Last updated on June 22nd, 2020
In this article, I am going to tell you how I prepared for the Australian citizenship test. I will also share some tips, resources and useful apps which helped me score 100% in my test. Plus, I will tell you the official way to prepone the test. So keep reading till the end.
After submitting the Citizenship application, part of me was relieved. The other part, however, was worried – how long the wait is gonna be?
Just a year before, people who submitted their applications had to wait for more than a year to get the citizenship test invitation due to Citizenship law changes. Would I be facing the same fate? I wasn’t sure.
However, the feedback I received from friends who applied before me and got invitation was encouraging. Apparently, after the government backed down from its proposed citizenship changes in late 2017, the limbo for the pending citizenship applications pending finally ended. By the end of 2018, the speed of processing applications increased significantly thanks to the increase in staff.
Some of my friends got a citizenship test invitation within a couple of months of applying which was great news. I couldn’t help but remember my PR days when I was anxiously waiting for the invitation to apply. Only in this case, the outcome was distant but certain.
The Wait Is Over
I had submitted the application in early August. I was not expecting invitation until January 2020, based on the data shown on the department of Home Affairs website.
More than 198K were already in the queue, plus 12K more which were filed during July 2019.
As can be seen from the screenshots above, there were more than 200k applications ahead of my application, waiting for their turn!
Processing times statistics was not encouraging either. 90% of applications had to wait for 20 months until the decision.
Unfortunately, this timeframe doesn’t show the wait time between the date of application and date of citizenship test invitation. However, based on what was shown, expecting test invitation before January seemed like Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime Minister of India. 😀
But to my utter surprise, a miracle happened.
No! Rahul Gandhi didn’t become PM. (Though that would have been bigger miracle than this 😀 )
I got a test invitation in just over 2 months. Given the huge pile of applications before me, I would say it was one hell of a job by the Department of Home Affairs. In my mind, I could visualise the nut sorting scene from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
Speeding Up Citizenship Test Appointment
The joy of getting invite soon dwindled down when I opened the email.
According to the mail, my citizenship test was scheduled for February 2020, exactly 4 months away.
It was not shocking, I agree but it was a bit disappointing. I wanted to finish the citizenship process as soon as I could.
One reason was that my PR expiry (technically, last date of entry) was just a month away and if I had to leave Australia for some reason, I didn’t want to pay for Return Resident visa.
Luckily, I knew a hack. *wink*
In the invitation email, there is an option to reschedule your appointment. This option was my key to speed things up. A lot of people think that rescheduling only means postponing appointment but you can bring it forward too.
You can use Reschedule Appointment page from the test invitation mail to prepone or postpone your citizenship test appointment.
Rescheduling the appointment was really simple.
All I had to do was visit the link, input client id (mentioned in the email) and date of birth. Once done, it showed calendar with available dates. As expected, I didn’t find any earlier date for the next couple of days. But keep in mind, there are always people who postpone their appointment. When they do, you can grab the spot.
After consistently checking for a couple of days, I got a spot for 13th November. From 4 months down to less than a month, perfect!
Test Preparation Begins
Being less than a month away, I had to focus all my attention on the Australian Citizenship test. The test is designed to check your knowledge about Australia’s history, her culture and her government. To prepare for the test, all you need is a booklet called “Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond” which you can download from the Department of Home Affairs site.
The booklet is 80 pages long and is divided into two sections – Testable and Non-testable.
You need to focus on Testable section because that’s where all the questions come from. The non-testable section is there to make you aware of Australia’s history and culture. But it has no relevance to the test itself.
The testable section is nearly 30 pages long. It is divided into three parts:
- Australia and its people,
- Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties and,
- Government and the law in Australia.
The language of the booklet is simple if you know basic English. I was able to finish it in a couple of hours.
The first two parts are pretty easy. The third part needs a few revisions as it deals with laws and parliamentary system which is a pretty dry subject. At the end of the testable section, there is a practice test which is also available on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Citizenship Study Video Material
If you are a little lazy like me or don’t have time to read and re-read the entire booklet, Australian department of Home affairs have also published series of videos with exactly the same content as the booklet. You can watch them or listen to them while driving, working or doing any other chores.
Introduction to Australian citizenship
Australia and its people
Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties – Part 1
Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties – Part 2
Government and the law in Australia – Part 1
Government and the law in Australia – Part 2
My Own Practice Tests
I am pleased to announce that I have created my own version of the citizenship practice tests here at Aussian. The tests are modelled after the real test and are sourced from a pool of over 250 questions of varying difficulty.
I have created two types of tests
- Full test which simulates the citizenship test with 20 questions which you need to answer in 45 minutes. You need to answer 15 questions correctly to pass.
- Section-wise tests which are more focused on each individual part of the citizenship booklet. This is useful to focus on those areas where you feel you need more attention.
You can access all of these tests for free and you can have as many attempts as you like.
Additional Resources For Citizenship Test Preparation
A few rounds of my practice tests are enough to pass the citizenship test successfully. However, if you are still not satisfied, here are some additional resources to prepare for the citizenship test.
Official Citizenship Practice Test by Australian government – This simple 20-question test should be your first to check your knowledge. I attempted this one even before studying booklet and was able to pass successfully. Questions are static and even the order of the questions doesn’t change. Don’t expect much from it.
Aussiecitizenshiptest.com – This site provides 20 free tests in addition to several other practice and mock tests, with varying level of difficulty. The good thing about tests is that you can immediately see the correct answer along with the wrong answer. You don’t have to wait until the end of the test to know the correct answers. In my opinion, if you attempt even 10 tests, that should be enough.
Mobile Apps To Practice Citizenship Test
There are a few mobile apps which I found useful for practice.
Australian Citizenship Test by E-learning Studio
My Rating: 4.5/5
This app provides 21 practice tests with over 211 questions. The user interface is clean and easy. I like the Section feature of this app which divides questions by three parts defined in the booklet. This way, if you are weak in a certain section, you can focus and revise questions from that section only. Of course, there are minor UI issues such as annoying pop-up every time question is marked as a favourite or some answers having spelling errors. But they are minor bumps. Overall, it’s a fantastic app.
Australian Citizenship Test 2020 by VZ Inc
My Rating: 4/5
This free app provides a comprehensive set of practice questions.
There are four modes:
- Test mode which is a simulation of the citizenship test,
- Review mode where you get to attempt all the questions,
- Starred mode where you can bookmark difficult questions and
- Cramming mode where you can read answers to all the questions.
I liked the ability to bookmark difficult questions for later review and the cramming mode for a quick revision. Also, the app provides additional information for each right/wrong answer which is great. The only minor drawback is that questions are repeated quite frequently. So after a few attempts, it can get a bit annoying. But apart from that, the app is really solid.
Australian Citizenship Test by Deedal studio inc
My Rating: 3/5
I extensively used this app to practice and it used to provide a comprehensive set of questions – all for free. But as of now, it only provides 70 free questions. To unlock other questions, you need to click on ads or click on a few links. Also, I found that app crashes a lot and user experience has gone down a bit from the time I used it. Overall, it’s not a bad app but it used to be a lot better.
Quick Tips For Test Preparation
Here are some useful tips based on my experience. If you follow them, you will be confident of passing the test with the best score, not that score matters.
- 2-3 revisions of the testable section of the booklet should be enough.
- Test! Test! Test! Attempt as many practice tests as you can. This will give you confidence and cover all areas of the booklet in a short amount of time.
- Revise the third part of the testable section about Government and the law more than the other two parts. Many tricky questions come from this part.
- These are the key things to remember from the citizenship booklet:
- The Aboriginal culture of Australia and how became democracy from European settlement
- Australian states (including biggest and smallest state), their capital cities and Commonwealth Coat of Arms
- Design of Australian flags (particularly colours of different flags and what they represent, stars depicted and names of the stars)
- Anzac day, Australia Day, the national flower, national colours and national gemstone
- Rights and responsibilities of Australian citizens
- Three arms of government
- Role of head of state, government hierarchy, houses of parliament and how many members are elected to each house
- Duties of state, federal and local government
- How laws are formed and implemented by varies sections of the government
- Finally, it’s not IELTS. Don’t worry too much about it. If you can make it to Australia, you can definitely pass the Citizenship test.