chances of passing.