Australian Citizenship Test Essentials - Everything You Need To Know
Becoming an Australian Citizen
Are you thinking of becoming an Australian citizen? Are you ready to live, work and invest in the Outback?Australian Citizenship offers lots of rewards for those who seek permanent residency in Australia. First, you get to meet and live among people drawn from different countries and races from around the world. Second, you become part of a unified, liberated and democratic society. Last, the most valuable part of becoming an Australian citizen is committing to the values of the country and its people.
One of the requirements of becoming an Australian citizen is taking the Australian Citizenship test. The test will assess your knowledge of Australia. That includes its geography, beliefs, laws, government and its people, among others. You will also be tested on the privileges and responsibilities of an Australian citizen.
Want to know more about the Australian Citizenship Test?
In this post, we discuss what the Australian Citizenship test is, the requirements, eligibility and about the test. We also cover the failure rate, how to get ready, taking the test and the next step(s) after taking the test.
What Is the Australian Citizenship Test?
The Australian Citizenship Test is a quiz that tests your knowledge about Australia. The test will assess your understanding of the government and the law in Australia. It will also evaluate you on Australia’s democratic beliefs, liberties and rights as well as its people and geography. Apart from the topics above, the exam will also assess your basic knowledge of the English language.
The test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. As a computer-based test, the questions are randomly drawn from a database. The database has 200 confidential questions, and applicants have 45 minutes to complete the test.
Examples of questions available in the test include:
- What is Australia’s national floral emblem?
- What is a Bill?
- What day of the year is Australia Day?
- What is the first line of Australia’s national anthem?
- How are Australian Members of Parliament chosen?
What you need to know is that the questions are drawn from the official guide called “Our common bond” published by the Department of Home Affairs. To pass the test, you must achieve a 75% score. Once you pass the test, you will demonstrate your understanding and commitment to the Australian Citizenship Pledge.
Australian Citizenship Test Requirements
To become an Australian citizen, you must submit a completed application form. You are also required to pay the applicable fee. Once you have submitted the application form, the Department of Immigration will contact you.
If your application is successful, you will be invited for an interview followed by the computer-based Australian Citizenship test. Before taking the Australian Citizenship test, there are specific requirements you must meet:
- You must be 16 years of age and over
- Applicants between 18 years and 59 years at the time of application must sit for the test.
- You must be an Australian permanent resident.
- You must have lived in Australia for four years. That includes 12 months as a permanent resident.
- You must be of good character.
- You must have adequate knowledge of your privileges and responsibilities as a citizen.
- Children included in the application do not need to take the test.
It is important to note that, if you have children, arrange for someone you trust to look after them as you take the exam. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia does not offer childcare facilities at its various centres.
Before sitting the Australian Citizenship test, officials from the Department of Immigration will:
- Confirm your identity
- Check your original documents.
- Confirm that you fulfil the requirements above and are eligible for the test
For applicants aged 16 to 17 years old, the officials will:
- Identify and check your original documents
- Check if you have a basic knowledge of English.
- Check if you understand the meaning and commitment of becoming an Australian citizen.
- Check that you understand the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship.
Who Is Not Eligible to Sit for the Test?
In 2017, the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, introduced a revised Citizenship Bill in parliament. The bill contained proposed changes for those seeking permanent residency in Australia. Some of the changes include:
- Strengthening the test for Australian citizenship – this was to be accomplished through the addition of new test questions about responsibilities and privileges of Australian Citizenship as well as Australian values
- Australian Values Statement in citizenship and visa applications to include a reference to allegiance to Australia. All applicants must commit to integrate and contribute to the Australian community.
- Increase of the general residency requirement – applicants for Australian citizenship need to demonstrate a minimum of four years as a permanent resident before the application.
Please be informed that there are no additional fees involved with taking the test because it is part of the application process. And, after applying for citizenship, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is tasked with informing you of the date and location of the test.
If you are applying for Australian citizenship, you do not need to take the test if:
- You are 18 years and under at the time of applying for citizenship
- You are 60 years and over at the time of applying for citizenship.
- You were born to a former Australian citizen. For example, the former Australian citizen lost his or her citizenship because they became citizens of another country.
- You have a permanent loss of speech, sight and hearing or substantial impairment.
- You have an enduring or permanent loss of physical or mental incapacity.
- You were stateless when born in Australia and are not entitled to another country’s citizenship.
- You were born in Papua before 16th September 1975 to Australian born parents.
- Show that you have a basic knowledge of English
- Show that you have adequate experience of Australia.
- Show that you understand the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship.
- Show you understand the nature of your application.
Location and Time
After submitting your application, officials at the Department of Immigration in Australia will assess your application. If you are eligible and meet all the requirements, you will receive a confirmation letter in your mailbox.
The letter will contain the time, date and place of your appointment. What you need to know is that the time you apply to your appointment date varies. To reschedule your appointment, follow the instructions available in the confirmation letter.
If you are eligible to sit for the computer-based Australian Citizenship test, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will organize for you to take the test. Remember, to take the test, the officials must verify your identity. So, take all your original documents with you on the appointed day.
What you need to know is that the appointments are held:
- At the department offices located in various Australian cities
- At the Department of Home Affairs offices in regional locations
To find the nearest test centre in Australia, use this location finder.
If you are currently living outside Australia
If you are currently living outside Australia, and you applied for Australian citizenship, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will organize for you to take the test:
- At an Australian Government embassy
- At an Australian High Commission
- At an Australian Consulate
- At a multilateral mission
- At an Australian Representative office
Remember, the Australian Government Department of Immigration does not charge a separate fee for the citizenship test or appointment. The citizenship application fee covers the cost.
How to Prepare for the Australian Citizenship Test
Preparing for the Australian Citizenship test increases your chances of scoring more than 75%. The following tips will help you prepare and pass the Australian Citizenship test.
Prepare For Australian Citizenship Test – Read Our Common Bond
The best resource to assist you before taking the Australian Citizenship Test is Our Common Bond. The resource book is available in English and 37 community languages. They include:
Russian and many more.
Our Common Bond English version is available for download. What you need to know is that you are not required to buy the document. You are also not required to obtain other citizenship packages from third-party sources such as individuals or organizations.
Our Common Bond – Chapters
The resource book (Our Common Bond) has the following chapters:
– Australia and its People
– Australia’s democratic beliefs, right and liberties
– Government and the law in Australia
These are under the testable section.
You also have more chapters under the non-testable sections. They include:
– Australia Today
– Our Australian Story
After the testable section, you have 20 practice questions. These questions will help you prepare for the Australian Citizenship test. The document also has the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Once you pass the test, you will attend your Australian citizenship ceremony.
At the ceremony, you will make a public commitment to Australia by taking the Pledge. This is the Pledge you will make:
“From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
It is essential to read Our Common Bond to gain a full understanding of the meaning behind the Pledge.
Take the Practice Test
Our Common Bond has 20 practice questions to help you prepare for the Australian Citizenship Test. You also have an online citizenship practice test hosted by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. This is a multiple-choice test and offers a glimpse into the real test.
Here is a sample question and the answers:
Question – What do we remember on Anzac Day?
- The arrival of the first free settlers from Great Britain
- The landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove
- The landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli, Turkey
If you have familiarized yourself with Our Common Bond, then the answer to the question above is easy. Don’t know the answer? The answer to the question above is “The landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli, Turkey.”
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in New Zealand and Australia. Initially, it was to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign. This was during the first engagement in the First World War.
Observed on 25th April of every year, the day also commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all peacekeeping operations and wars.
Watch the Citizenship Test Video
The Citizen Test video is a DVD of Our Common Bond. It contains all the information you need to pass your citizenship test. The DVD presents the most vital parts of the testable section from the resource book – Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond.
The DVD has three parts. They are:
- Part One – Australia and its people
- Part Two – Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties
- Part Three – Government and the law in Australia
After Part Three, you have the practice questions and answers.
Part One video is 8 minutes and 58 seconds long; Part Two video is 6 minutes and 37 seconds while Part Three video is 5 minutes and 2 seconds.
Australian Citizenship Test Day – What Happens?
You must arrive on time before your Australian Citizenship test. We recommend arriving 15 minutes or 30 minutes early at the centre. This will allow you to compose yourself in readiness for the exam. At the test centre, a staff member will:
- Verify your identity
- Check your original documents.
- Confirm you are eligible to take the test
- Interview you
- Take your photo
If everything checks out, proceed to the exam room. What you need to remember is that children are not allowed in the test centre. It is essential to make plans for childcare with someone you trust.
At the test centre, you will use a computer for the test. If you are unable to read the computer screen or use the mouse, inform a staff member. Remember, you need to follow the test rules. Do not bring any test resource material into the testing centre.
Also, place your personal materials under the desk as you take the test.
Citizenship Test Rules
There are a couple of rules you must follow while in the test centre.
- Turn off your mobile phone and place it in your bag under the desk.
- Do not use any paper, books or materials to help you in the test.
- Do not talk to other applicants while taking the test.
- Do not copy answers from other applicants.
- If you need help, raise your hand, and a staff member will come to your aid.
- You must complete the test within 45 minutes.
- You cannot bring another individual into the test centre to help you with your test.
- If you have low computer skills, a member of the staff will assist you.
- If you do not follow the rules above and more, you will be asked to leave the test centre.
After Your Australian Citizenship Test
At the end of the test, your results will show on the computer screen. To pass the Australian Citizenship test, you must have a score of 75% and over. That means you need to answer 15 questions or more correctly out of 20 questions.
Your test results will be automatically recorded on your citizenship application. After you exit the test room, a staff member will hand you all your documents. You will have to wait for the outcome of your citizenship application.
If you meet all the requirements, you will receive an Approval Letter. The letter will inform you of the approval of your application. This is not the only letter you will receive. Another letter – Letter of Invitation – with the time, date and location of the citizenship ceremony will arrive.
This letter arrives six months after the approval of your citizenship application. It’s essential to attend the citizenship ceremony. Why? Because you will not become an Australian citizen until you take the Australian Citizenship Pledge.
The following are reasons why the Immigration Department may offer an exception to attend the citizenship ceremony:
- You have a physical or permanent cognitive impairment
- You were born in Papua.
- You are 15 years and under
- You are re-instituting your Australian citizenship.
What Happens If You Fail The Test?
If you fail the test, you have the chance of taking another one. The staff can arrange for another test on the same day. Alternatively, you can book for a later date to enable you to study and prepare for the citizenship test.
As of 1st July 2018, the new rules stipulate that after three citizenship test failures, the applicant must wait for two years to re-take the test. What you need to know is that there is no additional fee for re-taking the test.
Remember, failing the test will not affect your permanent visa. It also does not stop you from living in Australia.
Best of luck!