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Denmark to introduce simpler citizenship test

October 2013, 10
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The Justice Ministry in Denmark has said it will be releasing a simpler version of the country's Citizenship Test, due to concerns that the current questions are too difficult.
The updated test will be available from 2014 and is said to be more focussed on relevant modern topics rather than outdated historical facts.

Knowledge of history

The current Citizenship Test in use by Denmark has been criticised for being out of date, irrelevant and too tough by opponents, making it an uphill battle for foreigners to be able to get the necessary passmark.
If this sounds like too much dumbing down, ask yourself whether you know Asger Jorn was or which country was the destination for almost 300,000 Danes who emigrated in the 19th century!

Become a Citizen of DenmarkYou too could become a citizen of Denmark

These are the type of questions which current applicants find themselves facing on the existing Citizenship Test (the Indfødsretsprøven). After criticism that the test is not only too difficult but also not relevant to modern society, a new draft has been drawn up (the Statsborgerskabsprøven) which it is hoped will be ready by June, for introduction towards the end of 2014.
The test had been earmarked for a revamp on several occasions before but the work had been repeatedly postponed until PM Helle Thorning Schmidt opened Parliament on 1 October and put it firmly back on the agenda.
It's possible to live in Denmark for an extended period of time without applying for Danish citizenship but for individuals who plan on staying, doing so brings a raft of benefits, including the right to vote. Immigrants who hold the right to permanent residence have no right of vote in Denmark.

The new Citizenship Test

The new test has not yet been fully unveiled but the Education Ministry – the department responsible for compiling the multi-choice test – has provided some details about what to expect.
Rather than the grilling on irrelevant and trivial Danish history – which many experts suggest most native Danes would be hard pushed to pass – the test will now focus on modern and more contemporary issues.
The number of questions has been slashed; with 10 questions dropped, applicants must now answer 30 questions in 45 minutes, getting at least 22 correct. The test will be in Danish and the Justice Ministry will approve the difficulty of the questions as well as the level of language used.
Applicants will have the opportunity to prepare in advance as the Education Ministry is providing course packs (as is the current practice).
In addition to getting 22 questions right, any applicant must already hold the right to permanent residence, have a Danish address, be debt-free, self-sufficient and have no criminal record.
There will also be a fee of 700 kroner (around £80) in order to take part.

Language requirements

As the test is in Danish, being able to speak, read and write the native language is a necessity in order to pass.
All of the major political parties have had an input into the new requirements, with agreement from all sides although far left party Enhedslisten admitted it would have 'liked to have gone further in some areas'.
The level of Danish language needed has been eased, with just the Level 2 Danish language course – Dansk 2 – now needed. Previously, the more extensive Dansk 3 had been required.
The new test will be held twice annually but individuals who passed the old test but not yet received citizenship will still be able to use that towards their application.

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