Life in the UK Test

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Life in the UK Test

Life in the UK Citizenship Test

Are you thinking about taking your Life in the UK test? Have you already taken it but didn’t pass the exam? Or maybe you have heard about the test, but don’t know exactly what it involves. If any of these things are true for you, read on.

What is the Life in the UK test?

The Life in the UK Citizenship test is a government exam which people take when they want to get a British passport. Obviously, British born people don’t need to take this test. But anyone who moves to Britain and wants to travel or get citizenship, must do so.

The test is one of two parts you have to complete to be able to get your British passport. The other is the Trinity B1 Speaking Test. We will deal with that in a later blog post, but you can follow the link to some B1 exam videos here.


The Life in the UK Citizenship Test is a kind of general knowledge quiz about British history and culture. The UK government publishes a very useful book, the Life in the UK Handbook, which they update every year, and this has all the info you need to pass the test. The book is organised into four different sections, making it easy to read. These sections are:

• Geography
• History
• Culture and Modern Britain
• Politics and Law

Each section deals with different things about Britain, such as what is the full name of Britain? (The answer to this is: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.) Or, when did the first people come to Britain? (10,000 years ago!) Or, how many people died during the Black Death? (33% of the English population.)

24 Questions

When it comes to the final test, however, things are a little different. Although the book is arranged by topic, the test itself is random. You will be asked 24 questions, and these could be in any order or about any topic. For example, question one could be about Julius Caesar (history), question two could be about the Council of Europe (politics) and question three could be about the population of Buddhists in Britain (culture).

All these different topics are finally mixed together in any order in the actual test. So, yes, while the book is easy enough to study, the test itself is a little more tricky.

How many correct answers do I need to pass?

To pass the test, you need to get 18 questions correct. You can take the test multiple times, but each time you must pay £50. That’s why learning the material well the first time round is a good idea. Many online practice tests are available so you can see how well you are doing before you book your test. This website, lifeintheuktestweb, is especially useful. This website is good because it allows you to practice both by topic and in the final, random order.

Are some questions more important than others?

There are many, many facts in the Life in the UK Handbook. Actually, there may be over 1400 facts to learn. What’s more, it’s impossible to know which questions will appear in the test, so you have to study everything. One thing is not more important than another. So no, overall, all the info here is important. But the good thing is, it is interesting! For example, do you know why Henry VIII had six wives? After you study for the test, you will.

What happens once I’m ready to take the test?

Once you have studied enough and feel confident that you can pass, now is the time to book your test. There is only one way to do this: you have to book your test through the government website. You cannot book by phone, and you cannot book at a test centre.

Where is my local Life in the UK test centre?

There are various test centres dotted around the UK. The same link above will give you a list of the centres nearest your home. Though the staff may be friendly, the test centres themselves are quite formal and strict places. You must arrive on time, you cannot use your phone during the test and you have just 45 minutes to complete the test. It is a good idea to take this test seriously and organise your time around it. Don’t arrive late to the test centre and just be polite and focused while you are there.

How soon will I get my results?

You have to wait in the centre for up to one hour after your test, and the centre will give you your results then.

If I pass my test, what’s next?

Hopefully you will pass and the next part is to book your Trinity Speaking Test. This must be done online and cannot be done in the Life in the UK test centre. Once you have both certificates, you can then apply for your passport. At this point, if you need any legal advice or help, it is best to contact a solicitor.

Once you have your paperwork ready, send your application and soon you will receive your British passport. Many people are now applying for their UK passports, especially in view of Brexit. For sure, if you are interested in staying in the UK, a passport will allow you to move more freely and with less worry.

Can I get any help studying for the Life in the UK test?

Yes, you can. At LVC London School of English we offer a five day group course (three days for just one student). This course will prepare you for the final test and will give you many tips and tricks for learning remembering all the heavy facts from the book. We use pictures and photos to help make the topics easy to understand and remember. What’s more, once you have finished, we will also help you to book your test online.

To find out more about our Life in the UK Preparation Course, take a look here.

Good luck and happy studying!

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