The Citizenship Test

Canadian Citizenship Test Information

canadian citizenship test

Image credit to rdcezar at flickr

If you have met the basic requirements for citizenship, and you are between the ages of 18 and 54, then you are required to take the Canadian citizenship test.  After applying, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will notify you that they have received your citizenship application, and that they have begun processing.  They will send a copy of the study guide for you to carefully read.  It is also available here.  You will be tested on the information.

A notice will be sent to you that will indicate the time and date for your test.

When you attend the test, you will need to bring all the original documents of which you had provided photocopies with your application (such as personal identification and immigration documents), as well your passport or any travel documents that pertain to the four years prior to filling out your application.

The test is typically written, but it is possible to be called in for an interview with a citizenship judge.  Whether it is an oral or written test is decided based on details in your application.  For instance, you would be called in for an oral test if you had difficulty reading or writing in either English or French.

The Canadian citizenship test evaluates you on two areas:

1. Your knowledge of Canada

Some topics that the test will cover are:

  • the right to run for elected office
  • the right to vote
  • election procedures
  • a citizen’s rights and responsibilities
  • social and cultural history and symbols of Canada
  • the political history of Canada (including the political system and institutions)
  • the physical and political geography of Canada

2.  Your language abilities

Both the citizenship knowledge test and your interaction with CIC staff will determine if you are adequately capable to communicate in either French or English.  Your ability to comprehend basic spoken sentences and questions, and your ability to respond and communicate basic information will be assessed.

While interacting with staff or a citizenship judge, or on your written test, you should be able to:

  • respond to simple questions on familiar topics, speaking in short sentences
  • indicate that you have a vocabulary of basic everyday communication
  • tell a simple story about everyday activities
  • relate a past experience or speak of a future activity
  • provide simple everyday instructions and directions
  • express content or discontent

If you are successful in passing the test, and the citizenship judge finds that all the other requirements for citizenship are met, then you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony.  At the ceremony, you will take the oath of citizenship and you will obtain a Canadian citizenship certificate.

If you are unsuccessful in passing the written test, you will need to appear for a 30-90 minute interview with a citizenship judge.  It will be an oral test that will allow you another chance to show that you meet the citizenship requirements (like knowledge of Canada and command of either English or French).

It can be intimidating to communicate in a new language, especially when your skills are being scrutinized during the Canadian citizenship test.

In order to feel confident when speaking or writing English, there are experienced instructors of English as a Second Language that can help you become comfortable.


Looking for English as Second Language classes? Just fill out your information below and we'll send you a list of all the classes in your neighbourhood.

Once you have taken the Canadian citizenship test, you can just look forward to celebrating at the citizenship ceremony!

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