Canadian Citizenship Test: Personal Experiences and Practical Tips

February 22, 2011 | Iana

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Recently, two of my girlfriends proudly became Canadian citizens. I interviewed them about their experiences taking the citizenship test. Thank you I.K. and A.D. for sharing your thoughts with us and congratulations!


Discover Canada book cover

Q: How long after you applied did you get your letter inviting you to take the test?

A: The letter for the citizenship test arrived 6 to 12 months after we submitted our application.


Q: Did you use the official study guide Discover Canada? How did you find it - difficult, easy?

I absolutely used it. The booklet felt just right and sometimes even difficult. All the answers are there, but you don't really know what to focus on for the test, you don't know what the exact questions will be. That's why I would advise people to study well for the test. There were lots of dates to memorize. I appreciated the illustrations in the book.

(Iana's notes: There are copies of the study guide you can borrow from the library and there is also a free downloadable copy online as well as an audio copy that you can listen to.)

Q: What other resources did you use to prepare for the test?

A: I used some online practice tests that I found. There was one online sample test from Toronto Public Library. I also did some research to find out the names of my political representatives. On the website of Elections Canada you can enter your postal code and get the name of your MP. You can find the name of your provincial MPP in the same way by using the postal code search on the Elections Ontario website.

(Iana's notes: Each library branch in Toronto keeps a Citizenship binder with materials for the test and you can ask the librarian to use that binder. It includes an updated list of elected officials.

There are two more practice tests that you can complete online in the Learning Express database. Just type "Learning Express" on our library's website and it will come up. Then login with your library card.

Visit the library's Recommended Websites section to check out useful links related to the citizenship test.)

Q: On the day of the test - how long did it take you to go through the procedure and the test?

A: Be prepared to spend a lot of time - altogether the whole procedure took us some 3-4 hours. If you work - take at least half a day off. The actual test time is only 30 minutes and we completed it in 10-15 minutes. But before the test starts, the facilitators need to carefully check each person's documents so that took about 2.5 hours. I wish they could speed up that procedure for the future.

Q: How many questions were there?

A: It is a multiple-choice test with twenty questions. They cover your rights and responsibilites as a citizen, Canadian government, history, symbols, geography, elections and voting procedures.

Q: Was there anything about the test that surprised you?

A: I studied hard, but still 2-3 of the questions were totally new to me. I was quite surprised. There is a lot a material to cover, it is not a joke.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who will be taking the test?

Study and be prepared. For the day of the test - try not to plan important appointments for after the test. You don't know exactly when you will finish. Bring snacks with you and expect a long wait. If you have small kids - I would advise people to arrange babysitting for them, because it is not convenient for kids to wait for such a long time. As a busy mom, I actually enjoyed the time with my husband, we went for a coffee after the test! :-)

Q: What happened after the test? How did you find out that you passed?

A: I asked the facilitators and I was told that I will receive a letter by mail and that if I have passed, the letter will be green! The letter came between two and five weeks later. There was a date for a citizenship ceremony to attend soon and a list of the documents we should bring.

(Iana's notes: There are other blog posts on Citizenship on the New to Canada blog.)


For more information on the citizenship test, read the information provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


Good luck to everyone who will be taking the citizenship test!


Discover Canada book cover