Fewer pass Danish citizenship test after new questions added

The pass rate for the Danish citizenship test fell significantly in November 2021, the first cycle with an additional set of questions on Danish values.
The pass rate for the Danish citizenship test fell significantly in November 2021, the first cycle with an additional set of questions on Danish values. Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash
The pass rate for Denmark’s citizenship test fell from 66 percent to 41 percent after five new questions on Danish values were added.

The latest edition of the test, held on November 24th, resulted in a notably lower pass rate than than in the previous cycle, when the old format was used, according to a report by national broadcaster DR.

Of the 3,228 people who took the citizenship test last month, 1,314 passed, around 41 percent. That is significantly fewer than normal according to figures from the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration, SIRI).

The Danish citizenship test is held twice yearly, normally at the end of June and the end of November.

A political agreement earlier this year expanded the test from 40 to 45 questions with a new set of questions aimed at assessing the ‘Danish values’ of would-be new citizens.

The government, which introduced the new questions with the backing of parliament has argued that the additional questions do not make the citizenship test harder.

Since 2015, the Danish citizenship test (indfødsretsprøven), held twice annually, has consisted of 40 multiple choice questions on Danish culture, history and society. The pass mark for the old version of the test was 32.

With the extra questions on Danish values added to the test, the pass mark is 36 out of 45. Additionally, at least 4 of the 5 Danish values questions must be answered correctly in order for the applicant to pass.

The November 2021 tests were the first with the new questions.

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At the last citizenship test to have the old format, in June this year, 66.5 percent passed. The pass rate has since 2016 varied between 48.9 percent and 67.5 percent, DR writes.

But the new questions are not in themselves responsible for the lower pass rate on the first cycle in which the new format was used, SIRI told DR.

The agency said that the questions on Danish values had a “neutral or very limited effect” on the number of people who failed the test, because 77.3 percent of those who took the test answered correctly on at least four of the five questions related to Danish values, which is a new criterion for passing the exam overall.

Additionally, SIRI said that it had found via spot checks that only two percent of tests met the general pass mark of 36 correct answers but failed because not enough of the Danish values questions were answered correctly.


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