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Taking The Canadian Citizenship Test

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

So, you’ve resided in Canada for the required minimum period- 1,095 days, you applied for Canadian citizenship, and, whaala ! you’re now invited to write the citizenship test. Obviously, you’re very excited. Now what ?

There are time-tested ways by which to ace the citizenship test. Read on…

A Newly Sworn-In Canadian. Oh The Joy !

Preparing For The Canadian Citizenship Test:

First off, you can start studying for the test at any time. Even before you apply for citizenship ! The official study guide- Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship is available online; its always free. And, the guide is available in multiple formats:

• Read it online;

• Listen to the MP3 version;

• Download the PDF or eBook;

• And, you can also order a paper copy of the study guide.

As mandated by the Government of Canada, the only official study guide for the citizenship test is Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which is available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada at no cost.

First Things First:

Studying for the citizenship test is no easy task despite what your friends, Canadian citizens already, might insist. And, studying is surely NOT just a 3-hour exercise. That is what I was ‘advised.’ The study guide contains about 60 pages of dope, made up of hundreds of unique pieces of information. And, each of these unique pieces of information is a potential question on the citizenship test.

Now, this is not to scare you: From these hundreds of potential questions, you will be tested on only 20. Everything in Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, unless specifically stated, is important. And testable !

The test is administered in English or French and is 30 minutes long. The 20 questions are multiple-choice type, and true or false questions. The test is usually written but may be oral.

To pass the test you need to correctly answer 15 of the 20 questions; 75 % in other words. Answer six incorrectly and you fail.

So, how do you study so that you ace the test ? And, equally importantly, how do you study so that you retain that knowledge for life ? After all, that is the idea, isn’t it ?

Studying For The Canadian Citizenship Test:

This is what we would like to recommend:

Start as early as you can:

First off, you can start studying for the test at any time. Even before you apply for citizenship ! Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship is freely available online.

When Immigration & Citizenship Canada acknowledged receipt of your citizenship application, they likely also sent you a link to the study guide. You can start when you receive this acknowledgement.

The other time Immigration & Citizenship Canada sent you the link was when you were invited you to write the test. Between the date you receive this invitation and the date you actually write the test, you’ll probably have only 10 to 15 calendar days. Upon receipt of this invitation is the latest you should start; starting later will only make matters harder in many respects.

Start as early as you can.

Consume all the Canadian news you can:

A lot of what you gain here will actually be useful for the test and really living the Canadian way. This applies especially to those of us having prior experiences different from the Canadian way of life. Voting in elections, is one good example. Protection of and equal treatment of men & women and gays & lesbians under the law, is another.

Maclean's is a good source for news. Also check your regional and local news media.

CBC Radio One is a particularly good arena for discussions on Canadian current affairs.

It is being continuously improved upon, and there are minor chinks which are in the process of being repaired. We reckon the concept is very good, nevertheless. It is optimised for mobile devices. There are chapters from the official guide, and within each chapter are the different topics. Swipe left or right to toggle between topics. Use the menu to move between webpages.

The site will soon also have question banks and simulation tests, among the many other features.

The matter is from the official guide, mostly verbatim. Any additional matter there-in, is what we call ‘Extra Canadiana.’ This is information NOT from the official guide, but information good to know, as a Canadian.

When Writing The Test:

Use the process of elimination if unsure of the right answer:

Under test conditions feeling stressed is normal. If you’re not sure which one of the three or four options provided is the correct answer, pause and use the process of elimination. Carefully read and understand each option, then eliminate the ones that are incorrect.

Check your answers again and again. And again:

It is likely that you’ll finish answering all the 20 questions in just 10 to 15 minutes; you’re given 30 within which to do so. We’d recommend you use the rest of the time to carefully re-check your answers again and again.

Dedicate the entire 30 minutes to the test:

This 30-minute slot for the test, keep only for the test. You may not be allowed to leave the test room before the 30 minutes are over any way. We realize you’re excited to share the news of how well you did. But, social media can wait another 30 minutes. Re-check your answers instead.

In Conclusion:

Do not only aim to correctly answer all 20 of the 20 questions, aim to learn such that you retain and use that knowledge for life.

And celebrate your writing the citizenship test. Soon, you will also celebrate your becoming a Canadian. And know this: these’ll be the first of many celebrations coming up.

All the best !

And, welcome new Canadian !

Welcome home !

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