Home > Citizenship > The Citizenship Test

The Citizenship Test

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
The Citizenship Test

All foreign nationals applying to become British citizens are now required to show that they have an appropriate level of knowledge of the life and language of the UK before they can acquire citizenship. Proof that they have acquired sufficient knowledge is achieved by taking a test. The exact type of test which will have to be taken will depend on the applicant’s English language skills at the time they make their application.

The test should be taken before applying for British citizenship or for indefinite leave to remain. Citizenship tests are generally taken in English. However, applicants taking the test in Wales may take it in Welsh and applicants in Scotland may choose to take the test in Scottish Gaelic.

Which Test?

Applicants who already have reasonable English language skills will be required to take the “Life in the UK Test”, commonly known as the Citizenship Test. Other applicants satisfy the requirements by taking a course of combined English language and citizenship classes. To work out what standard of English they have applicants can take an assessment test at their local college of further education or at a “learndirect” centre.

The UK Border Agency has a dedicated website about the citizenship test and the combined English language and citizenship classes course called ‘Life in the UK Test’.

Preparing for the Citizenship Test - The Life in the UK Test

All the questions in the test are taken from a handbook called “Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship” which is currently in its second edition. The book is available from The Stationary Office website or from ordinary bookshops around the UK and currently costs £9.99.

Candidates must make sure that they read and absorb this before taking the test – in particular they should focus on chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Whilst the questions are about life in the UK as a whole there will also be questions specific to the part of the UK in which the test is being taken – whether it is England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

“Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship” is the only official manual for the citizenship test. Other manuals and study guides are available to buy but these are not authorised by the UK Border Agency and candidates should not rely on them. In addition to studying the official manual the ‘Prepare for the Test’ part of the ‘Life in the UK Test’ website also contains useful material.

Taking the Citizenship Test

Candidates can find their nearest test centre by inputting their post code into the ‘Find a Test Centre’ search tool on the ‘Life in the UK Test’ website. The local test centre should then be contacted to arrange a time to take the test – the test date will be between one and four weeks after the appointment is made.

Everyone taking the test will have their identification checked including full personal details and Home Office reference number. Candidates will also need to have photo ID with them. The fee for the test is £34. This may be paid on the day of the test or in advance, candidates should check with their local test centre to find out if it has any special rules about how the fee is paid.

The Citizenship Test

The test is taken on a computer and there is a set time limit for answering 24 questions about life in the UK. Before the main test starts candidates have time to take a practice test so that they can get used to the way the computer program works. Candidates have 45 minutes to take the main test and the pass mark is around 75%.

Candidates will receive their result as soon as they have completed the test. If they pass they will be given a pass notification letter. This letter must be attached to the completed application for citizenship, or indefinite leave to remain, before it is sent to the Home Office. If applicants for citizenship lose this letter they may have to take the test again to get a new one.

Candidates who fail will have to wait at least seven days before they can re-take the test.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
hi i want to apply for british citizenship. i got my ILR in 2010 . i was on dependent visa then so i didn't need B1 and life in uk test. i don't know that do i need now B1 and life in uk test or not for applying citizenship
RAJ - 17-Aug-17 @ 12:32 AM
Hi, my naphew was belgium nationality holder with dual nationality of pakistan. He is 15 and has belgium passport and pakistani passport with indefinite stay on pakistani passport. His mother has british passport. Does my naphew need to take any of these english and neutralisationtest for british passport? Or simply fill the form for british passport.
Mudsi88 - 14-Mar-17 @ 12:23 AM
ews - Your Question:
Hello, I have been living and working in London for 12 years now. I am a primary school teacher and would like to obtain British citizenship. What are the steps for me? Many thanks

Our Response:
You do not say where you are from. if you are from outside the EU, please see link here. If you are from inside the EU, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 20-Feb-17 @ 10:42 AM
Hello, I have been living and working in London for 12 years now. I am a primary school teacher and would like to obtain British citizenship. What are the steps for me? Many thanks
ews - 19-Feb-17 @ 9:51 AM
@kd123 - Hey! You will have to apply for British CItzenship using form UKF with that you can make your application for a british passport. Fee is £80 .. Hope this helps :)
sars2017 - 27-Jan-17 @ 9:27 PM
I was born in the uk on jan 1988, to a British father and a sierra leone mother. I have been here my whole life. but have not been able to get a passport. my mother passed away many years ago and i didn't have contact with her most of my life. but each time i apply for a passport, i have been rejected as they need to know if my mother had indefinite leave to remain when she had me. however this is information i do not know. I am unsure of what to do and how to go about this.
kd123 - 25-Dec-16 @ 1:35 PM
Hi, I've moved to the uk in 2007 and have lived here over half my life. I have gone to primary, secondary school and now sixth-form and plan to attend university here in the UK.Can I simply apply for a British passport or do I need to take a citicenship test first?
MaruSHINee - 5-Nov-16 @ 2:50 PM
My 19 year old daughter was born in France, with English father, but we were not married at the time. We all live in UK (since 2011). Can she apply for a UK passport ? Thanks in advance for your help.
French Claire - 20-Oct-16 @ 10:34 PM
Hi, i have been living in Malta for the past 28 years after marrying my husband in the UK 28 years ago. We have now decided for family reasons to move back to the Uk. My husband is Maltese and retired with a pension.I am British ,is there anything we need to do for him to be resident in the Uk?He doesn't intend to work here but i will probably get a part time job in the future.
Cazzer - 10-Aug-16 @ 11:11 PM
Hi. I came to live in the UK in 2001 and in 2007 became a citizen. Is it possible for my son to obtain citizenship although at the time he was born I was not a British citizen. My son is from a previous relationship and presently lives in another country.
Olwyn - 18-Jul-16 @ 9:29 PM
I am a 16 year old American citizen hoping to gain citizenship in the UK. I am currently engaged to a British citizen. I was wondering if it is possible to gain citizenship there?
Leroy - 10-Jul-16 @ 4:24 AM
Summer - Your Question:
I'm a British Citizen, but have been living in Iraq for three years now because of my marriage there. The life in Iraq is very dangerous for me and my husband which I have to go back to the UK, but how can I take my husband with me as he has an iraqi passport.

Our Response:
Your only option would be to apply for a spouse visa. However, in order to do this you must be living in the UK, and you as the sponsoring partner must earn more than £18,600 per year or have enough savings to be able to sponsor your husband. The minimum financial requirement is higher if you also have dependant children who you also wish to bring to the UK, please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jun-16 @ 1:49 PM
I'm a British Citizen, but have been living in Iraq for three years now because of my marriage there. The life in Iraq is very dangerous for me and my husband which I have to go back to the UK, but how can I take my husband with me as he has an iraqi passport.
Summer - 26-Jun-16 @ 10:45 PM
my husband did an e sol testand has been here since 2010 with residencyor selttlenenthow does he apply for British passport? does he need to do citizen test aswell?
moo - 24-Jun-16 @ 1:56 PM
I am married to a Thai national who has ILR, who has lived in the U.K. Since 2005,she was joined in the U.K. By her daughter from a previous relationship in 2007 who is now 17 & 1 month we wish for my wife's daughter to become a U.K. Citizen is this possible as my wife wants to stay a Thai citizen.
MJ - 21-Jun-16 @ 12:04 PM
ali - Your Question:
My father was British citizen with bno status through Hong Kong act 1997,he aquired full British citizenship in 2011, am I eligible for British citizenship if I am over 18 ? If so then how can I be?

Our Response:
You can check if you're eligible via the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 6-May-16 @ 10:42 AM
My father was British citizen with bno status through Hong Kong act 1997,he aquired full British citizenship in 2011, am I eligible for British citizenship if I am over 18 ? If so then how can I be?
ali - 5-May-16 @ 1:55 PM
My husband have an Italian passport and I have a permanent resident card stamped in my Brazilian passport for about 3 years and so does my daughter. I would like to know if my daughter (15 years old) can apply for a British passport if yes how can I apply for that please?
Lucy - 19-Apr-16 @ 7:16 PM
Hi im Latvian , mine sons dad is British and UK wont will give mine son British passport can you help please
Kira5 - 11-Mar-16 @ 2:18 PM
Hi, I live in UK for 12 years now. I work as an accountant. I do not have any official proof that I can speak english. Do I need to do some tests to have a proof? Or I can just do a Life in the UK test?
Joanna - 24-Jan-16 @ 11:17 PM
my boyfriend has a 13 yr old girl in Nigera, he is named on her birth certificate but was not married to her mother. Can he get a British passport for her? He wants her to come and live in the UK
awol2810 - 22-Nov-15 @ 9:21 PM
Am married to an British man 10 years now we apply for spouse visa we did not get it we appeal the UK court find no reason why me and son should not join my husband in the uk, we went in to the uk embassy in Kingston Jamaica the gave only me the visa at the time my son was 11 years old and his name was already change to my husband's name but they did not give him the visa so I did not leave my son to go live there so my visa expired. so what's that best visa or stay we can apply for now? My son is now 21 can he still apply for a British passport? please let I know
Indian - 7-Nov-15 @ 11:39 AM
Vaug - Your Question:
I want to go home to South Africa for christmas. I have applied for my British citizenship passport but it will take up to 4 months to arrive and I want to travel in 3. Is it possible for me to travel home and back while the passport is being processed? I heard there is some sort of form I need to fill out is this true?

Our Response:
Depending upon your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency travel document. Please see link here. If this is not applicable to you, then you would have to contact the passport office directly.
AboutImmigration - 20-Oct-15 @ 10:24 AM
I want to go home to South Africa for christmas. I have applied for my British citizenship passport but it will take up to 4 months to arrive and I want to travel in 3. Is it possible for me to travel home and back while the passport is being processed? I heard there is some sort of form I need to fill out is this true?
Vaug - 19-Oct-15 @ 3:34 PM
waiting 4 my renunciation of my british citicenship (BNO) did not get a answer if the home office got my pasport (sended in end of february) need a number to call from germany or any way to get to know where my pasport is and when I get my renunciation please help me ... tried a lot to get information by mail ... and the numbers I got to call ... : numer is not available have got no information since February
tk - 10-Oct-15 @ 11:23 AM
I am an Irish citizen that has lived in the UK for about 15 years. My wife is German and has lived in the UK for over 2 years. Our son was born in the UK 6 weeks ago. Is he entitled to British citizenship? B
Rusty - 15-Sep-15 @ 3:43 PM
My UK passport expired about 5 years ago do i still need to attend interview
matty - 4-Jun-15 @ 9:18 AM
@AVIS - she can apply for ILR via the link here, it will also give you details of costs etc. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 12-Mar-15 @ 11:05 AM
My wife is on Tier 1 visa till oct 2016 and I was her dependant.Now I got ILR on long residence in UK.What Visa my wife and 5 year old son should apply?Can she directly apply ILR .how much finance I need to show?
AVIS - 10-Mar-15 @ 10:59 AM
I will be married to a British resident and I have a 19 year old son by a former marriage.we both agree that he will go to liverpool to live with us. How do we go about in bringing him.
lyra - 3-Mar-15 @ 1:34 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AboutImmigration website. Please read our Disclaimer.