What is the Life in the UK test?
Also known as the British citizenship test, the Life in the UK test is a crucial step in being able to become a British citizen and remain in the UK.
The test is in the form of a multiple-choice exam and is designed to ensure you are aware of a whole host of customs and traditions that play a key role in British life. You are given 45 minutes to answer 24 questions and all of the questions are based on an official handbook produced by the UKVI so you can prepare for the test beforehand.
To pass the test you must met the minimum mark of 75 per cent.
Do I need to take the Life in the UK test?
You will need to take the Life in the UK test if you are applying for British citizenship. If you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain application you will also need to take the life in the United Kingdom test. This applies if you are:
- Applying for legal residence after 5 years in the UK, for example, on a Skilled Worker Visa
- Applying for legal residence as the spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person
- Applying for legal residence after 10 years in the UK
Applicants for British citizenship also need to pass the Life in the UK Test and will need to take the UK test before their citizenship application if they have not already passed the test before.
Who is exempt from taking the Life in the UK test?
There are some people who do not have to take the test because they meet certain exemptions.
The following categories are exempt from taking and passing the Life in the UK test:
- are under 18 or over 65
- have passed it before – for example, if you’re applying to become a citizen and already passed it as part of your settlement application
- have a long-term physical or mental condition – you must provide either a form or letter from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition that prevents you from taking the Life in the UK test.
Do I need to study for the Life in the UK test?
It is important to prepare for the Life in the UK test as it is important part of becoming gaining British citizenship and a UK certificate is vital.
There are lots of ways to study for the UK citizenship test and gaining all the essential knowledge needed to get a good pass mark. People often find doing practice tests or use a Life in the UK test book is a good way prepare for the test about British customs, British values and British history.
The Home Office’s own official guide, entitled, ‘Life in the United Kingdom Official Practice Questions & Answers’ is designed to help you prepare to take the test and contains sample questions. There is also an official e-learning subscription service that can provide extra support for the test.
Booking the Life in the UK Test at UK test centres
You must book your Life in the UK test online and you need to apply online for the test appointment at least three days in advance.
There are a total of 30 test centres in the UK and you can choose to take the Life in the UK test at one of the five nearest test centres to your location.
In order to book your Life in the UK test at a test centre you will need the following:
- Accepted form of ID – this can include a valid passport, travel document with a photograph, biometric residence permit or biometric residence card. Please note an emergency travel document will not be accepted.
- A valid email address
- Your debit or credit card details in order to pay the UK test fee
- When you book the test you can make special requests, for example if you need additional assistance or extra equipment due to a disability. A letter explaining your need for additional support may be helpful.
How much does the Life in the UK test cost?
It costs £50 to take the test. If you fail to pass the test, if you were late to the test centre, or if you missed the test completely, then you are not able to get the fee refunded.
You are able to get a refund if you cancel the UK test more than three days before the UK test date or if the test centre cancels your booking.
If you wish to cancel your Life in the UK test then you can do so online and a refund will automatically be given to the debit or credit card used when booking.
If the test centre cancels the test then you need to ask for a refund within 3 months of your original test date.
Taking the Life in the UK test
It is important to arrive on time at the centre and ensure you have brought the correct documents with you so you can prove your identity. The accepted forms of ID include a passport or your Biometric Residence Permit, as well as proof of your current address. If don’t have these with you then you will not be allowed to sit the exam.
You must not bring children or dependents to the Life in the UK test.
If you have any queries about taking the test then there is a Life in the UK test helpline on 0800 015 4245.
What happens if I pass the test?
You must remain at the centre after you have completed the Life in the UK test. You will be told if you have a passed or failed the test after taking the test. If you leave without getting your result then you will automatically fail the test.
If you pass the test you will be given your Unique Reference Number (URN) and pass notification letter at the centre. You will need your URN when applying for British Citizenship or settlement and the Home Office will use it to check that you have met the Life in the UK test requirement.
Can you fail the Life in the UK test?
If you fail the Life in the UK test then you can not continue with your ILR application. However, there is no limit to the number of times you can resit if you don’t pass first time.
You do need to pay the test fee again and book the Life in the UK test online. However, the pass rates are favourable and with the right amount of preparation you cain get a pass result.
Do you have to retake the test in the future?
The Life in the UK Test does not have an expiry date so you only have to take and pass it once. This means you do not need to take the test again if you are using it as part of an Indefinite Leave to Remain application and then go on to apply for British citizenship.
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You must get at least 75 per cent of the questions correct to be awarded a pass. You are allowed to retake the test as many times as needed, although you will need to pay the test fee each time.
The test costs £50 to take and must be taken at one of 30 test centres in the UK.
No, the test must be taken in person at a Life in the UK test centre.
You will need to submit your test pass letter or URN when applying for British citizenship to confirm you have met the Life in the UK requirement.
If you have lost the letter or your URN you may be required to retake the test to satisfy the Home Office.