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Would you pass an Austrian citizenship test?

Would you pass an Austrian citizenship test?
Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP
To become an Austrian citizen, it’s compulsory to pass the citizenship test. But what does it involve?

For many people taking the naturalisation route to Austrian citizenship, the test can be a daunting part of the process with lots of studying involved to pass.

But how hard is it? And what does it entail?

The Local spoke to people preparing for it to find out.

What is the citizenship test?

The Austrian citizenship test is an exam designed to demonstrate an applicant’s knowledge of Austria. It was introduced in 2006.

It covers the democratic system, the national history and regional facts relating to where an applicant lives.

The questions on the democratic system and history of Austria are prepared by a central committee and the regional questions are prepared by the respective provincial governments.

If a person fails the test, they can retake it until they pass.

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to become an Austrian citizen?

What does the exam involve?

The exam is in German and involves answering a series of multiple choice questions within two hours.

Raquel Macho, 52, from Solihull in the UK, lives in Leonding, Upper Austria, and will take the citizenship test at the end of April. 

She told The Local: “I have found it really interesting to learn about the history of Austria and Upper Austria and the democratic order of the country. Even my husband and kids who are Austrian have found some facts very interesting.

“There are 18 multiple choice questions in the test – six on the history of Austria, six on the democratic order and six on the history of your region.  

“In order to pass you need to achieve at least 12 points in total and fifty per cent of the required points for each group.”

The time and date of the tests are set by the provincial governments.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about getting Austrian citizenship

How do people study for the test?

Raquel is preparing for the exam on the Einbürgerung website – a platform dedicated to studying for the citizenship test.

Using the website involves selecting the region where you live and answering 18 random questions, which is useful to find out if there are any gaps in your knowledge.

Raquel said: “You have to get all the answers you choose on a question correct but sometimes there are up to three correct answers. 

“If you choose one answer which is correct and the second or third is incorrect then you lose the mark completely for that question. 

“So only choose the answers that you are absolutely sure are correct.”

Shan Aly, 32, from Pakistan, lives in Vienna and is also studying for the citizenship test, although he hasn’t booked a date for the exam yet. 

He told The Local: “There are lots of common sense questions to prepare for, as well as cultural topics to study.

“There is a lot of Austrian history to learn and even some Austrians I talk to are not aware of everything I am studying.

“It’s interesting to learn the history because it’s very different from the subcontinent where I’m from. We’re not taught about Austrian history in school there.”

So, are there any strange questions or topics to watch out for?

Raquel, from Solihull, said: “Not really – they are all valid questions and the answers should be known as a citizen of the country with everything covered from the monarchy, politics, wartime, the republic to EU membership.

“But the most fun one for me was the region where the Kaiser liked to spend his summers. 

“I’m not sure if it will be included in the official test but I have to agree with him that Salzkammergut is one of the most beautiful places in Upper Austria.”

Test your knowledge

Want to make a head start on studying for the Austrian citizenship test? 

Here are some sample questions from einbuergerung.at (originally in German but translated to English below).

  • What was the name given to the meeting of monarchs in Vienna between 1814 and 1815?
  • The United Nations Organization (UNO) was founded on June 26, 1945. Where is the UN headquarters?
  • What was the name of Austria’s first own constitution?
  • After the founding of the Republic of Austria, several crises followed. Which ones?
  • Who was the Foreign Minister of Austria when the State Treaty was signed?
  • What human right is violated by a forced marriage?

Fortunately, the Austrian citizenship test has a high pass rate – over 90 per cent. But it does require some studying to prepare.


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