Are you thinking about applying for Naturalisation or Indefinite Leave to Remain? Before you can do so, you will need to take and pass the Life in UK test. You might have heard it referred to as the British Citizenship test. It's designed to evaluate your knowledge of British customs, traditions, laws, and the political system. By adequately preparing for the test and understanding what to expect on the day, you can greatly increase your chances of success. With so much at stake, it's absolutely crucial to put in the effort and give yourself the best shot of succeeding. Failing the test means you will lose the test fee you paid, and you'll have to go back to the drawing board and retake the test before making your application.
Why Do I Need To Take The Life in the UK Test?
The Life in the UK Test is a mandatory requirement found in Appendix KoLL of the UK's Immigration Rules. Its purpose is for applicants to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the United Kingdom. If you are applying for Naturalisation or Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) you must take and pass this test, unless you satisfy one of the exemptions.
Am I Exempt?
There are some circumstances in which you will not need need to take the Life in the UK test. You may be exempt if any of the following applies:
You are under 18 at the date of application
You are over 65 at the date of application
It would be unreasonable to expect you to meet the English language requirement or take the Life in the UK test because of a mental or physical condition.
How do I prepare for the test?
There are plenty of training materials and resources available online. The Home Office offers official study guides, question and answer booklets, and digital subscription-based courses to help you prepare for the test.
How do I book the test?
To book the Life in the UK test, you must visit the official gov.uk website and select one of the 30 test centres. The fee for the Life in the UK test is £50.00.
Are additional services available?
There are several optional services available to applicants who require greater flexibility when booking the Life in the UK test.
Can I change the date and time of the test?
You should consider any events which could affect you taking the test in advance of booking. You can change the time and date of your test up to 3 days (72 hours) before your test without charge. If you change the time and date within 3 days (72 hours) of your test, you will have to book and pay for a new test time. You will not receive a refund for the original booking.
How is the Life in the UK test assessed?
Once you have booked your test and paid the £50.00 fee, you will need to attend the test centre where you will have 45 minutes to complete the computerised test. The test consists of 24 multiple choice questions, at least 18 of which you will need to answer correctly to meet the minimum pass mark (75%).
What should I take with me?
On the day of your test, you should take your identification, proof of address (dated within the last 3 months), and booking confirmation email. You will not be allowed to bring any personal belongings to the test room. You can keep these safe in a secure locker prior to your test.
Proof of identification
valid travel document with photo
biometric residence permit
biometric residence card
Proof of address
council tax letter
How long will the whole process take?
You should aim to arrive around 15 minutes before your test and can expect to spend up to 2 hours at the test centre.
Can I practice before taking the test?
You will be allowed to take a short practice test to understand the system and format of the questions. Once you have completed this, you can move on to the actual test.
Can I take notes during the test?
You will be allowed to take notes during the test. However, you must hand them to your test supervisor before leaving the test room.
What if I finish the test early?
If you complete the test earlier than the 45 minutes permitted, you should quietly notify the test supervisor who may allow you to leave. Your results should be available shortly afterwards.
What if I am unable to finish the test due to a technical issue?
If you experience technical difficulties during your test, you should notify the test supervisor as soon as possible. If the test supervisor is unable to retrieve your test, or is unable to solve the problem, you will be allowed to retake the test without charge.
What happens if I pass?
If you pass the Life in the UK test, you will be notified verbally after your test. Your online account will be updated with a unique reference number and confirmation of a 'pass' result. You can then use the unique reference number when completing your immigration application.
What happens if I fail?
If you fail the Life in the UK test, your online account will be updated to confirm the 'fail' result. You will not be eligible for a refund of the test fee and you will not be able to proceed with your immigration application until re-taking the test with a successful outcome. There is no limit on how many attempts you make. However, you will normally have to wait 7 days before re-booking your test.