The Life in the UK Test is the first step to start the British citizenship application. It is also use for skilled workers, spouses requesting residency and such. The main idea of the test is to assess the candidate English language level and the knowledge of the UK life, both necessary to live and integrate the UK society. The test does not include grammar questions at all, the sole understanding of the questions is proof enough that you fulfill the language requirements. However for speakers of other language a paid course called ESOL is needed. The applicant needs to complete level 3 to be admitted at the test.
Going through the test basics: It is a 24 question test. You have multiple choice and true or false questions in the test. The material used to prepare for the test is the citizenship resource guide called "Life in the United Kingdom: a journey to citizenship" made by the UK Border Agency.
The test has a 75% passing score with NO mandatory questions in it to be completed in 45 minutes. You will have sound notifications when reaching to the end of the test.
The Fees: The test itself costs 34.00 pounds each time is taken. You are able to retake the test as many times you need to get it through. Most applicants pass the test in the second try. The retakes are usually on the spot upon PC availability.
You can get the resource book online for 9.99 pounds. careful when you buy the book, it is tailored into regions so there are some slight differences between them. Make sure you order the one that belongs to your area. He test is divided in regions too. You have also official resources available such as Practice Questions packs for 5.99 pounds and a study guide for the same value.
Which is the best way to get prepared to face the test? Lets share some best practices to get prepared for the Life in The UK test:
First: get familiarized with the book content. It is divided in testable and non testable content, the testable content goes from chapter 2 to 6th. The material goes over cultural, historical, political and every day knowledge of the life in the United Kingdom. There are a lot of facts and dates to be memorized that will be evaluated in the citizenship test. This is a great chance to include yourself in the content. Try reading the book more than two times to get a picture of what the test is about.
Second: Build your own notes from the book. This is useful to start memorizing the content. By making your own notes you move the knowledge to your permanent memory, this is one of the best practices to prepare for test that require a lot of detailed information as the Life in the UK test does.
Third: Practice. The test is multiple choice and true or False based that means that the answers for the questions are usually in the question wording or among the options. The best way to beat a test with this characteristics is by having as much practice as you can. By performing practice questions you accomplish three things, first you get used to the methodology of the test, second you review the studied content in general and third you reduce the number of possible new questions in the real test. You may find that after a big practice, lets say 200 questions, the real test will sound known to you. On the other hand you close the loop by fixing this content in your mind.
Fourth: Take the test to your everyday life. Take 30 minutes per day to start asking and answering questions among your family and friends. Use your coworkers. Sadly enough you will realize how many of them lack the knowledge you are acquiring. You link knowledge to experience by doing this. The information will be more easy to access if you can relate it to something else that the test alone or the study hours in your desk
Fifth: Last minute study does not work! If you try to squeeze a high volume of content the night before the test the most probable result will be the loss of that content. Memory works by repetition and you need to be fresh by the time you get to the test. There is no point in sleeping 3 hours before the test, this will confuse you even more. The morning of the test have a strong breakfast. This will provide your brain with the glucose level he needs to wake up and to be ready for the test, trust me these aren't minor factors when facing a stressful situation as the Life in the UK will be.
As a foot note remember that the test is tailored into regions so the study guides change as well as the pool of questions the test is made from. The failure of the Life in the UK Test does not affect your VISA or permanent residency in the UK at any level if you already possess one.
Bare in mind that multiple choice tests are easily beaten by practice and study. An never forget that this is just the very first step to become a UK citizen. Good luck to you all!
George Raitzng is member of the [eCaz] group dedicated to the analysis and development of training resources for immigration to major first world countries.
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