Jun 29, 2023
2 minutes read

Life in the UK Test: What You Need to Know

Life In The UK Test

If you apply to become a British citizen or for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you will probably be asked to take the Life in the UK Test.

The test is multiple choice. You will be asked 24 questions about aspects of life in the UK. To pass you must score at least 75%. It is a computer-based test lasting 45 minutes.

You can book the test online, but it must be taken in an approved test centre. There are over 30 UK test centres. The government provides an official handbook and other support for those preparing for the test, including a UK test helpline.

Most people pass the test. If you fail the test you may retake it as often as you need to. The fee for the test is £50 which must be paid every time.

The purpose of the Life in the UK Test

The test is one of two Knowledge of Language and Life (KoLL) requirements set out by the British government. These elements are:

  • Life in the UK Test covering British traditions, culture and daily life.
  • English language requirement, demonstrated through a relevant qualification or status.

There is a wide range of tests and criteria for the English language requirement. Applicants taking the test in Wales or Scotland can choose to take the test in Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.

The purpose of the KoLL is to show that people applying to be a citizen or live in the UK have an acceptable understanding of British values and of the English language.

Who is exempt from the Life in the UK Test?

You do not need to take the test if you:

  • Are aged under 18.
  • Are aged 65 or older.
  • Have already passed it, such as during a settlement application.
  • Have a long-term physical or mental condition, proven by a document from your doctor or appropriate medical professional.

If you have a disability but are not exempt from taking the test, you can apply for help getting to the test centre or to use extra equipment in the test.

There are several different routes to obtaining British citizenship. Each has its own guidance and procedures, including whether you are required to take the Life in the UK Test.

If you need advice about any aspect of the British citizenship test you can contact the UK test helpline on 0800 0154245.

How to take the test

The steps required to take the test are:

  1. Book the test through the official government service website.
  2. Attend your chosen test centre in person to take the test.
  3. Get the test results. You must score 75% or higher to pass.

You can retake as many times as you need to.

Booking your Life in the UK Test

You must book using the official government service website.

Payment must be made when you book. The current test fee is £50, payable by debit or credit card each time you take the test.

To book you must have an accepted form of identification. This can be one of the following:

  • A valid passport (original and not past its expiry date).
  • A valid travel document with a photo (typically issued by the Home Office).
  • A biometric residence permit or card.
  • EU, EEA or Swiss identity card.

Based on the address you give when you book, you'll be given a choice of the five closest test centres. You must choose one of these centres.

Preparing to take the Life in the UK Test

It's natural to be nervous before your test. Here are several steps you can take to be as prepared as possible.

  • Read the official Life in the UK handbook and guides to taking the test.
  • Take some practice tests.
  • Speak to others who have taken the test, to learn from their experiences.
  • Plan your journey to the test centre. If possible, visit in advance so you're familiar with the location.
  • Have all the documents you need in one place, so they're easy to find on the day.

The Life in the UK Test fee is not refunded if you miss your appointment. However, you can get a refund if you cancel more than three days (72 hours) before the test. You do this through your Life in the UK account, set up when you applied for the test.

Materials to help you prepare for the test

There are a number of official guides to help you prepare and practise for the test. These include:

  • Life in the United Kingdom - A Guide for New Residents, which includes all information needed to pass the test.
  • Study Guide Book, including activities to help you learn on the move.
  • Practice Questions & Answers book, with 17 example tests. Also available as an app.
  • Life in the UK e-learning subscription, including all the material from A Guide for New Residents and the Practice Questions & Answers book.

There is also a wide range of learning material available from other sources. It's a good idea to take a practice test a short time before taking the actual test, so that you're already thinking about it.

What happens on the day you take your test

Be prepared to spend at least two hours at the test centre, possibly longer. While the test itself only takes 45 minutes you'll need time to confirm your identity and get set up with the test equipment. You should arrive at least 30 minutes before the time of your test booking.

You cannot take children or other family members into the test centre.

When you arrive, the test centre staff will check that you are on their list and they will confirm your identity. It's important that you take the original of the ID document used when you made the test booking. There is no refund if you can't confirm your identity.

Your photo will be taken. You cannot take the test if you refuse to allow this, and you will not get a refund. Security checks will be carried out.

Before the test begins, you will be taken to the computer where you will take the test. You cannot take any study material, bags, smartphones or other electronic devices, or wrist watches into the test room. The test centres provide secure lockers for storing your possessions.

Once you are in the test room, at your computer, the staff will double check your identity. They will also provide clear instructions on how to take the test.

If you have any questions, the test centre staff are there to help.

Taking the Life in the UK Test

The Life in the UK Test is computer-based. Before the official test begins, you will be given a short practice test of a few questions. This lets you get familiar with the test process. Use this time to learn how to move between the questions.

When the test begins you have 45 minutes to answer the questions. During this time you must remain silent and you cannot leave the room.

The test consists of 24 questions about aspects of life in the United Kingdom. It covers British traditions, culture, major sporting events and aspects of everyday life. Take time to read the questions carefully. You can change your answers.

Do not press the Finish Test button until you are sure that you have completed the test.

You must not cheat during your Life in the UK Test. Cheating, or abusive behaviour towards staff in UK test centres could result in you being prevented from taking the test at any point in the future.

Learning the result of your Life in the UK Test

When you finish the test, it takes just a few seconds to learn whether you have passed or failed. The computer will check how many correct answers you have given and whether you achieved the pass mark of 75%.

If you pass, you will be given a unique reference number (URN) which can be accessed in your LitUK account where the results are shown. This number is needed by the UK Home Office, in order to continue processing your Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship application.

The unique reference number replaces the pass notification letter.

The pass rate for the Life in the UK Test shows that around three out of four people who take it achieve a pass. The result will not expire, and you should take care to retain your unique reference number.

If you fail the test you can book a new test at least seven days in the future.

Getting a refund if the test centre cancels your appointment

If your appointment is cancelled by the test centre, you may request a refund. The request must be made within three months of the date on your test booking. The refund will go to the same debit or credit card used when the test was booked.

You cannot get a refund if you could not take the Life in the UK Test because you:

  • Were late or ill.
  • Did not bring the correct documents, including ID.
  • Refused to have your photo taken.

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