What You Need to Know About the Life in The UK Test in 2021
The Life in the UK Test was first introduced in 2005 for migrants seeking British citizenship and 2007 for those applying for settlement. If you are due to take the test in 2021 or beyond, be assured that with practice and preparation, this will be a mere formality on your journey towards permanent residence or citizenship. You may even be surprised to know that many UK nationals (around two-thirds) would struggle to answer the questions in the test. During research at Exeter University, 270 people, nearly all of whom are British citizens, took the test, and only 33.6% passed. After all, who would memorize the height of the London Eye, or who was voted the greatest Briton of all time in 2002 (443ft and Winston Churchill if you are interested). In this article, we will explain what you need to know about the Life in the UK Test in 2021.
Who needs to take the Life in the UK test?
Everyone applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or UK citizenship is required to take the Life in the UK Test; there are some exceptions, however.
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Who is exempted from the Life in the UK test?
You will not need to take the test if you:
- are under 18 years;
- are 65 years or over;
- you have passed the test in the past (so if you have already passed the test when applying for ILR, you will not need to take it again when applying for citizenship).
- have a long-term physical or mental condition.
If you have a physical or mental condition, to qualify to be exempted from the test, you will either need a letter or a form from your doctor explaining your condition.
What is the pass rate for the Life in the UK Test?
To pass the Life in the UK test, you need to answer 18 of the 24 questions correctly. This means the pass rate is 75%. Interestingly, the number of tests taken versus the number passed is also around 75%, i.e., one-quarter of tests taken score less than the required 75% pass mark.
What happens if I fail my test?
Do not worry if you fail the Life in the UK Test as it can be taken as many times as needed to pass. You will need to wait at least seven days before you can take the test again, and you will need to pay the £50 fee again and book a new test session.
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How much does the exam cost?
The current Life in the UK Test fee is £50 (as of May 2021), although this can increase at any time, so it is important to check the fee when you are ready (the test was originally £34).
How do I book the Life in the UK test?
The booking process for the Life in the UK Test is very straightforward and can be completed online on the Home Office website. To make your booking at one of the 30 testing centres and pay the £50 fee, you will need your email address, debit or credit card, and your ID. The forms of ID which can be accepted include your passport, travel document with a photo (you cannot use an emergency travel document), biometric residence permit, or biometric residence card. It is also important to check that the name you have used on the booking is the same as on the ID you will be taking with you – if they do not match exactly, you may not be able to take your test or receive a refund. UKVI also advise, “If you have a previous gender (including a different name) that you do not want the test centre staff to see or for it to show on your test result, email email@example.com before booking your test”.
Those with disabilities (e.g., requiring wheelchair access) can make special requests when submitting their Life in the UK Test booking to ensure these are catered for on your arrival at the test centre.
Bookings must be made at least three days before the test.
What do I need to take the Life in the UK test?
UKVI advises that those taking the Life in the UK test should bring the same ID they used when booking their test to the test centre. They will also take your photo on the day of the test.
How long is the Life in the UK certificate valid?
Thankfully there is no expiry date on the Life in the UK Test, meaning that once you have passed the test, you will not need to take it again.
Can I get a replacement for a Lost life in the UK pass letter?
To make your application for ILR or citizenship, you don’t need the pass letter, rather you will just need to enter the ‘unique reference number’ you receive when you pass. It is this number that the Home Office use to verify that you have passed. The Home Office advises that if you have lost your letter/reference number to “send a letter explaining that you have lost it with your citizenship or settlement application”. It is advisable to include any information you do have with your covering letter, such as the date and location of your test. From this information, UKVI will be able to locate your test results and verify you have passed.
What happens after passing the Life in the UK test?
If you are successful, you will receive a ‘unique reference number’ to prove that you have passed the Life in the UK Test. This number can then be entered into your application form in the appropriate section.
There are a wide range of study aids available online which will help you to prepare for your test. Taking as many test exams as you can will also help to ensure you pass with ease on the day.