The Life in the UK test is one of the final hurdles to overcome before settling in the UK or becoming a British citizen. It may seem daunting but rest assured that many others have done it before you and you will succeed with preparation.
Who needs to take the test?
The test must be taken by anyone between ages 18 - 65 who wishes to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or to naturalise as a British citizen.
Children under 18 and adults over 65 are exempt.
It may be possible to request an exemption on medical grounds, including physical and mental illness.
Refugees and EEA nationals applying under the EU Settlement Scheme do not need to pass the test to qualify for permanent residence. However, they do need to pass the test to apply for citizenship.
What is included on the test?
You will have 45 minutes to answer 24 multiple choice questions about British traditions and customs. You will need to get 18 questions right to pass the test (75%).
The Life in the UK test is said to be an assessment of civic knowledge, to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge to integrate into British society and play a full role in your local community. The questions have been criticised as ‘trivial’, ‘outdated’, and ‘undermining British values’. The Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the House of Lords has called upon the Home Office to review the Life in the UK test.
How do I prepare for the test?
The best way to prepare for the test is to study the official handbook. It is available as a book, e-book, subscription or audiobook format. There is also an official Life in the UK test app.
Free practice questions are available online and in the above-mentioned resources.
How do I book the test?
Make sure that you are booking the test on the official website as there are several intermediaries who may charge unnecessary fees. The test should cost £50. There are 30 test centres to choose from.
What to expect on the day?
You should bring valid ID with you on the day. This can be your passport, travel document or BRP card, for example. It is important that you bring the same ID with you on the day that you used to register for the test.
Take your time, you have 45 minutes to complete the test
Make sure you read the question carefully. Is it asking you to identify a positive or a negative? For example, which of the options is an example of something or which of the options is not an example of something.
You can ‘flag’ questions to come back to if you are not sure of the answer
If you have not passed the test first time, don’t panic. You can rebook the test. There is no limit on the number of times you can take the test.
If your visa is due to expire before you are able to take and pass the test, it may be possible to submit your application to protect your status in the UK before you sit the test. If this applies to you, I recommend contacting us for further advice and assistance.