Citizenship Applicants Need 60% To Pass

Citizenship applicants need 60% to pass

The Age (Melbourne)
May 29, 2007 – 8:44PM

Applicants for Australian citizenship would need to score at least 60 per cent to pass an exam under legislation being introduced in federal parliament on Wednesday.

Applicants' correct answers must include three mandatory questions on the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, says a paper presented to the coalition party room.

There would be no limit on the number of times a person can take the test.

Would-be citizens get 45 minutes to answer 20 multiple-choice questions on the nation's history, geography, culture and traditions drawn randomly from a larger group of questions.

The questions will be derived from the contents of a resource book made available to applicants, the paper says.

People assessed as having less than basic English reading skills will be given 90 minutes and talked through the test.

However, applicants must satisfy authorities that they have a basic grasp of English.

Under 18s, those over 60 and people with mental or physical incapacity would not need to take the exam.

The changes to the Citizenship Act were approved by coalition MPs and senators.

It's understood a government MP plans not (not) to support the bill in parliament.

Victorian Liberal MP Petro Georgiou has previously described the citizenship test as a massive step backwards and utterly at odds with Australia's commitment to a fair go.

Mr Georgiou did not return telephone calls on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the resource book for the test was still being finalised.

Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke said Labor supported the principle of formalising the current citizenship test, as long as the new exam was reasonable.

“Whether the new test will be reasonable depends on what's in it and at this stage we are still waiting for the Government to provide the details,” Mr Burke said.

2007 AAP