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Prepare and practise: How to get ready for the Canadian citizenship test

By Russul Sahib

Posted on February 22, 2021

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Receiving Canadian citizenship is one of the most important accomplishments for many newcomers. After years of patiently waiting and endless hours of preparation and study, many newcomers are relieved when they finally pass their citizenship test.

Newcomers may not know what questions to expect on their citizenship test, making it difficult to prepare for. Test-takers are asked 20 questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians as well as broader topics about Canada’s history, geography, government, law, and more. The test takes about 30 minutes to complete and includes a combination of multiple-choice and true-or-false questions. To pass the test, newcomers must answer 15 of the questions correctly.

To help newcomers prepare, the government of Canada provides a free study guide for newcomers which can be read online, downloaded as a PDF, and even listened to. There are also online practice citizenship tests offered at various libraries, such as the Toronto Public Library, that allow newcomers to become familiar with the types of questions that they might see on the real test. Another great way for newcomers to get ready for the test is to register for a citizenship test class. These are free classes offered by various organizations or school boards that help newcomers better prepare for the test.

Brunella Trinca is the principal of adult and continuing education of the Dufferin-Catholic school board, which offers practice citizenship classes. She said that many newcomers face challenges when it comes to understanding the specific vocabulary needed to do well in the citizenship test as well as working on their test-taking skills. While many newcomers are nervous when getting ready for the test, Trinca explained that the more they prepare, the more likely they are to be successful.

“Many newcomers preparing for the Canadian citizenship test often experience anxiety. They all want to succeed in getting their Canadian citizenship. Practising as many citizenship tests as possible gives them more confidence during their real test,” she said in an email response.

While becoming familiar with the test format is an important part of getting ready for the exam, newcomers are also advised to avoid leaving their studies to the last minute, especially since much of the material will be new to many newcomers.

“It is advisable that newcomers start preparing for a Canadian citizenship test as early as possible,” Trinca said.

While practising for the citizenship test is key, it is also essential that newcomers take the time to mentally prepare for the test day and relax. If you find that you are thinking too much about the test before taking it, try to stay busy with other hobbies that can help take your mind off the issue. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also talk to a family member or friend about any overwhelming feelings you may have. Talking to someone often makes you feel better and helps you see that the problem in your head is not as big as it seems. Try not to enter the test room with the idea that you are bound to fail the test. Just remember that you have done your very best to prepare, and if, for some reason, you must re-take the test, you will able to do so.

Once you have passed the citizenship test, you can get excited about your upcoming citizenship ceremony! The citizenship ceremony will usually take place within three months of having passed your test. At the ceremony, newcomers will read the “Oath of Citizenship,” sign the Oath of Citizenship form, sing “O’Canada,” as well as finally receive their citizenship certificate!

Congratulations, you are now officially a Canadian citizen!

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