When do I need to do the Life in the UK Test?

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The Life in the UK Test is required for individuals making Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship applications in the UK.

In this article, we will explore the requirements.

What is the Life in the UK test?

The Life in the UK Test (also known as the ‘British Citizenship test’ or ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain test’) is a multiple-choice computer-based test comprised of 24 questions. It is designed to test candidates’ knowledge of day-to-day life in the UK.

Why is it necessary to take the Life in the UK Test?

There are different eligibility criteria for securing ILR or citizenship depending on the visa route, but one thing is certain, the Life in the UK Test is a requirement for all paths to citizenship. Insufficient knowledge of life in the UK is a reason for refusal of a citizenship application unless you are exempt from taking it.

Does everyone need to take the Life in the UK Test?

No, you will not need to take the test if one of the following applies to you:

  • You are under the age of 18 or over 65.
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test before.
  • You have a long-term physical or mental condition and can prove this with a form or letter from a doctor.

How do I find Life in the UK test centres?

There are currently around 30 Life in the UK test centres. You will need to book the test via the gov.uk website, at least three days in advance of sitting the test and it will cost £50.

What should I expect when booking the test?

During the booking process, you will be asked to provide proof of identification (your BRP), your address and email address, and card details. You will be given options of the closest test centres to your home address. Unfortunately, it is not possible to book the test at a centre outside of the options provided to you.

Do not forget to bring the same identification document that you used to book the test and a proof of address (for example, a utility bill not more than three months old) to the centre on the day. The proof of address must be an original copy, as photocopies will not be accepted.

When should the test be taken?

It is advisable to take the test in good time in case it takes you a few attempts to pass. Also, a test completion reference is a requirement for citizenship applications too.

What sort of questions are included in the Life in the UK Test?

As is the case with most tests, adequate preparation is recommended. The test will be based on the content in the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test.

You will have 45 minutes to answer the 24 questions on a range of topics including British history, traditions, customs, and culture. Some examples of questions include:

‘Where is the Cenotaph located?’

‘When is Christmas day?’

‘Where was Robert Burns from?’

‘When is St David’s day?’

You will need to answer 75% (at least 18 out of the 24 questions) correctly to pass.

How can I study and prepare for the test?

Whilst studying for such a test may seem overwhelming at first, there are a number of resources at your disposal. You can purchase the official handbook for the ‘Life in the UK Test’ published by the Home Office. This helpful handbook contains the material and content that the test questions are based upon.

Lifeintheuktests.co.uk is an online resource that also offers Life in the UK practice questions that you can complete in your own time before the test. If you provide an incorrect answer, the correct answer is provided with an explanation, which is useful in the learning process.

Is the Life in the UK Test easy to pass?

Many people wonder whether the test is easy to pass or not, but it really depends on the person. Overall, as long as you practice and have a good idea of what can come up, you are likely to pass. It is important that you do prepare however, as some of the questions that are asked may never come up in your daily life, like specific historical questions.

How long is the test valid for?

The test has no expiry date and is therefore, valid forever.

If I have taken the Life in the UK Test for ILR do I need to take it again for citizenship?

No, if you have taken and passed the test for your ILR or settlement application, you will not need to take the test again for citizenship.

How many times can the Life in the UK Test be taken?

Whilst it would be nice to pass the first time, there is no need to panic! If you do not succeed on your first attempt, you can retake it. In fact, there is no limit as to how many times you can take the test. However, keep in mind that you will need to wait at least 7 days between tests and you will have to pay £50 for each attempt.  If you do not pass the test, you will be able to remain in the UK until your Leave to Remain or ILR status expires.

Main image credit: Photo by Zach Gilseth on Unsplash.com