Prepare for the citizenship test

Learn how to prepare for the test and know what happens after you take it.

What you need to know about the citizenship test

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Who has to take the test

You must take the citizenship test if you’re between the ages of 18 and 54 when you apply for citizenship.

About the test

The test shows us what you know about Canada. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:

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

Get ready for the test

Use our official study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, to prepare for your test. We base all test questions on information in Discover Canada. You can start preparing for the test at any time.

To prepare for the test, you can:

Discover Canada is always free.

Get your test date

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

About 4 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 letter mail 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 inviting you to the test
  • Permanent Resident (PR) card
  • 2 pieces of personal identification (ID)
    • one piece of ID must have your photograph and signature, for example: driver’s license or health card
    • foreign ID documents must be government-issued, Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued
    • if they’re not in English or French, you must provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator
  • all the original documents that support your citizenship application, as listed in the document checklist for your citizenship application form
  • all your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form

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.

After the test: Next steps

We will give you the results of your test right after you take it.

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

The ceremony will usually take place within three months after your test. At the ceremony, you will:

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 will send you a notice telling you to come to 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

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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