British Citizenship Test (Essential Guide)

british citizenship test

To become a British citizen or permanent resident of the United Kingdom, you will be required to pass the official British citizenship test to prove your knowledge of ‘Life in the UK’.

This article will outline the Life in the UK citizenship test and provide logistical information about booking the exam. It will also provide 48 sample questions with explanations based on commonly asked topics to help you best prepare for this important examination.

What is the British citizenship test?

As a person living in the UK, you may want to become a British citizen to enjoy certain privileges such as the right to vote in all elections, run for elected office, or request a British passport.

You may also want to become a permanent resident to remain in the country without being subject to immigration control.

To apply to naturalise as a UK citizen, you will need to pass the Life in the UK test. If you passed the Life in the UK test for evidence with your permanent residence application, you can reuse these test results for your British citizenship naturalisation application.

You will also need to pass the Life in the UK test to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The British citizenship test contains information based on British history, politics, values, and conditions of daily life. The Test is a 45-minute computer-based exam consisting of 24 questions based on the Life in the UK handbook, and it is conducted in the English language. You must score at least 75% on the Test to pass.

You must book your test online via the approved Home Office website at least 3 days in advance and take the test at one of 30 testing centres across the UK. Booking the exam costs £50. You can study for the Life in the UK test via official handbooks and revision materials.

If you pass the Life in the UK Test, you will be issued a ‘unique reference number’ and a pass certificate that will be required to provide on your naturalisation of British citizenship application.

How much does it cost to take the British citizenship test?

It costs £50 to take the British citizenship test. You may additionally want to use official handbooks and revision materials to revise for the Life in the UK Test which will add on extra costs starting at £10.

Where do you take the Life in the UK test?

You will take the Life in the UK test at an official, government-approved testing centre. There are over 30 centres throughout the UK that you can choose from for convenience.

What can I expect at the test centre when I take my Life in the UK test?

You should arrive at your designated test centre 15 minutes early to ensure that you are prepared and ready to be admitted to the test centre.

You cannot bring any visitors or guests with you to the test centre. Once you arrive at the test centre, you will be instructed to undergo identity checks to ensure that you are the person listed on the registration information. You will need to bring the ID that you used to book your Life in the UK test online. Examples of identification documents include a Passport, a UK Driving Licence, a European ID card, or a Biometric Residence Permit.

The test will be taken in a secure test centre room at a desk with a computer. You will have 45 minutes to complete all 24 questions.

After completing the exam, you will need to wait approximately 5 minutes to receive your result. If you pass the Life in the UK test, you will be given a pass certificate without an expiration date that can be used for all future UK immigration applications.

How many questions are on the Life in the UK test?

The British citizenship test contains 24 questions randomly chosen from a question bank. These questions are frequently updated to reflect changes in British life and traditions.

How can I book the test?

You can book your test via the official UK Government booking website. To book the test, you will need to input personal details and choose your preferred testing location from a list of over 30 government-approved test centres. You must book your test online via the approved Home Office website at least 3 days in advance. Booking the exam costs £50.

How long are my results for the Life in the UK Test valid?

Your Life in the UK Test results will never expire. You can use your pass certificate on all future UK immigration applications.

Can I resit the British citizenship test if I fail?

If you fail the Life in the UK test, you will have to wait 7 days to resit the exam but can take it as many times as needed until you pass. You will need to pay the £50 fee every time you resit the exam. As such, you are encouraged to thoroughly revise for the exam well in advance of your test date.

What are some examples of questions on the British citizenship test?

Below you will find 48 official sample questions similar to questions commonly found on the Life in the UK British citizenship test. You will also find explanations of the correct answers to the sample questions.

Q. What Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851?
Crystal Palace
Dream Palace
Gold Palace
The Great Palace

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Great Exhibition of 1851 took place in The Crystal Palace exhibition hall in Hyde Park, London. It was considered one of the greatest architectural feats in the Industrial Revolution era. The hall burned down in 1936.

Q. Which of these is a famous classical music event in the UK?
Creamfields
T in the Park
Glastonbury Festival
The Proms

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Proms festival is an 8-week long classical music series held annually in the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. It was founded in 1895.

Q. Which two British film actors have recently won Oscars?
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tilda Swinton
Jacky Stewart
Colin Firth

CORRECT ANSWERS: B and D – Tilda Swinton, a British actress, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her role in the film Michael Clayton. Colin Firth, a British actor, won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2011 for his role in the film The King’s Speech.

Q. Who was the first Briton to win the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 metres?
Mo Farah
David Weir
Bradley Wiggins
Sir Chris Hoy

CORRECT ANSWER: A –British long-distance track runner Mo Farah was the first British person to win the gold medal for the 10,000 metres run at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Q. When is St David’s Day?
23 April
1 March
17 March
30 November

CORRECT ANSWER: B – St David’s Day, the Saint Day festival of Wales’ patron Saint, is celebrated annually on 1 March.

Q. Who built the Tower of London?
Henry VIII
Henry VII
Oliver Cromwell
William the Conqueror

CORRECT ANSWER: D – William the Conqueror began building the Tower of London in late 1066 during the Norman Conquest of England.

Q. What created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland?
The Great Union
The Great Governments
The Act for the Governments
The Act of Union

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Act of Union was a piece of legislation that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801. The legislation remains in place in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Q. When is Christmas Eve?
26 December
23 December
25 December
24 December

CORRECT ANSWER: D – Christmas Eve is the annual holiday on the day before Christmas Day. Christmas Eve takes place on 24 December.

Q. Where was Robert Burns from?
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

CORRECT ANSWER: B – Robert Burns was the most celebrated poet in Scottish history. He wrote in both the English language and the Scots language. Burns wrote many famous poems, including Auld Lang Syne and Ae Fond Kiss.

Q. The UK government hasn’t used the power to suspend the Northern Ireland Assembly:
True
False

CORRECT ANSWER: B – The UK Government has used its power to suspend the Northern Ireland Assembly five times since its creation in 1998.

Q. What did the Chartists campaign for?
The right to vote for 18 year-olds
The right to vote for women
The right to vote for 21 year-olds
The right to vote for the working class

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Chartists were a movement from 1838 to 1857 which campaigned for the right to vote for the working class. It is sometimes called Chartism.

Q. Where is The Cenotaph located?
Dorset
Trafalgar Square
Whitehall
Wiltshire

CORRECT ANSWER: C – The Cenotaph is the official UK war memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War I and World War II from the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations. It is located in Whitehall, London.

Q. Which two options are British Overseas Territories?
St Helena
Hawaii
The Falkland Islands
Ireland

CORRECT ANSWER: A and C – St Helena and the Falklands Islands are both British Overseas Territories. The two territories were previously part of the British Empire.

Q. What is a fundamental principle of British life?
The rule of law
Attending a church on Sundays
Supporting your local team
Taking part in festivals

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The rule of law is a fundamental principle of British life upon which much of the British legal and political systems rest.

Q. Who is the Head of the Church of England?
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Prime Minister
The Pope
The Monarch

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Head of the Church of England is the Monarch of the United Kingdom. This is currently Queen Elizabeth II, who serves as supreme governor.

Q. What marked the beginning of ‘constitutional monarchy’?
The Restoration
The Magna Carta
The English Civil War
The Glorious Revolution

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Glorious Revolution was marked by the replacement of James II and VII by his daughter, Mary II and her Dutch husband, William III of Orange as monarchs. This revolution resulted in the creation of a stronger Parliament and the beginning of the constitutional monarchy.

Q. Where did the ancestors of the first farmers come from?
North Europe
North-West Europe
North-East Europe
South-East Europe

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The first farmers in Britain came to the country around 6,000 years ago. The ancestors of the first farmers most likely came from South-East Europe.

Q. How often are General Elections held?
Every 5 years
Every year
Every 7 years
Every 3 years

CORRECT ANSWER: A – General Elections are mandated to occur every 5 years. However, sometimes they occur more frequently due to public pressure in what is known as ‘snap elections’.

Q. Who was one of the founders of England’s naval tradition?
King James
William Shakespeare
Oliver Cromwell
Sir Francis Drake

CORRECT ANSWER: D – Sir Francis Drake was an English naval officer, captain, and politician who circumnavigated the world from 1577 to 1580. He was also one of the head English naval officials during the famous battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Q. Which of these gardens is located in Wales?
Sissinghurst
Mount Stewart
Hidcote
Bodnant Garden

CORRECT ANSWER: D – Bodnant Garden is a celebrated National Trust garden located near Tal-y-Cafn, Wales near the Carneddau mountain range.

Q. Under which king did the people unite to defeat the Vikings?
King Alfred the Great
Harold
Henry I
King William

CORRECT ANSWER: A – In the year 878, the Anglo-Saxon people united to defeat the Vikings under the rule of King Alfred the Great.

Q. Which countries are in Great Britain?
Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland
England, Wales, Scotland
England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
England, Scotland, Ireland

CORRECT ANSWER: B – Great Britain comprises the three countries of England, Wales, and Scotland on the island of Great Britain. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but not Great Britain.

Q. Which language did the Iron Age people speak?
Viking
English
Celtic
Anglo-Saxon

CORRECT ANSWER: C – The Iron Age people of what is today the United Kingdom spoke Celtic languages.

Q. Where is the best-preserved prehistoric village Skara Brae located?
Wales
Scotland
England
Ireland

CORRECT ANSWER: B – Skara Brae is located on the Mainland island of the Orkney archipelago in Scotland.

Q. Why was Queen Mary I known as ‘Bloody Mary’?
She persecuted Protestants
She fought in numerous battles
She killed her father
She put her sister in prison

CORRECT ANSWER: A – Queen Mary I was a devoted Catholic who actively persecuted Protestants during the English Reformation period.

Q. How long does it take to give blood?
1 hour
10 minutes
20 minutes
2 hours

CORRECT ANSWER: A – People in the UK donate blood to help people in hospital with a broad array of illnesses and injuries. It generally takes 1 hour to donate blood at a local blood donation centre.

Q. How many times has the UK hosted the Olympic Games?
4
3
2
1

CORRECT ANSWER: The United Kingdom has hosted the Olympic Games three times, in 1908, 1948, and 2012. The most recent British Olympic Games were hosted in East London.

Q. How long is Hanukkah celebrated?
9 days
10 days
7 days
8 days

CORRECT ANSWER: The Jewish festival of Hanukkah is celebrated annually for 8 days in either November or December, depending upon the Jewish calendar. It celebrates religious freedom for the Jewish people.

Q. Who can change the Prime Minister during their term?
The Monarch
The Speaker
Fellow Members of Parliament
The Governing Party

CORRECT ANSWER: D – The Governing Party of the United Kingdom can change the Prime Minister by selecting a new leader according to party rules.

Q. Who discovered insulin?
John MacLeod
Patrick Steptoe
Mary Peters
Ian Wilmot

CORRECT ANSWER: A – John MacLeod, a Scottish doctor and medical researcher, co-discovered insulin to treat diabetes.

Q. What happens if a Member of Parliament dies or resigns?
A new General Election is held
The closest MP will have to cover
Someone takes over
A by-election is held

CORRECT ANSWER: D – If a Member of Parliament dies or resigns in the middle of their term, a by-election is held. A by-election is a special election held when a House of Commons seat becomes vacant in-between General Elections.

Q. What was the estimated population of the British Empire?
300 million
350 million
250 million
400 million

CORRECT ANSWER: During the 19th century, the British Empire comprised large portions of the world, including large regions in Africa, Australia, and the Indian subcontinent. It was the largest empire in history with an estimated population of 400 million.

Q. What is the official name of this country?
United Kingdom
Great Britain
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK and Ireland

CORRECT ANSWER: C – The official name of the UK is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Q. What is the period after the Norman Conquest until 1485 called?
The Middle Ages
The Stone Age
The Bronze Age
The Iron Age

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Middle Ages were a period between the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 until the start of the Early Modern Period in 1485.

Q. When did England win the World Cup?
1966
1970
1962
1974

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The English football team won the World Cup in 1966 against West Germany.

Q. Who is the Patron Saint of Scotland?
St George
St Andrew
St Patrick
St David

CORRECT ANSWER: B – St Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. St Andrew’s Day – 30 November – is celebrated as a national holiday in Scotland.

Q. When did the BBC start its first radio broadcast?
1922
1903
1936
1928

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The first BBC radio broadcasts began in 1922, and the first BBC television broadcasts began in 1936.

Q. Which political party did former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher belong to?
Labour
UKIP
Liberal Democrats
Conservative

CORRECT ANSWER: D – Margaret Thatcher was a Conservative Party Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

Q. Who was the first British person to serve as Prime Minister?
Sir Robert Walpole
Margaret Thatcher
Winston Churchill
Clement Atlee

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The first person to serve as British Prime Minister was Sir Robert Walpole. He served as Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742, the longest premiership in British history.

Q. Where is the Millennium Stadium located?
Cardiff
London
Manchester
Edinburgh

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is a major sporting event venue.

Q. Who won the Wars of the Roses?
House of Lancaster
House of York
House of Lords
House of Commons

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The War of the Roses was called such because the symbol of the Lancaster family dynasty was a red rose and the symbol of the York family dynasty was a white rose. The Lancaster family dynasty won the war in 1485 and its leader, Henry Tudor, became King Henry VII.

Q. When did Queen Victoria become queen?
1837
1877
1845
1861

CORRECT ANSWER: A – Queen Victoria became queen in 1837 at the age of 18 after the death of her uncle, King William IV.

Q. When did the Battle of the Boyne occur?
1690
1695
1693
1697

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Battle of the Boyne was part of the Williamite War in Ireland. This battle took place in Oldbridge, County Meath in Ireland between King William III and the deposed King, James II. The forces of William III won the battle.

Q. When did the Vikings first attack Britain?
AD 789
AD 798
AD 897
AD 879

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Vikings first raided Britain in AD 789. They came from what is now Denmark and Norway.

Q. Who led a team of scientists to split the atom for the first time?
Ernest Rutherford
Sir Ian Wilmot
Alexander Fleming
Dylan Thomas

CORRECT ANSWER: A – A team led by Ernest Rutherford split the atom for the first time. This innovation later led to the creation of the atomic bomb.

Q. How many people lost their lives in the decades after 1969 due to violence in Northern Ireland?
60,000
30,000
12,000
3,000

CORRECT ANSWER: D – More than 3,000 British and Irish people lost their lives during The Troubles period in Northern Irish and Irish history.

Q. What is the only major golf tournament held outside of the USA?
The Open Championship
The Wimbledon Championship
The English Premier League
Royal Ascot

CORRECT ANSWER: A – The Open Championship golf tournament is the only major golf tournament held outside of the USA. It is hosted annually at a different golf course throughout the UK.

Q. Who wrote the Canterbury Tales?
JK Rowling
William Caxton
Geoffrey Chaucer
Charles Dickens

CORRECT ANSWER: C – Geoffrey Chaucer published The Canterbury Tales in the year 1400. It is a collection of stories written in Middle English about a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury Cathedral.

 

British Citizenship Test FAQs

Is the Life in the UK Test difficult?

The Life in the UK Test can be a challenging exam depending upon the questions on your specific test. The test bank of questions covers a broad range of topics concerning British culture, life, and history. You will want to thoroughly revise for this important exam well in advance of your test date.

How many times can you take the British citizenship test?

You can take the British citizenship test as many times as needed for you to pass. It is required to present a pass certificate to apply for both Indefinite Leave to Remain status and British citizenship, so you can take it as often as you need until you can pass to gain these important immigration statuses.

Can I resit the British citizenship test if I fail?

If you fail the Life in the UK Test, you will have to wait 7 days to resit the exam but can take it as many times as needed until you pass. You will need to pay the £50 fee every time you resit the exam. As such, you are encouraged to thoroughly revise for the exam.

How long are my results for the British citizenship test valid?

Your Life in the UK Test results will never expire. You can use your pass certificate on all future UK immigration applications.

 

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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