Why People Fail Life in the UK Test


Life in the UK Test which is also known as British Citizenship Test is required to pass to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the United Kingdom or for naturalisation (an acquisition of British citizenship by someone who held (or continues to hold) foreign citizenship) as a British citizen. The test was introduced in November 2005, not just aiming to test the migrants’ knowledge of English language but also their awareness of life in the UK. Studying for and taking the Life in the UK Test gives the migrants the practical knowledge they need to live in UK and also helps them to culturally integrate into the British society.






During the Test

During the test, an applicant is provided with 45 minutes to answer 24 questions. Once the applicant answer all 24 questions and select ‘Finish Test’, he/she will be awarded a PASS or FAIL grade. Candidates that mange to answer at least 18 questions (75%) correctly can apply for British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain in Britain.

Life in the UK Test Statistics

Over 437,000 applicants have taken the Home Office’s test since it was introduced in November 2005. As of October 2007, one out of three people failed the test. According to home office figures nearly a third of foreigners applying for British citizenship test failed their test in 2009. Of the 906,464 people who took Life in the UK Test, 263,641 failed - meaning the success percentage of people applied for the test was 70.9%.

Henry Dillon, editor of Red Squirrel Publishing, which publishes a range of British citizenship test study guides, said the research provides further evidence of the challenging nature of the test.

“What the statistics show is that walking into the test without proper preparation is a recipe for failure - even British nationals struggle answering many of the questions,”

Reason Behind Failing

The main reason behind failing is the lack of preparation and practice for the test. Though there is no limit to the number of times an applicant taking the test, but it’s sensible to be well prepared for the test as it saves both time and money (Each attempt of Life in the UK Test cost £50). If you don't pass the test, you can take another test, though you will have to wait for one week to be able to have a retake of the Life in the UK Test.

Note! If you fail the test, you will not be able to make an application for naturalisation as a British citizen or for indefinite leave to remain. You may however need to legalize your stay by applying for further leave to remain if your current leave to remain has expired or is close to expiring.

How to Pass Life in the UK Test

If you want to increase your chances of passing, you must carefully read and review the second edition of the “Life in the United Kingdom” handbook. It is compiled for people taking the citizenship test. All the questions in the test are taken from the chapters from this study material. It also contains sample questions and their answers, as well as study guides that can help you pass the test.

The handbook has information about:

  • UK history
  • The British government
  • The country's geography
  • Local culture