Could you pass Canada's citizenship exam? Give it a try

Could you name the three main types of industry in Canada? Do you know what year oil was discovered in Alberta? What if your citizenship depended on it?

The questions cover everything from history and geography to laws and symbols

Newcomers must get at least 16 of 20 questions correct to get their Canadian citizenship. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Who is Canada's head of state? On what date did Nunavut become a territory? Who was Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine?

Or how about this one: Name six responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Hint: Some of us may not be doing them all.

Could you name the three main types of industry in Canada? What if your citizenship depended on it?

About 30 people from 14 countries will receive their Canadian citizenship at a ceremony Monday at the Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site on P.E.I.

But first, they had to answer 20 multiple choice questions like the ones above, in 30 minutes — and get no more than four wrong.

"There's a lot of pressure," said Valerie Fitzpatrick of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada.

Valerie Fitzpatrick, who teaches classes to help newcomers prepare for the citizenship exam, says about 90 per cent of the people on P.E.I. who take the classes before the exam get an average of at least 90 per cent. (Submitted by Valerie Fitzpatrick)

Fitzpatrick teaches courses to help newcomers prepare for the citizenship exams, which are written about four times a year. The questions come from a large list at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, based on the study guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

The relief and just the excitement, people are thrilled when they pass the test— Valerie Fitzpatrick

The questions cover history, geography, economy, government, laws and symbols, Fitzpatrick said.

She said about 90 per cent of the people on P.E.I. who take the classes before the exam get an average of at least 90 per cent. 

"The relief and just the excitement, people are thrilled when they pass the test," she said.

If a candidate fails the exam, they can redo the test again the next time it is offered, but the questions will be different.

Fitzpatrick said some of the subject material can be dry, but she tries to make the learning as fun as possible to ease their anxiety. She said the technical questions about governance and justice are probably the most difficult for newcomers.

"There's questions about what to do in the voting booth and people have never been allowed in the voting booth because they're not citizens yet, but they have to memorize the procedure in case it's a question on the test."

Fitzpatrick admits she didn't score very well when she first did a sample test, and suspects many Canadians would find some of the questions challenging.

20 sample questions

Want to give it a try? Here are 20 sample questions that could appear on a citizenship exam, provided by the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada:

1. Who is Canada's Head of State?

A. Governor General of Canada.

B. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

C. Prime minister.

D. Lieutenant governor.

2. What do you call a law before it is passed?

A. A new law.

B. A proposed law.

C. A bill.

D. A new proposal.

3. How are members of Parliament chosen?

A. Appointed by the prime minister.

B. Elected by Canadian citizens.

C. Appointed by the Queen.

D. Elected by the provincial ministers.

4. How does a bill become law?

A. The lieutenant governor must approve the bill.

B. Approval by a majority in the House of Commons and Senate and finally the governor general.

C. The Queen must sign the bill.

D. Approval by the members of the legislative assembly.

5. On what date did Nunavut become a territory?

A. July 1, 1867.

B. April 1, 1999.

C. June 24, 1995.

D. March 31, 1949.

6. Oil was discovered in Alberta in 1948.

A. True.

B. False.

7. What are the three main types of industry in Canada?

A. Natural resources, tourism, and service industries.

B. Tourism, services, and manufacturing.

C. Natural resources, tourism, and manufacturing.

D. Natural resources, manufacturing, and services.

8. What is the significance of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best?

A. Insulin is a hormone that permits you to eat anything you wish.

B. Insulin has saved 16 million lives worldwide.

C. Discovering insulin opened the doors to more discoveries.

D. Discovering insulin made Banting and Best famous.

9. The border between Canada and the USA was the outcome of the Second World War.

A. True.

B. False.

10. What did the Canadian Pacific Railway symbolize?

A. Easy access to the West Coast.

B. What can be achieved by working together.

C. Unity.

D. Ribbons of Steel.

11. Who was Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine?

A. Champion of democracy and Aboriginal rights.

B. Champion of democracy, French language rights and first leader of a responsible government in the Canadas.

C. The first head of state.

D. The first French-speaking prime minister.

12. Why is the battle of Vimy Ridge important?

A. It was a key position of the German line in Northern France.

B. Canadian Corps secured its reputation for valour and bravery.

C. It was the "hinge" of the German line as it protected the newly constructed Hindenburg line.

D. Once Canadians fought at Vimy they knew they would be heading home.

13. What does the word "Inuit" mean?

A. "Eskimo" in Inuktitut language.

B. "Home" in English language.

C. "The people" in Inuktitut language.

D. "The Artic Land" in Inuktitut language.

14. Since 1854, how many Canadians have been awarded the Victoria Cross?

A. 94.

B. 96.

C. 97.

D. 98.

15. The Canadian Coat of Arms and motto is "A Mari Usque Ad Mare." This means:

A. From the ocean to the sea.

B. From sea to sea.

C. From the sea to the ends of the Earth.

D. From the water to the earth.

16. What is the largest religious affiliation in Canada?

A. Roman Catholic.

B. Muslim.

C. Jewish.

D. Hindu.

17. Acadians are the descendants of French colonists who settled in what are now the Maritime provinces in 1602.

A. True.

B. False.

18. What does equality under the law mean?

A. Being the same.

B. Being like everyone else.

C. Being discriminated against.

D. Being treated with equal dignity and respect, and having equal rights to speak out and express ideas.

19. Name six responsibilities of citizenship.

A. Get a job, make money, raise a family, pay taxes, mow your lawn, vote.

B. Vote, join a political party, get a job, obey the law, drive safely, pick up litter.

C. Care for the environment, don't litter, pay taxes, obey the law, help others, respect others.

D. Vote, help others, care for our heritage and environment, obey Canada's laws, get a job, and serve on a jury.

20. Saskatchewan, once known as the "breadbasket of the world" has 40 per cent of the arable land in Canada and is the country's largest producer of ____________ and ____________ .

A. Pulp and paper.

B. Oil and gas.

C. Grains and oilseeds.

D. Energy and mining.

Answers: 1. B 2. C 3. B 4. B 5. B 6 B (It was 1947, of course!). 7. D 8. B 9. B 10. C 11. B 12. B 13. C 14. B 15. B 16. A 17. B (It was 1604). 18. D 19. D 20. C

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