Canadian Citizenship Test FAQs and Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Canadian Citizenship test?

To become a citizen of Canada, the Canadian Citizenship test is mandatory as administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Persons applying for this test must meet the eligibility requirements in the areas such as Age, Permanent Resident Status; Time lived in Canada, Language abilities, Criminal history (Prohibitions), Knowledge of Canada and Age.

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have knowledge about Canada including the rights and responsibilities of citizens, Canada’s history and culture, law and political system. The questions in the citizenship test are based on the official study guide known as ‘Discover Canada’.

2. How long does it take to get my Canadian citizenship application?

If you are applying within Canada it takes eight to twelve months from submitting the application to actually getting the applicants citizenship oath.

3. Who has to take the citizenship test?

To become a Canadian citizen, persons with age in between 18 and 54 must take the citizenship test and at the same time they must meet the basic requirements for citizenship.

Citizens who have to retain their Canadian citizenship can also take this citizenship test.

4. When do I need to start preparing for the test?

Preparation time for the test varies from person to person. It is better to start well ahead as some people need a few days while others take a few weeks to prepare for the test. When your application is accepted for processing, you will receive the study guide through mail. Once you receive the official study guide, ‘Discover Canada’ you should begin preparing for the test.

5. After I submitted my citizenship application, how soon can I write the test?

Normally, Processing of your application takes 3-4 months. If you are required to submit your finger prints, then fingerprints clearance will take a little longer.

6. How many questions are there in the Canadian Citizenship Test?

The test contains twenty multiple choice questions.

7. How much time do I have to finish the test?

You must finish the test in 30 minutes.

8. How many questions do I need to answer correctly in order to pass the test?

You need to answer at least 12 questions correctly to pass the test. Moreover, you must correctly answer all questions about the topics including rights and responsibilities of citizens, Canada’s history and culture, law and political system. As the previous two mandatory questions system (about electoral system) has been removed, but applicants still have to obtain a score of 75% or more in order to pass the test.

9. What happens if I pass the test?

The results of the test will not be informed unless you fail it. Once you pass the test you will be asked to attend a ceremony and take the “oath of citizenship”. You will become a citizen of Canada after the ceremony which usually takes place in 1-3 months after your test.

10. How can I prepare for the test?

In order to pass the test, you must read through the official study guide "Discover Canada". The other alternative is to prepare through online sites that provide you with the updated sample questions.

11. If I cannot attend the citizenship test on the test date, what should I do?

If you fail to attend the test on given date, you need to notify CIC to arrange another test date as soon as possible. If you do not attend the test without notifying CIC, another date will be scheduled for an interview with the citizenship judge. If you still miss the second scheduled date then the application is considered as desolate, and the file will be closed.

12. How do I get test information of my local government?

As the information of local government keep changing, the best place to find this information is your local library or at the citizenship test information page of CIC website.

13. What if I fail the test?

• If you fail the test, you have to attend an oral interview with a citizenship judge.
• The judge will ask few questions orally based on the official study guide. Typically this short interview takes 15-30 minutes and you can show that you meet the language and knowledge requirements.

• If you do not pass the interview, you have to start from the beginning and re-apply to take the test again or
• you can appeal to the Federal Court.

14. Does this test evaluate anything?

Yes, this test evaluates your knowledge of Canada and your language abilities.

15. What types of questions they can ask?

Normally the test evaluates the applicants’ knowledge of Canada. The questions will be asked from the official study guide,” Discover Canada” that includes the following:

1. Your knowledge of Canada

You must have knowledge on the rights and responsibilities of a citizen, Canadian social and cultural history, Canadian government – electoral process and practices and Canadian geography.

2. Your language abilities

To determine your language abilities Citizenship and Immigration Canada staff will ask you few questions. Your interaction with CIC staff in either English or French will show if you can speak either English or French well enough to communicate with people. You must be able to communicate and understand simple spoken statements and questions.

16. Will I be called for an interview?

If you meet the basic requirements to become a Canadian citizen you may be called for an interview. The test is usually written, but you may be asked to come to an interview with a citizenship judge. The interview is taken by the citizenship judge to evaluate two things:
1.Your knowledge of Canada
2.Your language abilities

17. What is included?

The official citizenship test study guide contains much more information than the previous one. The test guide gives immigrants a better picture of Canada’s history, culture, law and politics.

The new revised test guide is included with the subjects such as:

• The rights and responsibilities of a citizen

• Canadian social and cultural history - the values and institutions rooted in Canada’s history

• Canadian politics- Freedom, human rights, democracy, and equality of genders

• Canadian geography

• Canada’s native roots take an important place and symbols, dates and facts about Canada are included in the new guide.

18. Is the test written or oral?

Your test may be either written or oral. It is decided based on a number of factors. If persons have trouble reading and writing in English or French, they will have an oral test done through an interview with a citizenship judge.

19. How do I know my test date?

If you meet the basic requirements for citizenship and aged above 18, you will receive a mail, “Notice to Appear to Write a Citizenship Test” or a “Notice to Appear – Hearing with a Citizenship Judge” telling you the complete details of the location, date and time of your test or interview.

You can even check the status of your application by visiting Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) online website or by contacting CIC call centre.

20. Where can I find out more information about the test?

For more information about the test you can visit

21. Can I write the exam on a different date than the date given by the government?

Yes you can. You must notify to CIC office as soon as possible and provide your reason for the change. After notifying another date will be scheduled for an interview with the citizenship judge.

22. Do I have to write the exam?

Yes, all persons applying for citizenship aged above 18 must write the exam. For people with a medical reason need not write the test. If you turn 18 during the process of your citizenship application, you will still be asked to write the exam.

23. What is the failing rate of the Canadian citizenship test?

From March 15, 2010, the Canadian government revised its citizenship test resulting in a new harder test. Accordingly, the benchmark passing grade has been increased from 60 percent to 75 percent. However, failure rate for this new revised test has been up to 30 percent that led to more immigrants failing the 20-question test. According to latest data, the failure rate with this new test is more as compared to a small 4 percent for the old test. So people must answer more questions correctly than before in order to pass the test.