Prepare for the citizenship test and interview

What you need to know about the citizenship test

Transcript

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Who has to take the test and go to the interview

Whether you have to take the test or go to the interview depends on your age and application.

Your age and situation Take the test Go to the interview
Adult 18 to 54 years of age Yes Yes
Adult 55 and over No Yes
Minor under 18 with a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same time No No, except in some casesTable footnote *
Minor 14 to 17 without a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same time No Yes
Minor under 14 without a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same time No No, except in some casesTable footnote *

What’s on the test

The test shows us what you know about Canada. We’ll ask you 20 questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:

  • history
  • geography
  • economy
  • government
  • laws
  • symbols

We base the test questions on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. We don’t use the citizenship test to assess your language skills in English or French.

Study for the test

Use our official study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, to study for your test. You can start studying for the test at any time.

The official study guide is always free. The guide is available in multiple formats. You can choose to:

  • read it online
  • listen to the MP3 version
  • download the PDF or eBook
  • order a paper copy of the study guide
Start studying

Get your test and interview date

You may be invited to take the citizenship test within weeks after we send you the acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letter.

About 1 to 2 weeks before the test, we’ll send you a notice with the date, time and location.

If you’re not available on the day of your appointment, send us a message to explain why and get a new date. If you don’t give an explanation or your explanation isn’t reasonable, we may stop processing your application and not grant you citizenship. You can either:

  • email or write to the local office that sent you the notice or
  • use the online web form

Generally, once we receive your e-mail or letter, we’ll schedule your appointment on a different date. We’ll let you know by email if you gave us your email address or mail you a letter if we don’t have your email address.

Only the person taking the test can be in the testing room.

If you have a child, plan to have someone care for them while you take your test. If you can’t arrange child care, reschedule your test date. If you bring a child with you, your child can wait in the area outside the testing room, but must be with a caregiver at all times.

What to bring

When you come for your test, bring:

  • the notice asking you to take the test (“Notice to Appear”)
  • your permanent resident (PR) card (if you had one)
  • 2 pieces of personal identification (ID)
    • 1 piece of ID with your photograph and signature, such as a driver’s licence or health card
    • foreign ID documents must be government-issued (Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued)
    • if not in English or French, provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator
  • all your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form
  • a certificate, diploma, degree or transcript that proves your English or French language skills (if you were 18 to 54 years of age when you signed your application)
  • other documents we may ask for in your “Notice to Appear” letter

Taking the test

The test is:

  • in English or French
  • 30 minutes long
  • 20 questions
  • multiple-choice and true or false questions

You need to get 15 correct answers to pass the test.

Your test is usually written but may be oral. A citizenship official may decide on test day that you will have an oral test instead of a written one. We base the type of test on a number of things. For example, if you have trouble reading and writing in English or French, you’ll have an oral test. An oral test is given by a citizenship official at a hearing.

In some cases, the hearing will take place on the original test date. In most cases, it will take place 4 to 8 weeks after the original test date. If it’s later, we’ll send you a notice with the date, time and location.

Special needs

If you have special needs, and didn’t let us know on your application, contact the office that sent you the notice.

Some examples of specials needs are:

  • wheelchair access
  • sign language interpretation
    • for example, deaf individuals may have a sign language interpreter to help with the assessment of language skills
  • personal assistance
    • for example, you will be accompanied by a care attendant, a seeing eye dog, or a sighted guide
  • materials in accessible formats
    • for example, the study guide is available in large print, audio, and Braille versions

After the test: result, interview and next steps

After the test, you’ll meet with a citizenship official for an interview. During the interview, the citizenship official will:

  • give you the results of your test, if you had one
  • check your language skills, if you’re between 18 and 54 years of age
  • verify your application and original documents
  • ask any questions we may have about your application
  • make sure you meet all the requirements for citizenship

If you pass and meet the other requirements for citizenship, we may:

  • give you a ceremony date at the same time we give you the test results or
  • email or send you a letter with the date and time of your ceremony

What happens if you don’t pass your first test

If you don’t pass your first written test, but meet the other requirements for citizenship, we will schedule you for a second test. The second test usually takes place 4 to 8 weeks after the first test, but it may be longer.

If you don’t pass your second test, we’ll send you a notice telling you to attend a hearing with a citizenship official. The hearing:

  • will last 30 to 90 minutes
  • may be in person or by videoconference
  • may be used to assess one or more requirements for citizenship, for example:
    • knowledge of Canada
    • language

If you don’t pass the test after 3 tries, we’ll refuse your application. You can re-apply to try again.

When you apply with your family, we process all applications together. If you have to re-write the test or go to a hearing, your family may be invited to a ceremony before you. If you want us to continue processing all the applications together, ask us to pause your family’s applications. We’ll wait until you meet all the requirements so the whole family is invited to the same citizenship ceremony and can become citizens at the same time.

Learn more: What happens to my family’s applications for citizenship if there is a problem with one of our applications?

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