What If You Fail the Canadian Citizenship Test?

Taking the citizenship test is a rite of passage for anyone who has met the requirements and applied to become a Canadian. Once you take the test, you will typically be informed of the results instantly or sometimes by mail. If you pass, the IRCC will serve you with a date and time of your oath of the citizenship ceremony. But, what if you fail the Canadian citizenship test? Here is what to do:

Retake the citizenship test

In the past, if you failed the test, you were scheduled automatically for a hearing with the citizenship judge. The judge would then decide your fate. Fortunately, today you are given another chance to retake the test if you flunk the first trial. The second test will generally take place between 4 and 8 weeks after the first one. If you are not available for the set date, you can write to the IRCC to elaborate on your reasons and request a convenient date.

Pinpoint the shortcomings

Fail the Canadian Citizenship TestTo pass the citizenship test, you should answer 15 out of 20 questions correctly. That means if you failed, you were unable to answer 5 questions correctly. So, you can ask the citizenship test officer if they can offer you the answer sheet to assess the questions you flunked. Taking these notes allows you to identify the weak areas and enable you to revisit and improve on these topics before the next test.

Reexamine your guidebook

It is possible that not studying and understanding the guidebook thoroughly could be one of the reasons you failed the test. So, revisit the Discover Canada book and do not skip any crucial details. Join test preparation classes and discussion groups to help you pass the test. Note that the waiting period for the retake is longer than the first test to allow you more time to prepare and compose yourself.

Check out the online practice tests

There have been numerous reports of candidates complaining that the Canadian citizenship test contains hard-to-interpret questions. Therefore, it is essential to practice using online mock tests when preparing for the retest. The Canadian citizenship practice test will familiarize you with the way the questions are likely to be framed. Besides, if time management was the issue, taking the online tests can enhance your capacity to answer the questions before the time elapses. Remember, by practicing more; you will be perfecting your answering techniques.

Avoid distractions

Sometimes, you might fail the test not because you didn’t prepare, but due to distractions such as nervousness, fatigue, or even lack of sleep. Sleep for at least 8 hours before the test- just because you failed on the first trial doesn’t mean you should spend the entire night studying and cramming.

Additional Tip- a common reason attributed to failing the Canadian citizenship test is poor French or English knowledge, particularly in the older demographic. So, ensure that you take the test only after you have enhanced your communication and reading skills, especially if your language skills are below the average rate.

What If You Fail The Second Time?

Even if you fail the second time, you have another opportunity to appear for a hearing with a citizenship officer. During the interview, the officer will:

  • Assess whether you meet all the Canadian citizenship requirements
  • Test your knowledge of Canada and the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen
  • Inquire about your residency in Canada- you might need to produce tax documents, leases documents, or bank statements to confirm that you were physically present in the country during the time indicated on your citizenship application.
  • Assess if you have basic communication skills- you will have to demonstrate adequate knowledge of French or English. You have to prove that you can understand basic spoken statements and communicate basic information.

Bonus point: Check out the Citizenship and Immigration site for any other queries that might be asked or any important updates to this process.

Bottom Line

Flunking the Canadian citizenship test is not the end of the road in regards to you becoming a Canadian citizen. You can always retake the test after your first trial or appear for the oral interview with a citizenship officer in case you fail the second trial. And once you meet the required minimum threshold, you will receive an invitation to appear at the oath of citizenship ceremony and become a Canadian citizen.