Taking your citizenship test? 5 tips to ace it

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Letter to appear to write the test

  1. Did you receive a letter asking you to write the citizenship test?
  2. The notice will say:
    • The date and time of the exam.
    • Where you will take the exam.
    • What you need to bring.
    • What to do if you cannot make it to that date and time.
  3. Let IRCC know if you need any accommodations to take the test. For example:
    • wheelchair access.
    • Braille or large print format of the exam.

What the exam will be like:

  1. The test questions will be about:
    • Your rights, freedoms and responsibilities
    • Canada’s history
    • Form of government
    • Politics and political history
    • Social and cultural history
    • Symbols
  2. On the exam day:
    • Wait in a room with other applicants.
    • Enter the exam room when the proctor asks you.
    • Don’t sit next to your family members.
    • Listen to the proctor. Follow their instructions.
  3. The test:
    • It has 20 questions.
    • It will be multiple choice type.
    • You will answer questions in 30 minutes.
    • Answer at least 15 questions correctly to pass.
  4. If you pass:
    • You will be called for a short interview.
    • The citizenship officer will:
      • check your identity.
      • check your documents.
      • ask questions to check your language.
      • tell you about the oath taking ceremony.
    • They will mail the invitation to the oath-taking ceremony. It will be 4-6 months after the exam.
  5. If your score is lower than 15:
    • Take the test again in three to four weeks.
    • Your schedule will be mailed.
    • If you don’t pass the second test:
      • You will be invited for an interview with a citizenship officer.
      • The interview will take 30-90 minutes.
      • It will test your knowledge about Canada.
      • Show that you can speak English or French.

5 tips to prepare for the exam and pass:

  1. Study ahead of time.

    • Do not cram.
    • You will be stressed if you study late.
  2. Read and understand Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

    • It is the only official study guide.
    • This guide is free. You can:
    • All the answers to the test are in this guide.
    • It has 63 pages. It is well-written, simple to understand and has many beautiful photos and illustrations.
    • It is easy to read again and again.
  3. Enroll in a class

    • Go to a review class.
    • Ask questions and discuss points with your teacher or classmates.
    • It will help you understand and remember the details.
    • Immigrant Centre offers free citizenship classes.
      • It is for language benchmark 4 or higher.
      • They are held once a week (2 hours) for six weeks.
  4. Start your own review class

  5. Try online tests

Before you go:

  1. Review your notice. Check the date and time.
  2. Know the venue. If you don’t know it:
    • Check Google Maps
    • Ask a friend
    • Check Navigo.
  3. Gather your documents.
    • Check the instructions on the letter.
    • Bring photocopies.
    • Bring the letter.
  4. Get child care for your young children. They will not be allowed inside the testing/interview room.
  5. Ask for a day off from work. The test takes only 30 minutes but processing and interview can take time. You have to wait if there are a lot of examinees.

During the test:

  1. Don’t be late!
  2. Come 15-30 minutes early.
  3. You will not be allowed to take the test if you are late.
  4. You will have to wait 2-3 weeks for the next exam.
  5. Call the local IRCC office if you have an emergency. Call within 30 days and give a reasonable explanation.
  6. Read and understand each question.
  7. You have a minute and a half to answer each one.
  8. Don’t stay on a hard question for a long time. Move on to the next.
  9. Go back to the question you missed when you are done with all the questions.
  10. Check if you answered all the questions before submitting your paper.


Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Retrieved May 11, 2018.

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