Chances are, I may have to take the dreaded Einbürgerungstest to become a Kraut again (and I say this with affection). It goes into effect on September 1, and I have not done much but watched the leaves on the calendar turn. But at least I’m not as stupid on all things German as I had feared: in the sample test, I had 32 out of 33 questions correct, although no bundeslandspezifische questions were asked. To pass, one must answer 17 questions correctly.
A few years ago, I took the citizenship test to get my blue passport. Of course, I hardly think I was a fair example! The entire procedure took about 30 minutes, the questions were eeeeeasy! Nothing at all compared to the drilling they gave my friend’s mother. Then again, I came from a democratic country. She was a communist (no, she was Russian, but you see why they may have been more stringent with her).
The German test asks a lot of common culture questions, like “on what day do Germans dress up in costumes” or “who is the current Bundeskanzler/-in”? I think it is fair to expect people to know this kind of stuff about a country they want to become a citizen of. It would not have surprised me to be asked about barbecues and Halloween before getting my US passport… 😉