I promise this was more fun than it sounds!
If you’re not familiar with my blog, a quick introduction is necessary: I’m Hannah, I’m British, and I’ve lived in Frankfurt, Germany for the past 8 years. That information should tell you that today’s new thing, taking the German citizenship test was the real deal!
Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works for so many people, and although without German citizenship I’m still allowed to live and work in the country that is currently my home, it will definitely make life a little harder. With a German passport, and therefore an EU one, I would be able to freely travel around Europe as I have done all my life so far. That’s a big deal to me. So, as my husband and I have lived here for 8 years (the qualifying time to become a German citizen) and we plan to stay here for many more years to come, the time was definitely right.
The only problem is, we have a bit of a rush on our hands. As long as our application is in before 31st December this year, we would still qualify for dual citizenship. After this time, we’d have to give up our status as British nationals, something we don’t want to do. Although it’s only the middle of October, the results from the citizenship test, and the language test from last week, can take up to 10 weeks to arrive which would take us up to the 28th December. It’s going to be tight!
The German citizenship test consists of 33 questions about German laws, customs, politics, and history, and of which you have to get a minimum of 17 to pass. What makes things so much easier, is that the 33 questions are randomly picked from a pool of 310, all of which you can practice online.
I practised these questions over and over again, and I actually found them really interesting. A lot of them were common sense for me as I already come from a Western, European country, but learning a little more about German history and some laws was fascinating.
For example, who outside of Germany knows that there is a statutory “quiet time” after 10pm? Or that Germany has a president? Super interesting!
I had practised so much that I was feeling quietly confident when it came to the test itself but really tried to keep my expectations in check. There were a few tricky questions about the structure of the German parliament that had been giving me a headache, and I was really hoping they didn’t show up on the test.
We had an hour to complete the test but were told we could quietly leave if we finished early. Thank goodness for that, because I had to really stretch out the time to complete the test in 10 minutes! I went through it a little to quickly at first, so then went through it much more thoroughly for a second time, but actually didn’t change any answers. I’m confident I’ve done well on it, even if it did take a short amount of time. To be honest, half of the people taking it also seemed to finish around this time so I didn’t feel quite so bad!
This was a surprisingly fun and interesting new thing, that I hope pays off in fewer than 10 weeks. It would be really nice to know that I could continue to travel around Europe and live in Germany problem-free for the future, but I’m also fortunate enough that I don’t need it to stay in the country.