There are two parts to the test: written part and speaking part.
How to pass the SPEAKING PART OF THE TEST:
You must have language (CLB) level 4 in speaking and listening. On the day of the test, make sure you dress nicely (this is especially important for men – wear a clean shirt). Look respectable.
You will be asked simple questions. For example: “How long have you been in Canada?” “What do you do for a living?” (that means ‘Do you have a job?’ or ‘Do you go to school?’) You may be asked about your family and children. If you travelled in and out of Canada, be prepared to explain why you travelled, when you went and when you came back.
If you passed your reading (multiple choice) test – all 20 questions answered correctly – the speaking/listening test is usually short.
If you only answered 15 questions correctly (that’s minimum), the speaking/listening part for you may be longer and you will need to answer more questions.
If you travelled a lot outside of Canada, the speaking/listening part for you will be longer – you will also need to answer more questions.
The questions are simple but you MUST LISTEN CAREFULLY. Pay attention! Look at the person who is speaking to you – look at their face – and listen. If you don’t understand the first time, it’s okay – you must ask them to REPEAT. This is part of the test: they are checking if you can ask questions. Don’t worry. Just say: “I’m sorry, could you repeat please?”
When you give answers, you must give LONG answers. For example: “Do you have a big family?” In your answer, give more details. Say: “Yes, I have two children. My older son is 15 years old, he is in high school, and my daughter is 5 years old, she is in kindergarten.” Remember: more details – this is how you can show them that you can speak English.
In Canadian culture, it is very important that you make eye contact. When answering questions, you must LOOK THE PERSON IN THE EYE. Making eye contact means you are honest. Smile – in Canadian culture, smile means you are friendly. Remember: make eye contact and have a friendly look on your face. Open and honest communication is important if you want to pass the test.
In Canadian culture, you need to show confidence. Being shy is bad. If you have difficulty making eye contact, practice it before the test. Practice asking for repetition and clarification: “Could you repeat please? Could you say it again? I’m sorry, could you speak slower? I’m sorry, I don’t understand this word, could you explain it?”
If you are taking citizenship test class, you can ask your teacher to practice the speaking part of the test with you.
Should I take citizenship class?
If you have time to attend class, it’s better to do it. Class will give you focus, so you don’t get distracted by any other things, like doing things around the house, answering phone calls or tending to your kids. Class will also give you support – the facilitator (teacher) can point out important information, answer your questions and explain things. Most importantly, you will not be alone but surrounded by people who share the same goal.
If your level of English is not high, and if reading and understanding is not easy, it’s better to take the class.
Invest time into preparing for the test – study the book, take classes and practice online. There are many FREE online practice tests that you can find on different websites. Do the online search yourself or use some of the ones listed below.
Here’s the government site link to the information about the test: who should take the test, what’s on the test and “Discover Canada” book (including read online, download and listen to MP3 version): www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/cit-test.asp
Some Possible Speaking Test Questions:
- How long have you been in Canada?
- How has your life been these past years?
- Do you have any family in Canada?
- What is your current occupation? (Are you a student? Do you have a job?)
- In the past four years, did you travel outside Canada? If yes, where did you go and how long did you stay there?
- Are you planning to look for a / another job in the future? If yes, what kind of job?
Alternative Questions (same meaning)
- When did you come to Canada?
- Do you like your life here in Canada?
- How do you spend your time every day? What do you do?
- Did you visit any countries / your first country in the past 4 years? Why did you go there?
- Do you have any relatives living with you in Canada?
- What are your plans for the future?