Sunday, August 5, 2012

Canadian Citizenship test

The Globe and Mail has reported how much people are failing at the new citizenship test.

My first reaction is 'Man, these guys should just study'. Then I decided to try it out.

I am a Canadian citizen and I was a good student in the history class (which also detailed the constitution and the power structures), and I barely passed.

Of course, I didn't study before doing it. But, still, I can tell that some questions are just trick questions. Like 'what are the 3 parts of Parliament?'

Anyone who studied well should pass this exam, for sure. The book is given for free to all newcomers and is only 50-odd pages.

But I don't know how many people are able to 'study well' if they have screaming children at home and have a level 2 or 3 French or English competency...

I was thinking... should we have a test in the first place? I know many immigrants are are not making much efforts to really 'get into' our culture. The problem is that we can't rate effort easily. A test is a shortcut for that, but a bad one. The same applies for all forms of learning, whether it is in college or whatever.

I think one of the better kinds of test would be to have more down-to-earth questions. e.g. "Your landlord increases the rent by 10%. Is he allowed to? If not, what do you do about it?" Answer: Go to the Régie du Logement.
The bottom line is that most Canadians need not care about constitutional matters. And those who do will know and learn accordingly.

I'd like you to take a shot at the citizenship test online and put a comment on how well you do. It will be informal, but interesting.

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