Sunday, 15 June 2008

Aus citizenship test 'discriminatory, flawed'

Citizenship test ... concerns raised

The head of a review into Australia's citizenship test says the standard of English required is too high and the structure of the test is flawed.

The former head of the Foreign Affairs Department, Richard Woolcott, also says he does not see the need for potential citizens to know the details of Australia's distant past or former sports people.

Mr Woolcott has foreshadowed major changes to the test.

"Citizens need to have what is called basic English and there's no doubt that the booklet on which the test is based is way way above basic English," he said.

"It discriminates very much in favour of people who have been educated in English as a first language.

"There are 20 questions selected at random on the computer. Three of them are mandatory, so you can get 19 right, [which] gives you 95 per cent, and get one mandatory question wrong and therefore fail, so the test is flawed."

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