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To get an English citizenship you usually have to take the "Life in the UK Test". Apart from reading the handbook, what can I do to get prepared for this test?

  • 4
    Practise drinking tea, eating curry and complaining about the weather. :) – A E Sep 8 '15 at 13:50

10 Answers 10

8

A few things to know are:-

  1. Approximately 1 in 3 people fail the test
  2. The test is also a test of your level of English and comprehension as well as your knowledge on UK society
  3. You must read the study material and not just rely on tests. You can not rely on just taking the tests and memorising the answers. Largely because the actual tests are slightly different and it could get confusing quickly.

Some tips:-

  1. You don't need to purchase the official material it is available online for free under crown copyright

https://law.resource.org/pub/uk/life/uk.tso.life.2013/uk.tso.life.2013.html

You should read through the material make notes and then revise. Once you have read through it at least once then you can start on questions.

  1. Make lists of information to remember (facts). Unfortunately you will need to remember a lot of trivial info, stats and dates. If you get the official study guides then these are already summarised for you. Use these lists and remember most of them! I like to re-write them to help put the info into my memory.

  2. Practice, practice, practice. This is obviously the most important advice. Take lots of tests. There are a lot of sites out there (Life in the UK Test Practice)

  3. There are four types of questions: i) true or false - specify whether a statement is true or false ii) multiple choice - one correct answer iii) multiple answer - two correct answer iv) Select statement - select which statement is correct from two options

Know the difference between each and make sure you practice a lot of them.

  1. A lot of the practice tests online are harder then the real test. But if you find you can not consistently score 20/24 on the tests then it might be worth changing your date. You can usually do this free of charge a week in advance, but check with your test centre.

  2. The material is not hard to learn. Follow the advice, learn the material, make lists, remember the information and practice. There is no reason you can not get 100%.

Good luck all

14

There are a number of free websites that provide sample tests. I cannot find anything on the sites suggesting that they are official copies of the test, but the questions are similar to what is in the official handbook. One such site, that I am not affiliated with, is: http://www.theuktest.com/life-in-the-uk-test/1. An example question is:

Which of these forts were part of Hadrian's Wall?

(Choose any 2 answers)

[ ] Housesteads

[ ] Skara Brae

[ ] Sutton Hoo

[ ] Vindolanda

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    Seriously? That is way harder than the equivalent Canadian test, which I took recently, and I'm pretty sure the number of native Brits who could answer them would be low. – DJClayworth Nov 28 '14 at 4:38
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    You are correct - the number of native Brits who could answer them is indeed low. YouGov - a polling organisation has tested this: 25% of un-prepared native Brits fail the test on average. However younger brits (18-24) would fail 51% of the time. i100.independent.co.uk/article/… has more info. There are sample questions in the link on that page. – oskarpearson Apr 19 '15 at 10:06
  • You need 18 out of 24 to pass. You won't get 24 questions like this one. Quite possible that there is no question like this one in your test at all. – gnasher729 Dec 12 '16 at 23:58
  • This question is not particularly difficult if you live in UK – Bogdan Gavril MSFT Oct 8 '17 at 7:06
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I personally found the life in the UK test to be pretty easy. I was done in 5 minutes, and so were 90% of the people in the room, so it's not likely to be a huge difficulty for you.

As for studying simply read a copy of The life in the uk book, which is the official guide to the test published by the UK government. Every question asked on the test comes from the first chapter of the book, so all you need to do is read that and know that material.

7

For a lot more detail, consider buying the accompanying official practice questions and answers book

You may also find it in your local library, or you can browse it in a local bookstore like WHSmith. Many people are selling their second-hand books very cheaply on http://www.ebay.co.uk/

I found the online sample tests provided by companies were significantly more difficult than the actual test. It's almost as if they want you to panic and buy their product!

5

There is a good summary of the test in this blog:

http://www.nathankowald.com/blog/2013/09/passing-the-life-in-the-uk-test/

It says the questions are all from the official book but the book indeed contains so much information and is quite difficult to remember them all easily, especially if you do not have a western background.

There are lots of websites provide free practice questions but many of them are beyond tricky and are unlikely the questions you will see in a real test.

However, the following website/URL claims to have questions reported by people who have taken the test and you can have an idea what sort of questions you will see in the real test.

http://www.testlifeinuk.com/question-browse

  • I've tried this site - it has quite a few bugs and rendering on the phone is horrible. I've also tried many other sites and now using FreeLifeInTheUKTest.com - I like its minimalistic interface which is quite handy especially when used on the phone (I practice while commuting :)) – Vlad Aug 11 '14 at 0:52
  • Both those last two links are now dead. – DJClayworth Nov 28 '14 at 4:39
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You don't actually need to read the book, it's tedious and by the time you get to the end of it you forget most of it. What you need to do is discover, understand and remember all facts in the book. For the most effective way to do that , Just goole for "Life in the UK test smart study chapter summaries" and read those. Also try a set of questions which cover and test all facts in the book.

I wold steer clear of the brain dump type sites where they publish reported test question, since the questions are randomly selected and they can be changed at any time! the surest way to pass is described above (not just my experience but 1000s of others passed this way !)

  • 1
    Your answer is not the place to discuss edits. If you're not happy with the edit being done you can discuss about it in Expatriates Meta – drat Jul 14 '14 at 7:46
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    Also information like that should go into your user profile – SztupY Jul 14 '14 at 8:51
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I passed my test first time, it was easy. I used practice tests from https://lifeintheuktests.co.uk/

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    Hi Nick. Is that your website? – Dirty-flow Nov 26 '14 at 14:03
  • Need 50 comments to be able to comment back, but no – user3813 Dec 8 '14 at 22:07
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"Apart from reading the handbook". one should read 3rd edition book and understand well. After that practice some questions from online websites. i.e. http://www.officiallifeintheuk.co.uk/test/, http://www.lifeinuktests.co.uk

You never pass the test without studying official resource book.

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Nowadays you can find the contents of the handbook for free on the internet. Also according to the wikipedia the pass rate between 2010 and 2014 has been of 75.17%, which is not bad. As stated above you just need a lot of practice, but the test itself is not difficult and it is a multiple-choice test, which from my point of view makes it easier. When I took mine I was recommended this siteto start with as you can practice chapter by chapter, but also tried other webs and practised as much as I could. When I took the test it was easy piece and pass!

0

This website http://uktestpass.co.uk has practice tests.

The real test has 24 questions, picked at random, and you need to get 75% of the questions right, that is 18 out of 24.

Just do the first test on the site, check each answer, write down your score. Then you do the second test, check each answer, write down your score. Don't worry about what the score is at that point. Don't worry about questions where you had no idea what the correct answer is. Just do all the tests on the site. You should get through the whole series of tests in around two hours.

When you are done, you start all over again. Maybe on the next day :-) You will notice that you remember some answers to the questions that you wouldn't have known on the first round. So write down all your scores, they should have become better.

You repeat until you regularly get 21 out of 24 questions right, and never fail to get 18 out of 24 right. Then you are ready to pass the test for real.

And if you need to pass the theory test to get your driving license, that's exactly the method to use as well.

protected by SztupY Sep 8 '15 at 16:37

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