Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Life in the United Kingdom test

Before you can become a British citizen, you must first pass a test. The test will help to prove that you can speak English and know about life in Britain. Find out more about the test, and how you can prepare for it.

Who should take the test?

Everybody who wants to apply for citizenship in the UK must prove that they can speak English and understand life in this country.

If you speak English, you can do this by taking the Life in the UK test.

If you are not fluent in English, you can do this by taking a course in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) along with citizenship classes.

If you choose to take the test, you’ll need to pass it before you send in your citizenship application form.

When you pass the test you’ll receive a certificate, and you’ll need to send that in when you apply for citizenship.

The Life in the United Kingdom Handbook

To prepare for the test, it’s a good idea to buy a copy of the official life in the United Kingdom handbook.

It is written just for people taking the citizenship test. All the questions on the test will be based on it.

The handbook has information about:

  • UK history
  • the British government
  • the country’s geography
  • local culture

It also contains sample questions and answers, as well as study guides that can help you pass the test.

Buying the handbook

There is only one official handbook. It is published by The Stationery Office, and updated regularly.

Many other books offer to help you prepare for the test, but the government only backs the official book.

You’ll know it’s the official book because it will have the government’s seal and the Home Office logo.

You can buy the book from major book stores, or directly from The Stationery Office website.

Taking the test

Once you’ve studied the book and you feel that you’re ready, you can schedule a time to take the test. You can only book and pay for the test online. See the link below for more information about the test and how to book it.

The test takes about 20 minutes, and you will receive your score right after you’ve finished.

Sample questions from the test

The Life in the UK test contains several different types of questions.

Multiple choice

This type of question asks you to choose one right answer from four options.

Where is the Prime Minister's official home in London?

  • Downing Street
  • Parliament Square
  • Richmond Terrace
  • Whitehall Place

The right answer is Downing Street.

True or false

This type of question asks you whether or not a sentence is true.

Is the statement below true or false?

Citizens of the UK can vote in elections at the age of 18.

  • true
  • false

The right answer is true.

Choose the correct statement

This question type asks you to decide which of two sentences is right.

Which of these statements is correct?

  • Scottish bank notes are valid in all parts of the UK
  • Scottish bank notes are valid only in Scotland

The first sentence is right.

Additional links

Volunteering

Volunteering can help your community and you - find out how

Access keys