Taking the Canadian Citizenship Test

I applied for Canadian Citizenship early last year and was invited to complete the Canadian Citizenship test in December. 

You can check out my Canadian Citizenship application process and timelines here for more on that. 

I’ve received a couple of queries about the Canadian Citizenship test and what kind of questions are on it so I decided to put together this quick breakdown.


What is Canadian Citizenship Test?

The Canadian Citizenship Test is a test administered by IRCC for applicants for Canadian citizenship between the ages of 18 – 54. After 55, you don’t need to take a test. 

In order to be invited to take the test, you have to meet the basic requirements for citizenship such as residency obligation, filing taxes, etc. 

The test used to be written but since the pandemic started, the test has been moved online. 

You can still request to take the Canadian citizenship test on paper but that will probably take forever so not a good idea. The test covers:-

  • The rights and responsibilities of Canadians
  • Canadian history
  • Canadian geography
  • Canadian economy
  • Canadian government
  • Canadian laws 
  • Canadian symbols

My Canadian Citizenship Test

I received the invitation about 2 weeks before my test with instructions on how to access the test and I had a 1-month window in which to take the test on any day or time I wish.

On my test date, I logged onto the test portal, accepted the terms and conditions, took a picture of myself and my ID then started the test.

There were 20 questions and 30 minutes to complete the test. It didn’t take very long to complete and I went back to review the questions before submitting the answers.

After submitting the answers, I scored 19/20 and received confirmation that I’d passed the test and results would be verified by an IRCC official. I also received the confirmation by email. 

Is the Canadian Citizenship Test Hard?

The Canadian citizenship test is hard if you don’t study for it as you won’t be able to answer the questions unless you guess. 

If you go through the official study guide and try some practice tests, you will definitely pass the test. 

The passing mark for the Canadian citizenship test is 15/20 and it can be taken in English or French. 

Canadian Citizenship Practice Tests

There are a lot of Canadian citizenship practice tests available online including paid ones but I don’t think you need to pay to practice the test. 

I tried out the following free Canadian citizenship practice tests multiple times until I scored 100% on both fronts:-

Between all these free resources, you will be OK. The way the questions are designed, you can’t fail as long as you read the study guide and do some practice tests.

Canadian Citizenship Study Guide 

The study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, is the official manual provided by the IRCC to prepare for the test.

The study guide is free and you can order a hard copy, download the audio, or the PDF version.

I ordered the hard copy as I wanted one for my library. The study guide isn’t just for preparing for the test.

I learned a LOT about Canadian history from the study guide and appreciated such important information in one place. 


What Questions are on the Canadian Citizenship Test?

You agree to terms and conditions stating you cannot discuss the test questions or share them before taking the test so I can’t actually tell you what the questions are.

However, I can say that the questions all come from the study guide. You won’t find a question that’s strange to you if you go through the study guide. 

And the guide is only 55 pages long. It took me less than an hour to get through it. 

How Many Test Attempts?

You have only one attempt to take the test. If you fail, you can reschedule to take it again. It can take 4 – 8 weeks to reschedule, or even longer in some cases.

If you fail it a second time, you’ll have to attend a hearing with a citizenship official. 

If you fail the hearing, your application will be refused and you’ll have to re-apply again. Once again, just go through the study guide and you can’t fail the test. 


6 Tips for Passing the Canadian Citizenship Test

  1. The number 1 tip is to go through the official study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
  2. Try out the free practice tests as many times as it takes for you to get comfortable with them before taking the official citizenship test.
  3. Don’t try to cram the study guide. It won’t work. Instead, study ahead of time. I’d say two weeks of study and taking practice tests should suffice.
  4. Read the questions carefully before you answer. Don’t rush to answer because quite a few questions are structured in a way that makes it look like the obvious answer is the right one when it’s actually wrong. If unsure, mark the question for review later on before you submit the test. 
  5. Don’t ignore the images with notes in the study guide. Those come up in the questions too. 
  6. Relax and don’t rush to answer. 30 minutes might not seem like a lot but it’s enough time to answer and review the questions. I had 10 minutes to spare when I submitted it. 

Beware of the Canadian Citizenship Test Scam

So, a few days after I took the test and before my applicant profile was updated with the results, I received an email saying I didn’t complete the test and that I had to sign back in and complete it.

There was a link in the email and a copy of my ID would be required to finish the test. 

I found this very strange since I received confirmation I’d passed the test already. The scary thing is the email looked exactly like an email that would come from IRCC.

However, the email address was off. I ignored the email and my online profile was updated the next day with “test passed.”

How a scammer knew to send this email just after I took the test remains a mystery to me but be aware of this scam.

Always check the email address. Emails from IRCC end in @cic.gc.ca. And if you’re unsure about the source of the email, always call. 

And that’s about it regarding the Canadian citizenship test. If you have any additional questions, drop them in the comments section.

I’m currently waiting on an invitation to take the Oath of Citizenship. Quite a journey it’s being…

Abi has lived and worked abroad for over 13 years. She loves traveling, reading, and writing. She is a big believer in following your dreams and has been marching to the beat of her unconventional drums for a long time. She funds her adventures by making smart financial decisions and investing wisely. Her top personal finance tools include trading with Questrade, investing change on MOKA, and no-fee banking with Tangerine and Neo Financial. Learn more about Abi HERE.

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