Tips for your Canada Citizenship Interview and Test:
1. Pretty obvious - But practice, practice, practice... You can never do enough practice tests. Do so many that when you close your eyes at night, all you see are practice tests.
2. Never assume that a name, date or occasion is too trivial or small to have to learn. Yes there will be some very easy and obvious questions, but likewise they also like to throw in uncommon questions as well. Remember, if it is in the Discover Canada study guide, then they can ask you a question on it!
3. Read the Discover Canada study guide from cover to cover - at least 3 times. The whole test is based entirely on the contents of this book. If it's not in the book, then it won't be asked.
4. Learn and get used to the format and language of the questions. Learn the methods that like to be used to ensure that you know your stuff! Here is an example question of what we mean...
Which territory borders another Country?
a. British Columbia - Yes, borders the USA - BUT is a Province not a territory!
b. P.E.I. - No.
c. Newfoundland and Labrador - No.
d. The Yukon - Borders the USA AND is a Territory. This is the correct answer, but you could easily have said a. if rushing or not thinking clearly.
5. Always read the COMPLETE question and answers. In fact, read it twice. Just because the first answer you read is right, does not mean that it is the right answer! In practicing for our own tests, this caught us quite often. Here is an example of exactly what we mean...
Which is a responsibility of Federal Government?
a. Defence - YES it is. But carry on reading....
b. Currency - YES, so is this one!
c. Environment - YES, this one too.
d. All of the above - CORRECT ANSWER!
6. Learn key dates and people that you can use to reference against. This will help you answer a question that you might not think you know the answer to. e.g.
In what year did Queen Elizabeth II first visit Canada as Queen?
If you have no idea which year is the correct answer, but you know that Her Majesty only became Queen in 1952, you can deduce that the only correct, possible answer is d.
So even if you get a question that you just don't know the answer to, do not panic. Try and work out logically what the answer could be. There's a good chance that you will be right.
7. Take note of all the photos and wording that appear on the sides and bottoms of the Discover Canada pages. Often the photo and the caption are the only reference to a subject you will find and they often come up in the actual test. e.g. Discover Canada page 27. Right hand side. This is the only reference to who discovered insulin, and is a popular test question. It can easily be missed when reading the guide.
8. When answering any question always look out for key words to help you decide your answers. eg. Is the question asking about Federal, Provincial or Municipal level? Is the question specifically asking about Provinces or Territories? Is the question asking about the House of Commons or the Senate? About the Canadian anthem or the Royal Anthem? Etc.....
9. When trying to remember dates or numbers try and associate them with something related to you e.g. "My date of birth is 1965 and that's when the new flag flew for the first time and Ontario & Quebec devised their pension plans". Even make up silly connections that will make you remember. E.g. "My spouse thinks his/her I.Q. is 308 and that's how many electoral districts there are". It works!
10. After the test, one of the main reasons for the citizenship interview is to check your documents for proof of time spent in Canada. They do this by checking the "in and out" stamps of your passport. Canada does not record when you leave and If like me you travel on a passport that often doesn't get stamped at the destination, be prepared to show proof of your travel in the form of boarding passes, etc. This came as quite a shock to me. Suddenly after passing my test, at the citizenship interview I was asked to prove my travel for the last 6 years!!!! This was the absolute first time I was ever asked to prove such information. How many people keep boarding passes from the last 6 years? Thankfully Air Canada were very helpful. In Canada when you pay for an air ticket with a credit card, the ticket number is printed on your statement. Give this to the airline and they can provide you with ticket copies. Phew!!!
11. Relax and try to enjoy the process. The citizenship interview is not like a job interview. They are just wanting to make sure you have complied with the requirements they have to grant you citizenship. Be friendly, open and honest and everything will be fine.
Please feel free to add your tips and hints in our forum page!