Upcoming changes to “Life in the UK Test” reported

Various reports have surfaced that UK Home Secretary Theresa May is planning to make changes to the “Life in the UK” test.

The Life in the United Kingdom test is a mandatory test to be taken by individuals applying for naturalization as a British citizen or for indefinite leave to remain. Depending on one’s level of English proficiency, the test might be an alternative to taking English language and citizenship classes.

The computer-based test consists of 24 questions which are based on the handbook “Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship.” The test is a requirement under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

The changes to the test are reported to focus more on knowledge of British history and achievements and less on the practicalities of every day living.

A Home Office spokesperson quotes to the BBC: “Putting our culture and history at the heart of the citizenship test will help ensure those permanently settling can understand British life allowing them to properly integrate into our society.”

Some reported changes:

  • Immigrants will have to learn the first verse of the national anthem
  • Immigrants will have to learn about historical and cultural figures such as Shakespeare, Byron and the Duke of Wellington
  • Information about key battles such as Trafalgar as well as British inventions and discoveries will be covered in the upcoming new version of the “Life in the UK” handbook
  • Questions about how to claim benefits and the Human Rights Act will no longer be part of the test