A Real Australian Citizenship Test
August 29, 2007 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Like the US, the UK, and Canada before it, Australia has recently announced that, as part of its new citizenship guidelines, prospective citizens must pass a test with questions relating to Australian history, society, and culture. Not everyone is a fan of the test, though, or the information on it, and today The Age has released its own suggestions for a citizenship test. Could you pass it?
posted by mosessis (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can not.

But, then again, I have not studied for it.

These citizenship tests tend to be fairly easy for someone who STUDIES.

For example, I could not pass the US test today without studying and learning the "correct" answers. I read some of the questions and immediately wanted to argue about the answers.
For example, our most important right is not the right to vote but this right: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.".

In my opinion.
posted by davebarnes at 7:39 PM on August 29, 2007

I got three out of ten; gimme a cold one, mate.
posted by yhbc at 7:44 PM on August 29, 2007

I recently helped my grandmother study for the civics exam part of her naturalization interview. She hardly speaks English and basically just memorized the answers to the 50 questions from which she was asked 10. The only question she missed was the one asking her who her state governor was: her cheat sheet must have been outdated because she provided the name of the previous governor. She's an American citizen now and might be on ur jury judgin ur guilt.
posted by Shakeer at 7:47 PM on August 29, 2007

No way you Austrians are gonna keep me out of Austria with your Austrian test!

But seriously... "colloquialisms for swimming suit"? Really?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:48 PM on August 29, 2007

These tests are a joke. Yet, sadly, most natives would not pass the test. They are really in place just to placate the anti-immigration lobby.
posted by randomstriker at 7:56 PM on August 29, 2007

9 out of 10.

But I do live here.

But seriously... "colloquialisms for swimming suit"? Really?

Budgie Smugglers. Think about it. It's quite hilarious that would be on the citizenship test. Are these actual questions from the test? I was hoping it might generate a new random set of 10 on page reload, but no such luck.
posted by Jimbob at 7:58 PM on August 29, 2007

It's a trick question. No-one says 'Torana'.... it's a bloody Torrie, mate.
posted by pompomtom at 7:58 PM on August 29, 2007

I half expected a question about The Boot.
posted by dhammond at 7:59 PM on August 29, 2007

But as for question 4:

Gallipoli invasion took place on

April 25, 1915
April 25, 1925
April 15, 1910
April 25, 1920

I'm told by an insider at Australia Immigration that you'll pass that one if you just sing, in your best Shane MacGowan voice:

"How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter..."

posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:59 PM on August 29, 2007

Yes yes, the Pogues version is fantastic, but surely you should get bonus marks for an Eric Bogle Scottish accent instead?
posted by Jimbob at 8:02 PM on August 29, 2007

What a crock...

1) Is no longer functional.
2) An ugly chick.
3) They are not related.
4) In the afternoon, last Christmas, the extended family arrived for a barbecue - some beers and sausages. After taking some painkillers and having a lie down, we open the presents and proceeded to eat all the chocolates, candy and biscuits (cookies). We then had some more beer, before Mum became angry at Dad and Steve after they had an argument and a physical altercation.

1) It is unclear how many cases of beer each person will consume, however a safe guess would be 1 each.
2 a) knocking
b) divvy van
c) sa
3) You are tired of this, and don't wish to continue?
4) Both given and received.
5) Yes!

1) Yes.
2) Mince.
3) Bite off both ends, suck tea though it until softened, then eat.
4) Yes.
5) Last Saturday in fact.
6) You can eat other people's.
7) Beetroot, mate.

1) All of those.
2) Yeah.
3) Any of the sheilas in accounts.
4) Kevin.
5) Yeah.
6) Nuh.

It's all pointless anyway, as a Kiwi I can go there whenever I want.
posted by sycophant at 8:05 PM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

And just knowing the second line of the national anthem? Pathetic. Bloody migrants should have to sing the second verse...I had to learn the bastard in school.

Oh now hang on, the second verse contains these lines:
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share
That sounds suspiciously like we're inviting migrants here. Sound suspiciously like we've made a national pledge to offer safety and land and a fair go to anyone who's arrived "across the seas". No wonder this verse has fallen out of fashion in recent years...
posted by Jimbob at 8:05 PM on August 29, 2007

Jimbob, here are some more sample questions from the real test, with a link to the answers as well.

As for the fake test (final link), I failed miserably. I even had to call an Australian friend to ask him (a) are these all English words? and (b) what the heck is an arvo?
posted by mosessis at 8:06 PM on August 29, 2007


Food 3) Pull a cone. ONE PULL ONLY. Grab pack. Stuff face.
posted by pompomtom at 8:07 PM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

Half-marks, pompomton. You should really be pulling a bucket bong.
posted by Jimbob at 8:09 PM on August 29, 2007

I'm pretty sure that in the final version of the test, you'll be presented with a case of VB (or XXXX, depending on location). You can gain citizenship by answering the questions under the bottle tops, or by drinking the case (the Boony clause).
posted by zamboni at 8:12 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Jimbob, mate, I've never bent a banana in my life.
posted by pompomtom at 8:14 PM on August 29, 2007

(sorry, that should be 'in me life')
posted by pompomtom at 8:15 PM on August 29, 2007

Tea? Well, I suppose if you want to eat them at work.

Real men drink port through their tim tams.
posted by mosessis at 8:34 PM on August 29, 2007

what the heck is an arvo?

As far as I can tell, it's just afternoon, but it's slang for say an afternoon meetup for a beer or something.
posted by dhruva at 8:35 PM on August 29, 2007

So if you score low on the test can they revoke your Australian citizenship?

I'm er asking for a friend...
posted by gomichild at 8:38 PM on August 29, 2007

Not only that, gomichild, they send you to live in New Zealand.
posted by Jimbob at 8:41 PM on August 29, 2007


posted by gomichild at 8:45 PM on August 29, 2007

I did the sample questions and got 4/10 with only repeated viewings of Bart vs. Australia and the certainty that Australia's full of crazy (The good kind!) people to back me up. Hell, they got the damn coat of arms on the front page of the test! If you can't get that one, you're too damn stupid to live anywhere.

Immigrants shouldn't be expected to conform to the society they are joining, but I don't think it's an imposition or xenophobic to expect potential citizens to know some basic trivia about their future home, or to encourage them to learn more about the place. Lord knows not enough native-born citizens do.

It could even be beneficial if immigration departments produced tests that showcased links and shared history between immigrants' respective birthplaces and their destinations, engendering a sense of belonging and cultural continuity right from the beginning, etc. Granted, this could get sort of thorny considering some nations' past and current missteps in foreign relations and policy...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 PM on August 29, 2007

5/10, and i've never been to australia.
posted by bruce at 8:50 PM on August 29, 2007

She hardly speaks English and basically just memorized the answers to the 50 questions from which she was asked 10.

Sounds like high school US History class.
posted by smackfu at 8:53 PM on August 29, 2007

Alvy you have said something really thoughtful there. The test would certainly have more meaning if it explored the shared cultures or experiences.

And why should it be sugar-coated? If they are going to be asking historical questions why shy away from them?

Maybe it should include questions like:
What year was the White Australia Policy put in place?

In which state were the native people completely wiped out?

Name 3 animals which were introduced into the country and lead to environmental destruction.

On which Sydney beach in recent times did race riots occur?

What are the insulting terms for people who come from your country?
posted by gomichild at 8:57 PM on August 29, 2007 [7 favorites]

8 out of 10, but I live here. Then again, I'm American.

While I have no problem with tests like this, per se (as has been mentioned, prospective test-takers will simply memorize all the answers and fly through), I can see how they might be misused. Harder tests or brand new questions for prospective citizens that are deemed undesirable, and that sort of thing.
posted by barnacles at 9:09 PM on August 29, 2007

Back in the day Australian police used to pick people up and force them to take a language test. The test was administered in a European language of the officer's choosing.
posted by pompomtom at 9:20 PM on August 29, 2007

10 out of 10, but that would mean I fail the "hidden test", and fall foul of the tall poppy syndrome.

I'm prepared for that, though. When the immigration official challenges me, I'll tell him "mate, I just copied off the wog sitting next to me!" and they'll pack the lebbo tryhard wanker onto the first plane back to Lakemba, or wherever the hell they come from.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:29 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Animals on the coat of arms? Two lions, a black swan and a magpie, you fucktards!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:36 PM on August 29, 2007

Oooh I can answer gomichild's test too!

1) The Immigration Restriction Act was one of the first pieces of legislation passed by the Australian parliament, in 1901.
2) Tasmania
3) Oh, only Three? Rabbits, goats, camels, cats, cane toads, horses, pigs, and Englishmen for a start.
4) Cronulla
5) Spicwopnipgookitaycoonabocurrymunchertowelheadwogjapseppoboonggypposlope
posted by Jimbob at 9:41 PM on August 29, 2007

...all hooved animals, indian mynahs, crown of thorns starfish...
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:47 PM on August 29, 2007

You're a bloody know-it-all Jimbob mate. (^_^)
posted by gomichild at 9:47 PM on August 29, 2007

I think you mean I'm a True Blue Aussie Battler.
posted by Jimbob at 9:48 PM on August 29, 2007

Don't cut the raw prawn with me mate. I don't want to have a blue with ya.
posted by gomichild at 9:50 PM on August 29, 2007

She'll be right, mate.
posted by Jimbob at 9:55 PM on August 29, 2007

Take it outside, ya drongos! I'm tryna hava flutter ontha dishlickers!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:55 PM on August 29, 2007

*shouts a round of beers*
posted by gomichild at 9:59 PM on August 29, 2007

No Jimbob, this'll be administered by Canberra, so the only correct answers for 5 are 'Pom' or 'Skip'.
posted by pompomtom at 9:59 PM on August 29, 2007

Interesting fact: distances between towns in the Northern Territory are not measured in kilometers or miles, but in the number of beers required to be drunk while driving there.

Macca: So how far is it to Jabiru, mate?
Wozza: Aw, about two six-packs.

posted by Jimbob at 9:59 PM on August 29, 2007

Oooh, looks like gomichild just won.
posted by pompomtom at 9:59 PM on August 29, 2007

of course, your mileage varies according to whether you're drinking stubbies, longnecks or darwin stubbies
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:02 PM on August 29, 2007

Oooh, looks like gomichild just won.

not yet! supplementary question: "don't be a knob - nibble Chopper's nuts!" - please explain.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:04 PM on August 29, 2007

At $22.95 a go, I think German tourists are the only ones drinking Darwin Stubbies these days.
posted by Jimbob at 10:04 PM on August 29, 2007

Cheers, gomichild, but next time how about pints of some Little Creatures? I mean, I like free Toohey's as much as the next guy, but ...
posted by barnacles at 10:05 PM on August 29, 2007

Is there a supplementary test to see which state you should live in? Say if you choose to drink Coopers you go to South Australia, XXXX you go to Queensland, VB to Victoria and a Chardonnay Spritzer to NSW?
posted by gomichild at 10:06 PM on August 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

Ooooh that was a bit below the belt!
posted by Jimbob at 10:08 PM on August 29, 2007

I knew this would end in beers...
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:08 PM on August 29, 2007 [4 favorites]

Chardonnay spritzers are so passe, anyway. Everybody's drinking sauvignon blanc with pink grapefruit & soda here these days. Everybody who is anybody, that is. Joh Bailey, Kylie Kwong, that weathergirl from Channel Nine, *everybody*!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:14 PM on August 29, 2007

I thought chardy had been declared Un-New-South-Welsh? You have to like watered down tooheys, in a sports bar.
posted by pompomtom at 10:16 PM on August 29, 2007

UbuRoivas - it's pronounced "cardonnay".
posted by gomichild at 10:18 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by UbuRoivas at 10:20 PM on August 29, 2007

7 out of 10, I'm a Yank (we — i.e., our beauty queens — don't know from geography), and I live across the ditch.

Suck it, haters! Look at moy, look at moy!
posted by rob511 at 11:10 PM on August 29, 2007

Geez tickets, rob511.
posted by gomichild at 11:14 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Read a novel recently set in a grim, repressive near-future Australia, where the Aussies all hated Kiwis for being suspiciously left-wing and not fully paid-up members of the Western Alliance*, and they had random citizenship tests on buses and stuff. Apart from the obvious Gallipoli and Man From Snowy River type questions, my favourite was "who bowled the underarm ball, and was it legal?" (correct answer (and clearly designed to ferret out the New Zealanders) "Trevor Chappell, and of course it was bloody legal!" to a round of applause from the rest of the bus.

Now that's the sort of citizenship test I would get firmly behind.

*Yeah, I know: not exactly fiction.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:35 AM on August 30, 2007

Hmmmm, name and author of that novel please, Infinite Jest?
posted by Jimbob at 2:51 AM on August 30, 2007

Underground, by Andrew McGahan. (Haven't looked through that site, found it by Googling after Amazon and Wikipedia turned up little).

(The other amusing plot element was the Australian cricket team reduced to playing the US Army, because no-one else wanted to play them).
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:13 AM on August 30, 2007

American, but I did holiday in Cairns once, which gave me the edge on the swimsuit question. Got them except the anthem and when Australia became a "country".
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:39 AM on August 30, 2007

speaking as an aboriginal (Yolgnu mob, Arnhem Land), i am offended by that, liquorice.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2007

I don't know what this is trying to achieve, though. Yay, you can answer 10 random questions about some relevant and irrelevant aspects of our history now you're allowed to be Australian?

nah, it's an entirely political stunt. you still need to pass all the usual immigration criteria (points test) - eg as a business migrant, it used to require $1M+ liquid assets, or there's the skilled labour category for in-demand occupations, family, live-here-long-enough-and-eventually-you-get-in (for poms & all those asian "english students" or subcontinental "MBA students") etc.

this bollocks just appeases the xenophobes who buy the assimilation rhetoric.

/ex migration lawyer
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:11 PM on August 30, 2007

For me, it's beyond hilarious that they fucked up their own question about the animals on the coat of arms, by forgetting the critters that appear in the state flags on the shield.

It reminds me of when Apu went for his US citizenship test:

Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--

Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.

Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

posted by UbuRoivas at 4:45 PM on August 30, 2007

Todays Crikey suggestions:

Dan Willis writes:

"Aspirational Nationalism" means:

a) Aspiring to become a citizen of another country.

b) Aspiring to escape the Country Party.

c) Nothing. It was coined by Dr Seuss.

Viggo Pedersen writes:

If a boatload of refugees want to enter your country, what do you do:

a) Welcome them with open arms.

b) Send them for off-shore processing.

c) Ignore them and hope they go away?

For those who fail Question 1 what should Heaven do with them:

a) Welcome them with open arms.

b) Send them for off-shore processing.

c) Ignore them and hope they go away?

Wes Pryor writes:

Australia's national dish is:

a) Neil Perry's QANTAS muffins.

b) Lara Bingle.

c) Spineless, white, flavourless chicken with a passing gesture to a native raspberry and lemon myrtle reduction.

Anthony David writes:

Australia's coat of arms is adorned with:

a) A kangaroo and an emu.

b) A cane toad and a rabbit.

c) A chihuahua on a leash.

Chris Malseed writes:

Germaine Greer is:

a) Recent Miss Australia now betrothed to Donald Trump.

b) A Gold Coast meter maid.

c) Inventor of the stun gun.

R G Menzies was:

a) Ned Kellys' nephew.

b) Top goal scorer for the Essendon thirds.

c) Translator of the Karma Sutra.

Grange Hermitage is:

a) An upmarket bordello.

b) A rest home for injured kangaroos.

c) A hedge fund.

Agent Orange is:

a) A real estate salesperson.

b) A petrol additive that boosts mileage.

c) 2IC of ASIO.

Dame Nellie Melba was:

a) The first female to swim Bass strait.

b) Billy McMahons' grandmother.

c) A draught horse.

Brett Elliott writes:

Pauline Hanson famously stated, "We’re in danger of being swamped by…":

a) Haitians

b) The National Front

c) Rising sea levels

What is the fifteenth line of Advance Australia Fair?:

a) Hum a few bars and I’ll get it.

b) I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh.

c) We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.

Where does the Prime Minister reside?:

a) Canberra, obviously.

b) In a big house on Lollipop Lane.

c) On the North Shore, daaahling.

In Australia, everyone has equal rights, unless you are:

a) An overseas trained doctor.

b) Gay.

c) David Hicks.

Who is the Queen’s representative in Australia?:

a) The Prime Minister.

b) The Governor General.

c) David Flint.

Who is the 25th Prime Minister of Australia?:

a) I’m drawing a complete blank.

b) Are you sure we’ve actually had 25?

c) Does anyone really care?

In Australia you are free to worship:

a) Warney.

b) IR Reform.

c) The Christian God of you choice.

Who chooses the Prime Minister?:

a) A popular vote.

b) The Australian.

c) Alan Jones.

How is policy formulated in Australia?:

a) On the back of an envelope.

b) On talkback radio.

c) In a non-core way.

All new arrivals are required to present:

a) A 457 Visa.

b) Their SIM card.

c) A nice leg spinner to off stump.

Mark Rosenberg writes:

John Howard is:

a) Mr. Sheen.

b) George Bush's apparent best friend.

c) That actor guy who appears on Aussie dramas.

Alison Maynard writes:

Australia’s greatest contribution to the culinary arts is:

a) Pavlova.

b) Vegemite.

c) Anything with tomato sauce on it.

Wes Hawkins writes:

Who was the best lead singer of AC/DC:

a) Bon Scott.

b) Brian Johnson.

c) Bob Brown.

Chris King writes:

"Sledging" is the art of:

a) Telling someone you love them on the cricket field.

b) Telling someone you love their mother on the cricket field.

c) Policy debate in federal parliament.

If a tree falls in the forest does it:

a) End up at a pulp mill.

b) Allow someone to deduct it from their tax.

c) Give an excuse for a federal politician to visit selected Tasmanian electorates with a large suitcase full of cash.

d) All of the above.

If Don Bradman was still alive he would:

a) Be living in the granny flat at Kirribilli.

b) Still be playing in the Prime Minister's XI.

c) Taking out a restraining order on John Howard for harassment

Otto Rieth writes:

The APEC Leaders shirts this year will be:

a) King Gee Khakis.

b) Qantas Vodaphone Nokia Telstra Wallaby jersey.

c) VB Tee Shirt with matching neoprene stubby holder and double pluggers.

Stephen Harrington writes:

What is McLeod’s Daughters?

a) An accurate reflection of life in rural Australia.

b) An accurate reflection of urban Australia’s a romanticisation of "the bush".

c) An accurate reflection of how the quality of Channel Nine’s programming has gone down the toilet.

Darrel Stringer writes:

Crikey is:

a) A fine example of balanced independent journalism.

b) A pack of left wing idealistic ratbags.

c) A disenchanted group envious of the success and glamour of mainstream journalism.

Andrew Roff writes:

Australian politicians are expected to set a moral example for the nation. As such, an Australian politician would never:

a) Visit a strip club.

b) Conspire with whacky cult members.

c) Present to the public a skewed version of the evidence about a terror suspect.

d) Wake up one morning and realise that they're Alexander Downer.

Steven Brown writes:

The Bali Nine are:

a) The emergency exit seats on a Garuda Airlines flight.

b) The Australian Federal Police’s Jazz Ensemble.

c) Something to do with Schapelle Corby.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was designed to:

a) Link the CBD of Sydney with its North Shore.

b) Facilitate Roman Candle detonation on New Years Eve.

c) Complement the new crockery at Kirribilli House.

Trish Esson writes:

The Melbourne Cup is:

a) A type of coffee to be seen sipping at a trendy pavement cafe

b) A small very select Melbourne restaurant.

c) A horse race.

David Curtin writes:

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is:

a) Australia’s greatest living national treasure.

b) Was robbed of his justly deserved Gold Logie and is still waiting for an apology.

c) Is best served on a bed of wasabi mash with rucola salad and an Asian dressing. Latte optional.

Gabriel McGrath writes:

"Andrew Bolt" is:

a) A phrase, yelled by Mrs Sheila Jones, when police discovered her husband Andrew's marijuana plants.

b) A piece of hardware, used to provide tension in the wires of a Hills Hoist.

c) A piece of software, use to provide tension to anyone to the "left" of oncoming traffic.
posted by wilful at 8:58 PM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh.

duh, obviously a trick question. even kindy kids know that's the first line in the national anthem, not the fifteenth.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:56 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Blimey, I left Australia when I was a kid yet I still passed 'The Age' test with no problem. All that culture must be inherent.
posted by essexjan at 3:12 AM on August 31, 2007

nah, we just export the best of it to london, in the form of cultural ambassadors.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:18 AM on August 31, 2007

no probs, mate. we here in babakuieria all half-half mob, hey? same you, same me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2007

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