Format and Structure of Canadian Citizenship Test

Back to Canadian Citizenship Test Guide

Last Update: February 21, 2017

What is the Citizenship Test?

This test, administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), is required for all applicants for Canadian citizenship who are aged between 14 and 64 and who meet the basic requirements for citizenship It is conducted at fixed physical locations for different regions. These locations very rarely change. You should have already received the information about your test location inside your "Discover Canada" package.
Test is available in either of two official languages, English or French. There are 20 questions and you will have time limit of 30 minutes to complete the test. All the questions are from "Discover Canada (The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship)" book. Yes, that is the same book that you have already received in mail.

Prepare for Canadian Citizenship Test

We recommend that you read the book thoroughly. Prepare yourself by going through our 500 question(s) and Practice test(s). After you have prepared make sure you take out Timed and scored Simulated Test as many time as possible to get an idea of how you will fare in the actual test environment. 20 Questions are randomly picked from 500 questions that are created from "Discover Canada (The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship)" book.

The Canadian citizenship test is intended to measure two things:
  • How well you can understand one of Canada's official languages (English or French) and
  • Your knowledge about the country.

Requirement for Passing

To pass the exam you must get 15 correct out of the 20 (75%). The test contains question on different aspects of Canadian Culture as explained by division of test in sections below.

If you have any questions or are confused about something about the citizenship test, you can always check our Frequently Asked Questions (Coming Soon). Practice for Citizenship Test
(500 + Qustions, multiple quizzes).

Structure of Test

Here are the sections.
  • Rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen - (e.g. "Name three legal rights protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.")
  • Canadian history - (e.g. "Who were the United Empire Loyalists?")
  • Canadian political systems - (e.g. "How are members of Parliament chosen?")
  • Canadian physical and political geography - (e.g. "Where are the Parliament buildings located?")
  • Questions specific to applicants province - (e.g. "Who is the premier of your province or territory?").

Failure Rate

Before the revision of Test 2010, the failure rate was 4% of 145,000 tests. (Figure calculated in 2008).

After NEW Test was introduced in March 15, 2010 the failure rate increase to staggering 30%. Later on, a reworked version of the test introduced on October 14, 2010 brought the national failure rate down to around 20%, but the rate was still significantly higher than that of the old test.

What happens after I pass?

If an applicant answers 15 question correctly and the judge deems him eligible for granting the citizenship. He will either be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony within six months or receive a residency questionnaire requesting further evidence of living in Canada.

If the English or French language requirement is in doubt for the applicant then a hearing with a Citizenship judge is scheduled.

The applicant is required to swear or affirm an oath and will be presented with a Citizenship Certificate.

What happens after I Fail?

A second time is scheduled for the individual to retake the exam. Failing to pass the second test as well will mean that you will be required to appear in front of Citizenship Judge for 15-20 min. He will ask you some multiple choice or true/false questions. In order for him to grant you citizenship he will need to make sure that you demonstrated the necessary knowledge to be granted citizenship. According to a report released by TorontoStar, In 2008, approximately 20% of the interviewees were refused citizenship.