It seems like both the content and topic of citizenship tests fascinate lots of people. The YouTube video Lyn Allison did on the topic got a lot more views than usual, as well as generating some media coverage. Of course, it’s also given the Coalition party yet another reason to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars to run completely unnecessary advertisments to tell people there is now a citizenship test.
Now the USA is revamping its citizenship test.
Federal immigration authorities yesterday unveiled 100 new questions immigrants will have to study to pass a civics test to become naturalized American citizens. The redesign of the test, the first since it was created in 1986 as a standardized examination, follows years of criticism in which conservatives said the test was too easy and immigrant advocates said it was too hard.
Unlike Australia, the questions being asked on the citizenship test are not kept secret, and the questions were test-run first. According to the report in the New York Times, “the questions were submitted to four months of pilot testing this year with more than 6,000 immigrants who were applying for naturalization.” I imagine the Australian government were more interested in getting the test up and running so they could try to milk some votes out of it before the election, rather than put the time into getting the test and the questions properly sorted out.