What If You Fail the Australian Citizenship Test?
As part of the application process of becoming an Australian citizen, you will have to pass an interview and a citizenship test. The test evaluates applicants who meet the basic requirements for Australian citizenship. Before you can take the test, you should be a permanent resident of Australia and applied for Australian citizenship. The test was introduced in 2007 with subsequent amendments in 2009 to its current form.
The Australian citizenship test assesses the applicants’ sufficient knowledge of the country, responsibilities of a citizen, and basic knowledge of the English language. Applicants should have a deep understanding of the people, geography, beliefs and values, traditions, symbols, government and laws, and much more. It is computer-based, done in English and you will have to answer 20 questions in 45 minutes.
The test is in the form of multiple questions, meaning that you should choose an answer out of three possible answers. There are true/false questions, as well. To pass the test, applicants should score more than 75 percent, implying that you should answer at least 15 questions correctly. Overall, the test is based on the book, Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond.
Qualifications to Take the Test
In order to sit for the test, you should;
- Have made an application for Australian citizenship
- Be a permanent Australian resident
- Show proof of identity
- Provide a clear photograph or allow the officers to take one
Note that not everyone can take the test. Those exempted from taking the test include;
- People under 18 years and older than 60 years
- Individuals with substantial cognitive and physical disabilities that prevent them from taking the test
- Those who one of their parents are former Australian citizens
- Those born in Papua before 16th September 1975 and one of their parents is an Australian citizen born in Australia
- Stateless people born in Australia
What to Do During the Test
Once you have applied for the test, the immigration department will send you an email or letter, depending on your communication method, with the specific date, time, and location of the scheduled test. After submitting the application, the wait time to get this communication from the department varies depending on the location of your test centre.
During the test, you should bring with you all the original documents required during your citizenship application. You should as well submit your complete identity declaration and a photograph. Make sure that you arrive at the test centre on time to avoid missing the test. Note that children don’t take the test, thus avoid bringing them.
Upon arriving at the test centre, citizenship officers will verify your documentation and identity with what you provided on your application form. The registration procedure aims at ensuring that you are eligible to take the test that day as well. Once cleared, the citizenship officer will provide a password that will enable you to log in to the computer from which you will take the test.
Rules of the Test
Some of the basic rules to observe during the test include;
- You will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes
- You are not allowed to bring along any resource materials, such as notes and a resource book
- All personal belongings should be kept away
- Electronic devices should be turned off
- You are not allowed to talk to any other person apart from the test administrator
After the Test
At the end of the test, your score will display on the computer screen. This will be recorded automatically on the citizenship application, and the citizenship officer will return the documents to you. You should then wait for the outcome of the application. If you passed the test and met all citizenship requirements, you will get an application letter confirming that your application has been approved. You will then receive another letter with the time, date, and location of your citizenship ceremony, which is usually six months after approval.
On the other hand, if you fail the citizenship test, you are free to take another one, either the same day or book another test date, if you need some time to study. According to the new legislation, applicants will have to wait for two years if they fail three citizenship tests before retaking a test. The previous system allowed applicants to retake the test as many times as they wanted. Fortunately, there are no additional fees for retaking the test.
The Bottom Line
Australian citizenship test can be hard. So that you don’t fail the citizenship test, read the resource books regularly, take a lot of practice tests, arrive at the test centre on time, and read and understand the questions well before answering. If you fail, don’t worry as you can request a retake immediately or apply for a new date.