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Passing the Life in the UK Test

Test Interface

I passed my Life in the UK test today!

What is the Life in the UK test?

It is a computer-based test of 24 questions covering topics such as British history, traditions, society, government, values and culture.

Who needs to take it?

You need to take the test if you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or naturalisation as a British citizen.

What’s the official website for the test?

http://lifeintheuktest.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

How do you book a test?

The only way to book and pay for your test is online.

1. Register for a Life in the UK account
2. Choose a test session
3. Pay for your test. Current cost is £50.

It’s very important to make sure when you register for a Life in the UK account that your personal details are right. If they are not, you won’t able to take your test.
You can book as many tests as you like, but all tests booked through your account must be for you.

Where are the test questions taken from?

All of the questions in the test are taken from the official Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents – 3rd Edition book.

There’s an Official Study Guide (which I bought, but hardly used) and Official Practice Questions and Answers book also.

If you want you can get the guide on PDF, Audio CD and for your Kindle.

What to expect when you arrive at the test centre

This is based on my experience today: 28 September 2013.
I assume it’s the same or similar at every test centre.

My test was at 2:30, I arrived at the test centre at 2:05, 10 minutes earlier than the 15 minutes they recommend. You won’t be able to take the test if you arrive less than 5 minutes before the start time. You’ll then have to book and pay for another test so make sure you plan your journey well and give yourself time in case something goes wrong.

I took a seat with the other people in the room who were taking the test. The room was full – of approximately 20 seats there were 5 available.
Staff asked for my identification and found me on their printed sheet of paper. They told me where the toilet was and that there was drinking water in the corner of the room.
I was given a number and laminated information sheet explaining the test-taking process and that I should turn off my phone and any electronic devices.
I read the information and handed the sheet back. Five minutes passed and my number was called.

I went into a small room and was asked by one staff member for my registered form of identification and proof of address. I registered with a passport so gave this to the staff member. She commented that I had lost weight since my passport photo was taken, and “well done” :) My proof of address was a council tax bill, so handed this to them also.
I was asked my full name, date of birth, nationality, place of birth and post code. This information was checked against the information I registered with and my passport.

Be very careful when booking your test and make sure your information is correct.
The first time I booked my test I registered my identification as, a ‘Biometric Residence Permit’ thinking this was the same as my passport (as my passport contains my biometric information). It is not the same, THIS is a biometric residence permit.

biometric-residence-permit

And this is an Australian passport, the identification I used to book the test the second time.

australian-passport

Can you spot the difference? Well done, you’re smarter than me.

I still don’t know why I chose the ‘Biometric Residence Permit’ the first time. I think I saw this option and thought it was a stronger form of identification than a passport. This is stupid as all forms of accepted ID are equally valid.
Here are the current accepted forms of identification.

When I went to the test centre the first time, an applicant was refused because he didn’t have his printed bank statement (proof of address) stamped by his bank.
The details you register with must match. If you have a middle name on your passport, enter your middle name when you book your test. You don’t want to lose your £50 due to a small error or omission, as I did!

I was nervous when answering the staff member’s simple questions and when she paused after I answered, I imagined her finding some small mistake and telling me, no this is wrong, you will have to re-apply. They ask you these questions to verify that you are who you say you are and if you’re careful when booking your test, you will be fine.
Once my details were verified, I was told to write my signature on a sheet of paper.

You’re not allowed to have a bag, book or study notes next to you when you take the test. If you bring a bag, staff ask you to place it in a locker. I was told my bag was too large for a locker, so I was allowed to take it into the test room, but told to put it on a desk far away from my computer.

In the test room I was shown to a desk, with a computer. The keyboard was placed on top of the PC’s tower, because as explained by a staff member, they don’t want you to accidentally press a button and close the test.
We were told to place our ID on our desks. I sat at my desk and waited as other people who had booked the same session time filled the room.

Five minutes before the test was to start we were told there would be a practice test we could take, consisting of 4 questions. This would make us familiar with the test software and see how to go to the next question, or jump to previous questions etc.
Instructions for how to answer questions are printed and displayed on the privacy wall of your desk also.

We were told that if we needed to go to the toilet or get water, to do so now, as you can’t once the test starts. We were told to turn off all electronic devices. We were told that the test consists of 24 questions, that we have 45 minutes to answer the questions, and that it is very important to only press the ‘Finish test’ button when you’re sure that you’re finished. If you accidentally press this before you’re ready to submit the answers, the staff can’t undo this. When we finished we were to raise our hand. A staff member would give us a number and we would wait in the reception for our result and hopefully have a smile on our faces because we passed :)

A few minutes went by and it was time to take the practice test. Two staff members made their way to each test-taker’s computer, opened the test software.
They logged into the software and once again verified our details from our ID: name, date of birth and something else. We were told to press a button to verify this information was correct.
I then took the 4 question test and practiced jumping to previous questions. I noticed that as well as pressing ‘Previous question’, you can click the question squares at the top to jump directly to earlier questions. I got 4 out of 4 questions correct and found the interface easy to use.

Test Interface
The current test

When I finished the practice test, a staff member told me to press the ‘Take Test’ button. I pressed it and started my official test.

The pass mark is 75%, so you must get 18 out of 24 questions correct to pass.
This means you can get 6 questions wrong and still pass.

I studied a lot for the test. It took me five minutes to answer the 24 questions. I was certain of the answers to most of the questions. I jumped to the start and re-read each question carefully making sure my answers were correct. As I was allowed 6 incorrect answers, I counted on my fingers how many questions I was unsure about and saw that there were 4 questions I wasn’t certain about. I revisited these 4 questions and found that while I wasn’t sure of the answer, that eliminating any obviously wrong answers left me with two choices. I then focused on the two choices and thought about which one made logical sense and if there was anything about the question or answer which made one answer more likely.
When I was confident that the 4 out of my allowed 6 incorrect answers were good answers, I pressed the ‘Finish test’ button. I had 36 minutes remaining. I raised my hand and was given a number (3). I was the third person to finish the test.

I went into the reception, sat down and thought about the possibly incorrect answers I gave to those 4 questions.
After a few minutes I was called into the same tiny room and asked once again for my ID. I handed over my passport. I was again asked my date of birth and possibly postcode.
I was then – to my great relief – told I had passed the test! I was very happy.

I was given my printed Pass Notification Letter and told to look after it because they only give you one.
I was asked if I was going to apply for Indefinite Leave in person or by post. I replied in person. They said I had to provide this proof of passing along with my ILR application.
I was then asked to sign the pass certificate. As I was still nervous I made a small mistake in my signature, I put an extra loop in my last name. So another piece of advice is relax when you sign your name! :) If I knew I had to sign my name twice I would have thought about this before and told myself to relax. I’m sure for you signing your name is not a problem, as it was for me. My last name ends in ALD so the loops in the cursive of my signature sometimes varies slightly.
I was told congratulations again and that I could go.

I can’t reveal any of the questions I received in the test but repeat what I’ve seen other successful test-takers say: if you study the book well, you’ll have no problem passing the test. I didn’t come across any “trick questions”.

Study (verb)

Tips for passing

  • Study a lot from the official book, which currently is Life in the United Kingdom – 3rd edition.
  • Be extremely careful when booking your test. Enter correct information.
  • Arrive early. Plan to arrive 45 minutes early, giving yourself a 30 minute window.
  • Practice your signature ;) (read above if you skipped to this part).
  • Relax!
  • You’re allowed 6 incorrect answers.
    Count the questions you’re unsure about to see how likely you are to pass.
  • Use the toilet before the test.
  • Eat a healthy meal so you’re not hungry or tired when taking the test.

How do you learn new information? Think about how you have successfully learnt new information in the past and that’s how you best learn new information.

How I studied

For me, taking information in from many sources (books, TV, YouTube, Wikipedia, museums, art galleries) makes the information stick.
Writing notes and encoding information in easy to remember acronyms and pictures works for me also.
For example, something you need to know for the test are the names of each patron saint and their special day.

These are:

  • Wales – St David, 1 March
  • Northern Ireland – St Patrick, 17 March
  • England – St George, 23 April
  • Scotland – St Andrew, 30th November

The only countries that celebrate their patron saints with official holidays are Northern Ireland and Scotland.

To remember this I encoded the information into an acronym: WNES (order of their calendar day).
I remember WNES as it sounds like SNES, so I imagine a W Nintendo Entertainment System.
I then acronymed the months MMAN.
Two Marches, an April, then a November.

The numbers feel easy to remember because they increase:
1 March occurs at the start of the month.
17 March is larger than 1.
23 April is larger than 17.
30 November is larger than 23, occurs at the end of the month, and close to the end of the year.

I also found it useful to list key dates on a number line. That is the years and the events that happened on them in the order they occurred. I was then able to hook close dates to key dates.
Key dates being 1066 – The Norman conquest (invasion, spade a spade).
Another easy to remember date is 1666 the date of the great fire of London (666 being the devil’s number heh). Choose relatively equidistant dates and events and learning others should be easier.

Visit museums and art galleries!

If you live in London, you have access to many FREE museums and art galleries. After reading the book, I found visiting these made facts come to life.

After reading, A long and illustrious history chapter, visit:

The London Museum

It has large displays of artifacts from the Bronze and Iron age.
There’s many opportunities to learn about the Middle Ages (also known as medieval period) which lasted from 1066 (The Normal Conquest) up until about 1485.
Look at paintings and descriptions of the great fire of London.
Information about the 400 years when the Romans occupied Britain and built roads, public buildings, created structures of law and introduced new plants and animals.
Walk around in a great recreation of Victorian era shops.

The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum

I visited for a few hours and enjoyed the interiors and paintings from the time of King Henry VII onwards. Walking around and looking at art, furniture and architecture made it easier for me to imagine myself in the years of the facts I was learning about.

The National Portrait Gallery

Pick up an audio-visual guide (I always enjoy these things, find I leave with much more info than if I didn’t use them).
Look at:
– The Tudor and Elizabethan portraits
– The Stuart portraits and the Civil War
– Georgian and Regency portraits
– Victorian and Edwardian portraits

There’s also the Imperial War Museum – my favourite museum in London.
I especially enjoyed seeing the rations people had to live on during WWII, also the massive V2 rocket and Blitz exhibits.

YouTube all the things!

If there’s a topic you’re learning about, enter it into YouTube and watch something about it.

I enjoyed the Horrible History videos about different topics, here’s a few:
The Wives of Henry the VIII
Oliver Cromwell and Charles the II
Then click on related videos.
A History of Ancient Britain – Age of Bronze (BBC)

Use online practice tests!

Update – 2 July 2014

www.testlifeinuk.com – The creator of this excellent Life in the UK practise test website commented below. It’s an excellent test site that allows you to bookmark incorrect answers so you can easily track the questions you need to work on.

Life UK Test

This free Life in the UK practise test website was the most comprehensive and useful that I found (at the time — see 2 July 2014 update): www.theuktest.com/life-in-the-uk-test/1.

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 9.26.16 PM

You get instant feedback when you answer a question.
I wish it “saved” incorrect answers to questions in a list, that you could take again a later stage.
There’s 46 pages of test questions taken from the 3rd edition of the guide for you to take.
Another thing I wished the site had was a “random” button, as I’d find myself taking the first six or so pages of questions, then the last ten pages and would not tend to answer the ones in the middle as much.

I created this bookmark that takes you to a random page (1 of the 46 pages) each time. Simply copy this URL and add it to your bookmarks:

javascript:window.location=’http://www.theuktest.com/life-in-the-uk-test/’ + Math.floor((Math.random()*46)+1);

If the number of pages change, simply change the number 46 above to the new number of pages.

Other Links

Life in the UK Test Pinboard
#LifeInTheUKTest Twitter search

Conclusion

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when taking your Life in the UK test.
I hope the tips on how you can pass your Life in the UK test are useful.

Another thing I found useful was reading about other people’s experiences of taking the test.
There’s an official Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/lifeintheuktest – for the test.
You can talk to people who are studying for the test, and ask questions you may have about the test or applying for Indefinite Leave, or citizenship. The owner posts questions from the test regularly too.

Good luck! If you have study tips or links to information you found helpful, share it below.

If you study a lot by reading the Official Life in the United Kingdom guide and enter your information correctly when booking, you will pass!

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67 Comments

  1. Our online video courses and free practice tests help you to prepare for the life in the Uk test in 2014 and gain British citizenship, covering the official government handbook – Life in the UK, A Guide for New Residents, 3rd edition. Visit our website to purchase the course.

    life in UK test

  2. chris

    Just took the test today; 24/24 correct in 75 seconds! On the other hand, I took a heck of a lot of practice tests ahead of time, just about memorised that little book, and I suspect it helps that I'm a history teacher from a country where English is my first language.

    That said, your description of the procedure is accurate and helpful for anyone nervous about the test. The invigilators at my centre were also extremely kind and clearly wanted people to pass (unlike when I took my written driving test! What a group of harpies).

    Absolutely people must register their details correctly; I was almost turned away because I *did* write out my name exactly as it appears on my passport, but it doesn't exactly fit the spaces on the form. Other people who were turned away had brought in photocopies of their passport, etc.

    Yep — study the book. There are, in fact, inaccuracies in the history section and some seriously 'whitewashed' sections — it doesn't matter: study the book! A lot of the stuff in there is bizarre trivia, but it's their test, their rules.

    chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Congratulations on passing your Life in the UK test today! In 75 seconds! Wow, that's fast.

      Thanks for confirming the importance of registering your details correctly. Being turned away myself – for registering with an incorrect form of identification – and seeing someone turned away on my test day for providing an insufficient form of address makes me think this must happen frequently.

      Interesting to hear about the inaccuracies and whitewashed bits :)

    • Henda oudhini ep Marzouk

      Hi Chris,im wondering if you could help me as Im supposed to pass Life in the Uk test next week,you mentioned that you booked the test with your passport,can you tell me please does your full name has a middle name ?
      My full name is Henda Oudhini ep Marzouk and im getting confused on how to fill the details of my full name in the booking form .Im looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.Thank you

  3. mockthetest

    Hi Nathan

    Really nice post,! thanks.

    I hope you don't mind me posting a website here: http://www.testlifeinuk.com
    I took the test a few months back and felt that most of the websites for the test are a bit old fashion. So I took some time developed it with some new tech and modern favours.I hope you and your reader will love it.

    Thanks, John

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for commenting and posting your excellent website for readers of this post.
      Great interface, easy to use, good summary.
      I've just taken the practise test and got 23/24 heh.
      I especially like the bookmark feature where you can save questions for later, something I wanted when using http://www.theuktest.com/life-in-the-uk-test/1
      I've updated my blog post to recommend your site as I think it's the best practise site available now.
      It's a great use for Angular too. I'm currently learning this.

      It's strange that they didn't let you leave when you finished your quiz. I was allowed to leave when I finished mine. I guess there's slight variations with every test centre.

      Thanks for the share.

  4. mockthetest

    Really appreciated mate! I'm glad you liked it!
    Still long way to go to rank in Google though, but you just kick me started :) thanks again.

  5. anant

    Dear All,
    I have one question –
    I have booked my life in the Uk test for 15th November 2014 but just noticed that I have filed in the wrong 'Town or city of birth' but since the exam is due in less than 7 days, the system won't allow me to change the details.

    Is there anything that can be done please? I called in the helpdesk today and they told me nothing can be done now, any help will be greatly appreciated

    • Hi,

      Sorry to hear about this mistake. I feel your pain. I registered with an incorrect form of ID and had to re-book my test.

      I would try reaching out to them on their official Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/lifeintheuktest, explaining your situation. It does sound like their systems can't be modified in this short time though.

  6. anant

    thanks and i will try this route, but will they not allow to update the details at the exam center before confirming the details?

  7. anant

    Hi Nathan,

    I was not allowed to appear in the life in UK test because town of birth was incorrect, although in the document given to me by the center it says that Country is incorrect but I guess there was no point in arguing. Although my friend was allowed to sit in the test (different test center) even though his name was incorrect.

    So guys, please be careful in filling the information, DON'T USE AUTO -FILL WHILE BOOKING THE TEST

    Thanks

    • Hey,

      Sorry you weren't allowed to take the test.
      I'm surprised that your friend was allowed to take the test when he registered with an incorrect name! Seems inconsistent.

      Thanks for replying and warning other test takers to be VERY careful when they register their information.

      Good luck for your test when you take it!

    • Henda oudhini ep Marzouk

      What do you mean auto_fill.sister please ?

  8. Asif M.

    I passed my life in the uk test today :) I will now be applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. I though the test was quite easy, but it had a lot of little sneaky questions. I didn't know a single date (apart from st patrons) and I managed to pass, so I think the test was easy. I think it's harder for those who can't speak English well. I used https://lifeintheuktests.co.uk/ to prepare for my test, passed all tests on the website also.

    • n8kowald

      Hey, congratulations! It\’s a great feeling. Good luck with your ILR application.
      Agree that it would be hard for non-english speakers.
      Thanks for leaving your impressions of the test.

  9. Jakey D

    Nate, thanks for the blog. I passed today 22/24. I remembered most of the questions then checked afterwards and was sure two were incorrect. There were a few tricky ones that could easily be overlooked during study (e.g. who made the first coins to be minted in Britain?; Who invented the printing press?; Who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie the battle of 1746?). It really takes about 5 mins to answer all 24 questions, then took another 5 mins to check over each question twice before submitting. I was second to finish and leave soon after.

    Before the test, there we 2 people that didn't have the proper documentation and we sent home. It amazes me still that people overlook this or bring uncertified photocopies. I had my Biometric card as my primary and my DVLA licence for my address, I took bills and a bank statement just for backup.

    For study, I took about two weeks but it wasn't very intensive. I used powerpoint and googled images of the people, places, logos then overlaid key numbers or dates to it sticks in my memory. I also listed a timeline of from the start of the book to the modern era and colour coded key sections such as the Early Ages, Medieval period, Henry VIII & Elizabeth I period, Civil War era, Parliament & Bill of Rights period, Victorian era, WWI & II period and the current Elizabeth II period. If you remember the key people and battles, you should be ok.

    Finally, in the last 3 days I took the practice tests which realistically take about 3 mins each and there are about 47 so you can do it over a few hours. Don't be mad if you don't get 100%, so long as you answer around 20+ correct questions, you'll be right. I got stumped on a few questions.

    Best of luck to everyone going for their tests.

    • Hi Jake,

      Congratulations on passing your Life in the UK test!
      Another report of people turned away for not having proper documentation! This is very important. I'm glad you were prepared.

      I like your pictures with key dates study tip. Also a colour coded timeline is a great idea.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, it's very useful to others taking the test.

  10. vikipilenche

    Really good tips, I am sitting my test next week :) I hope I can pass. I found this site super helpful also http://uktestpass.co.uk/

  11. vikipilenche

    Hi thanks Nathan!

    It is a site my friend made, it was her first one. Really proud of her!

    Do you think you could post it in the main post!? I know it is a big ask but she would be so happy and http://uktestpass.co.uk is a good site!

    I will show her :) if you want to email me and ask me anything let me know or can pass messages on.

    xx

    • Joshua

      It seems like your friend is using another website's design, already mentioned here. (lifeintheuktests.co.uk), you should really tell her to get own ideas.

      I think it would not be fair to add uktestpass, when the original lifeintheuktests.co.uk is not even mention in the post.

  12. Try http://www.test4citizenship.com to get all the book content and more than 1200 questions

  13. Jumas

    At http://www.lifeintheuktestweb.co.uk/ you can also practice by chapter. For example if you want to practice chapters 1 and 2, which are the shorstest, you can take this test http://www.lifeintheuktestweb.co.uk/test-1-2, however if you want to practice the whole book you can start with http://www.lifeintheuktestweb.co.uk/test-1. Thanks for this article Nathan, it is very helpful. Good luck with your blog!

    • Jack_Union

      You should have a look at the website http://citizenpaper.co.uk/ as well. This is really good. I got so much support from when I was preparing for my test as well. I wrote a previous post on it as well.

  14. marylays

    If you are taking the Life in the UK test, you must read the Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents handbook. The book covers a range of topics you need to know to pass your test. Order book from https://www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp?FO=124016

  15. marylays

    You will be asked 24 different questions. There are 4 types of question in the test. i.e one correct answer from four questions, True or False and etc. try these practice tests http://ukcitizenshiptests.com/practice-test/

    • Andy

      If you are taking the Life in the UK test, remember you can study online and read the Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents handbook. Take the actual questions and pass first time! http://citizenpaper.co.uk/

  16. Mustafa Kemal

    It has been 10 years since the test was introduced and despite many negative feedback it has manage to survive with some minor amends ( I said minor but not sure if it can be called minor :-) ). I would like to give credit to http://www.lifeintheuk.org for being the first to put some material together – they helped me a lot. Now there are plenty alternatives free and commercial. Even TSO noticed the gap and put the 'Official' version of practice test: http://www.officiallifeintheuk.co.uk/test/.

    Thanks for sharing your experience Nathan.

  17. murraysara

    Hi Nathan,

    I am writing to you concerning your blog post about your experience passing the Life in the UK test.

    My name is Sara Murray; I am a final year undergraduate at King’s College London where I am studying BA English Language and Communication. I am currently in the process of conducting research for my dissertation, which is an exploration into the relationship between English language and British citizenship. My aim is to investigate people’s perceptions on the nature and content of the Life in the UK test and how they feel the test relates to ‘Britishness’ and indeed what this concept even entails.

    Due to these research aims, I am particularly interested in speaking to people who have either taken the test or are preparing to take the test. I was wondering if you would be interested in allowing me to interview you about your experience?

    In order to use the data for my dissertation I would need to have a chat with you for around 40-45 minutes and record it. Please do let me know if this is something you believe you would be interested in. I would be sincerely grateful if you could assist me in my research in any way possible.

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

    Yours sincerely,

    Sara Murray

  18. Jodie Tize

    If you are taking the Life in the UK test, remember you can study online and read the Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents handbook. Take the actual questions and pass first time! http://citizenpaper.co.uk/
    Also here all the test questions http://citizenpaper.co.uk/life-in-the-uk-test/

  19. Jayesh

    Hi Nathan,
    Passed my Life in the UK test this week! I did everything you recommended and passed the test easily. Some questions were a little tricky, especially about dates but I managed. Reading the book and doing online practice tests is the best way to study in my opinion. Also wanted to share the website that I used for online tests https://lituktest.com/
    Maybe it will help others too.
    Yours sincerely,
    Jayesh

    • Hi Jayesh,

      Congratulations on passing your Life in the UK test! :)
      Thanks for sharing the online test you found helpful in studying for the test.

  20. WD

    I did my test today (July 2016) in a centre in London. I thought I share my experience but obviously don’t take what I say is something that works in all centres you need to draw what principles of this you can find.

    1. I passed.

    The process that happened

    2. I got to the venue 345pm for my 6pm test. This is to ensure I am already there. I then went to a certain coffee shop for the lubrication and read my pdf (because I haven’t finished)

    3. I planned to get to the venue say 45 minutes prior, so I left just after 5pm. It’s only 2 minutes to get there so I gently stroll and not let the occasion overwhelm me.

    4. Having signed in at the building’s visitor book, I was told where to go. This bit was a bit confusing because the door says 4 and I don’t have the door number in sight. The most obvious was door 4 and I hoped I would then other door numbers behind this door. Indeed, all room numbers were there. I was a little relieved until…

    5. Reception room – this is very similar to what Nathan said above. They asked you and you got to tell your own details verbally to the officer. Probably of the cosmopolitan nature of what the centre is, the conversation was very quick.

    The exact sequence is – I handed over my ID, as I thought this is most likely the starting point so might as well hand it to him to start. He took it and asked for my name. I said my complete name. While it’s not a ‘English’ name, I thought I said it the way it is (the native way) and let him figure out. That was no problem. Then your date of birth. No problem.

    Then he asked for proof of address. I actually had 3 forms; I took 2 out as they were slightly stuck together and he said that’s fine and took over both, and looked at the top. The one on the top has my firstnames as initials. The one below that has them fully printed. He asked for my postcode. No problem. He handed the papers back to me.

    Remember this is all very quick.

    He then said a few things in quick succession and I struggled to follow (my head was trying to zone in to the test, not a verbal interview!), but what he said was, here is your ID, take it to the test room, here is a key to the locker room, use this locker , after the locker room, please go to the test room. I think I paused a little just to ensure I understood and looked at what he handed to me – ok I got it.

    So I went to the locker room, just before I got there, another officer said to me if the locker was too small for my belonging, I could come back to the reception and leave my bag there. At the locker room, the locker was indeed too small. So recalling what the first officer told me about mobile phone and watch, I thought I sort out these items by turning the phone off and put both item into the bag. I wasn’t sure of my wallet, and contents of my top pocket (with my passport, as a backup ID).

    I went back to the reception to put my belonging down, and the second officer said you could lock my valuable in the locker, and I thought keep it simple, leave them in my bag. I asked him about my wallet, he said something to the effect it’s fine to keep it with me.

    At this point, I realize something – my test time is 6pm, but it’s probably about 515pm, does this mean if I enter the test room, my test will begin, even it’s before test start time? Anyhow, there’s nowhere and nothing else to do, and if I wait in the corridor they will instruct me to the test room anyway. So I went in.

    What annoyed me a little was that as I enter, the staff instructed me to sit at the desk nearest the door. I am not one who likes maximum exposure but I thought I am not going to argue about it and sat down.

    I noticed on the screen several names appeared on screen, one of them was mine. The selected my name and logged in with their own login information and gave me some brief information.

    Remember I didn’t expect to start till 6pm. I was hoping to settle down and do some practice tests leading to that. But not going to happen.

    I felt the occasion is running away from me; so I took a chance to ask the staff a question in order to settle myself down, any question will do, a human contact at this point can help! So I asked if there were practice questions when I clicked start. The staff said yes, and that instructions will be on screen.

    I better not give too much detail away. In any case, the screen has all the instructions about the test. There was practice questions (4).

    There were buttons to clear your choice to enter again for each question. Another very good thing I found is that there is an audio playback button which reads the question and available choices to you. Although I don’t need this – I noticed everyone else in the room had the headphone on, I thought I better follow suit else I miss a trick. Since I got the headphone on, I thought I will use the audio playback button to pace my test. That means, apart from visually reading the question, the audio option makes sure I really got the question and not reading things into the question. The audio is very clear, recording of real humans reading the question.

    So, my flow is, go to next question, click audio, and follow through, then read the questions as many times through as I want, and then make my choice.

    You can also flag each question so that you have a visual cue on question numbers that you can go back to later.

    You can go back to any previous questions you have already done and use the edit / clear button to make a new choice.

    I did the questions in the sequence they were laid out. Once I completed, I went back to the flagged ones and checked many times over. By this time I am about 8 minutes in, and hey I have plenty of time, why rush. After this, I went back to Q1 and checked through all questions. Having done all this, it’s about 15 minutes in, and I thought it’s getting silly to repeat the process. I am prepared to submit – click on ‘end test’.

    Once you click this, I was asked to confirm TWICE. I can’t promise this will happen when you take your test. So be absolutely sure you want to proceed. I was getting to the point I was sick of the questions so better submit it.

    The instruction at the start of the test was that when you complete, you should stand up quietly without affecting others in the room, and proceed to the reception room for your test results. The test room was small and I knew the staff would soon notice my screen that I had completed, and indeed the staff came over to say proceed back to reception, so I did. At this point I did not know my result.

    When I got back to the reception room, sat down, gave my ID to the officer, he remembered my name, he looked at the screen and said something like great you passed. I just want to complete the process so I didn’t focus on the emotion of the moment. He printed the ‘pass’ paper, said some information or instruction quickly that I thought it wasn’t earth shatteringly important and let it pass my head, and then got what he said to read the bit on the paper and sign in the box. I did that. He then handed the paper to me. That was it. I passed.

    Quickly glanced over the paper, it does not show my score, only that I passed. On the way out, I chatted to something coming out with a result paper to double check if there was a score. This person said he failed and a quick look of the paper shows it lists something like the number of questions failed in which particular subjects – that’ my impression though, I didn’t actually get to read the exact words. This person started saying “3”, I think that meant failed by 3 questions.

    To recall, I flagged 7 questions that I wasn’t 100% sure about. My feeling is that half of this I might have got wrong. However, coming away and checking on the materials on 2 of these questions I managed to remember, I got them correct. Out of the remaining 5 I now could not recall, if I did wrongly in 3, and did wrongly in the remaining questions I knew were correct, then I could have done 4 wrong. There’s no way to know now.

    Another aspect is that I found 1 question that I have not read about in the sense that I probably missed the detail in the book. All other questions were within areas I had read.

    Another thing is only 1 question I thought required a bit of ‘clarity’ in reading because I felt it was a little bit ‘tricky’. This is not tricky as some of the practice tests on the web.

    On the whole, I find the 24 questions much more straightforward then some of the practice tests. Again, don’t take my word for this. It could be very different with your test.

    By the time I left the building, it was still before 6pm. I got more excited at this stage I got through this stage.

    • Hi WD,

      Congratulations on passing your Life in the UK test!
      I agree, the questions are straightforward. If you study the official book well, you will pass.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences here for others!
      I like to know as much about things before I do them. I created this blog post to share my experiences.
      With your experiences added, visitors can get a very good picture of what to expect when they take their test.

  21. Donny

    Life in the UK Test – Facts
    •The 24 multiple choice questions in the test are designed to be answered within 45 minutes.
    •To pass the test you need to answer at least 18 out of 24 questions correctly, which comes out to be 75%.
    •The questions are chosen by the computer system randomly through a question bank of thousands of questions
    •All across the United Kingdom there are roughly 60 authorised centres for this b 1 English test. Please see this link here – ( http://citizenpaper.co.uk/booking-centre/ )
    •The rate of candidates pass this test is 80% approximately

    • Anita

      In order to prepare for this UK citizenship test, I started searching for various sites across the web and got some references from my friends too. Fortunately, I encountered Citizenpaper http://citizenpaper.co.uk/ Seriously this website provided me a detailed study guide that encompassed all the crucial information required to sit for the examination. Here are the topics included in the study guide:

  22. Jack_Union

    Thanks for the great post Nathan. Very informative.

    To Donny and Anita,

    I would have to agree with you. I am from Australia and I was looking into getting citizenship in the UK – various factors really – job and my wife is Northern Irish. So I was looking for some really good websites where I could look at the study materials and practice the tests online. So I found the website http://citizenpaper.co.uk/ really, really useful. The layout is superb and was a seamless transition from start to finish.

    Thanks to this website, I had actually passed my citizenship test. Would totally recommend it to people out there.

  23. Chaudry

    Good effort you made for others

  24. Mahipal singh

    Hi,my name is Mahipal Singh.i want to know that while doing life in the U.K. Test can I use earphone to hear the question what is given on the screen.

  25. maria2347

    Hello Nathan, thank you so much for all your tips, I feel better knowing what to expect. I have my Life in the UK test next week and i have been practicing with http://ukcitizenshipsupport.com but I know you mentioned another website and I will use it too, better be too prepared than not enough right? I am not sure what the Home Office has to make the test so hard, I mean how much information can we memorize? But you passed your test, so wish me good luck!

    • Hi Maria,

      You are welcome. I like to know what to expect before doing things and wanted to help others with this post.
      I agree, it is better to over prepare.

      Good luck for your test next week!
      If you have been reading from the official book and taking practice tests and doing well then you will be fine!

  26. khan

    i have lived in this country for more than 15 years, i know how to drink smoke swear rude to parents rude to other people drink driving ban walked out on employers so on how much more you want me to prove that i am an true britishcitizen so why books exams and all that nonsense even people born and bred here dont know these quest/answers ask the QUEEN or the prime minister of UK they wouldn’t know the answers. discrimination is a crime racism is a crime what would you call this THE LAW.

    • khan

      BRIBE is a crime this fee that fee its application fee admin fee post office fee checking fee nonsense fee call it BRIBE ME pls. MP’s dont even change their clothes that much the way the law changes every year only for the middle class/low class/immigrants.

  27. Steve

    Thanks Nathan. Hi Khan.
    Reading between your (Khan’s) broken English, (did you say you have been here for 15 years? Did that include any school age time?) it sounds like you are angry. Do you need to take the test or does someone you know? Are you sure you belong or want to be here? What type of question or test, if any, do you think should be taken to determine worthiness or genuineness? You do know it is for the richest and the poorest, don’t you? Kind regards and wishing you a pleasant attitude to life, Britain and the British – for all its good, bad and ugly.

    • Katrina

      Khan actually has a point there!
      NOTHING about the test signifies you are “ready to be a good citizen” !
      It is just a bureacratic process to keep down the number of applications!
      Really- is it important that people know the exact year James ll tried to retake the throne, or they year women won the right to vote?
      I could tell you all about the fact that Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragates, protested, chained themselves to railings and even broke windows in their efforts to demonstrate their anger at being denied a right for women to vote- to actually know the story and circumstances is more meaningful than the “actual date”, yet the test features heavily on dates of this and numbers of that!
      Fortunately for me, I have always been able to cram for exams and get a good pass while things are fresh in my photographic memory, but for many people it is an overwhelming amount of trivial data to remember!
      What would be a much more relevant question to prepare people for life in the UK would be something like this:
      “It is a bank holiday weekend- Being Britain, that means the weather is most likely to turn and :
      1) Be hot and sunny
      2)Pour with rain and be grey and overcast
      3)Snow
      4) Be surprisingly pleasant

      Anyone who knows Britain well could answer THAT question accurately!
      How about some useful questions too such as :
      Pick the two most relevant answers: “In the UK, it is important for people who immigrate to Britain to be willing to:
      1) Integrate and embrace the British people and way of life.
      2) Keep to themselves
      3) Be a law abiding and respectful citizen
      4) Be a Beatles fan

      I think the test is like a shoddy trivia pub quiz and is a useless tool to determine who does and doesn’t have the understanding to be a god British citizen.
      It is true many British born folk wouldn’t even come close to be able to answer these questions, and for people with learning difficulties and other challenges, it would be nigh impossible to pass.

  28. mye

    Thank you, Nathan for this very helpful blog. I took my test this morning and passed on my first try.

    I have shared this link to my friends as well who are due to take their exams in the next few weeks. The youtube videos were very useful as you recommended.

    Testlifeintheuk.com is definitely a star! I couldn’t have prepared better.

    • Steve

      My wife went to take her test last week. She was turned away as the country of origin on her UK driving licence ID said UK. Please note that there is no prefix to say what each entry means, e.g. The work UK could be where the licence was sourced or where she lives, so there was no way she was to know it was an error. Applied for a new licence online. As before, she made it very clear that she was Indian, from India. Licence arrived a few days ago and it still says UK. Should she really be responsible for this or pay the fees? She is going to find out how to fix this. The checking of detail accuracy is clearly noted on this site as important, but this was not possible to predict.

    • Hi mye,

      Congratulations on passing your test first try!
      It’s a great feeling.

      Nathan

  29. Zilin Hunter

    Hi Nathan, Your site is very informative & helpful for those looking to apply British Citizenship and I see great potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. Please get in touch with my on this Email : zilin.hunter@iasuk.org or call on (+44)2081081031 to discuss further. Looking forward to hear from you.

  30. Alessandro

    Thank you for your tips Nathan!

    I’ll try the test the day after tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!

  31. Henda oudhini ep Marzouk

    What do you mean auto_fill.sister please ?

  32. Tarie Chinyamas

    Hello, I have my test very soon however I have noticed that I misspelt my home address I just wanted to know if this would affect my application and registration would this mean that I might get sent back?

    • Hi Tarie,

      Sorry!
      They are very strict about registration details so this could affect your application but I can’t say for sure.

      I would try phoning their helpline to find out:

      Life in the UK Test Helpline
      Telephone: 0800 015 4245
      Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
      (accurate at time of writing)

      Did you create an account when registering?
      I’m wondering if you can update your details via this?

      You’ll get a refund if you cancel your test at least 3 days (72 hours) before you’re due to take the test.
      https://www.gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test/cancellations-refunds-complaints

      All the best,
      Nathan

  33. Sara

    Hii

    I have a test on Friday I wanted to ask whether you have to use the keyboard at any time in the test or just move the mouse.

  34. Alzbeta

    Hi!
    please, can you tell me if I can use ‘Life in the UK’ book 2013 edition or do I need to purchase one from 2019?
    Cheers
    B

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