updated 7/23/2008 2:41:32 PM ET 2008-07-23T18:41:32

Germany is to introduce a test on German customs and history for would-be citizens in September after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet approved the plan on Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry has presented a catalog of 310 multiple-choice questions for citizenship applicants. Would-be citizens will be presented with 33 of the questions, and will be required to answer 17 correctly.

They range from "How many states does Germany have?" to "What is the name of the current chancellor?" to "What happened on Nov. 9, 1938?" the night on which Jewish homes and businesses were attacked in a Nazi-orchestrated pogrom.

"The citizenship test requires a minimum of knowledge about Germany," Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a statement. "The test is fair and does not overtax anyone."

Schaeuble's ministry said the way is now clear for the test, which was drawn up by experts at Berlin's Humboldt University, to take effect on Sept. 1.

It said that tests by the university team showed more than 70 percent of people were able to answer most of the questions correctly.

A law that took effect in 2005 made government-funded German language and civics courses obligatory for new foreign residents.

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