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Life in the UK test – Understanding the process

Life in the UK test

The Life in the UK Test that is compulsory for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK or for British citizenship. You’ll need to pass this test before you send in your citizenship application form

Criteria for taking the Life in the UK test

You have to take the test if:
– You are applying for British citizenship or for settlement
– Your English level is at least ESOL Entry Level 3 (for Scotland: at least Intermediate level 1)
For more information on ESOL: click here

Cost of the Life in the UK test

The test costs £50. If you fail the test, you have to pay £50 every time you re-apply.

Format of the Life in the UK test

The test is computer-based. You have to answer 24 questions within 45 minutes. All questions are multiple choices, meaning that you have to select the right answer(s) within a selection of different possible answers.

The test is in English. But if you are in Wales, you may ask to take the test in Welsh, or if you are in Scotland, you may ask to take the test in Scottish Gaelic.

Life in the UK test study material

The test is based on the handbook Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents (3rd Edition). You can either buy the book alone at the Stationery Office for £12.99, or you can sign up for our Complete Online Life in the UK Test Practice Package which includes a reproduction of this handbook (text and audio format).

The handbook has 5 chapters in total. You will only be tested on all chapters.

Life in the UK test booking procedure

You can only book and pay for your test online. Before booking your actual test, you will need to register for an account (always double-check that you enter accurate personal details). You only can book a test for yourself. You can take a test that is 7 days or more from when you book your test.
Book your test here

There are about 60 testing centres around the UK where you can also improve your computer or language skills. When you book your test, you will be given the location and direction of the closest test centres to you.

Life in the UK test rules

Before taking the test, you will be asked to present an original photo ID. If you don’t do so, you won’t be able to take the test and you won’t get a refund.

At the end of your test, the test supervisor will tell you if you have passed or failed the test. If you pass the test, you will be given a notification letter that you will have to sign before leaving the test centre.

Preparing for the Life in the UK test

If you need help preparing for your test, we offer a complete online training program, click here for more information.

Prepare for your Life in the UK Test
Learn more about our Complete Online Training Program

23 Comments » for Life in the UK test – Understanding the process
  1. MPK says:

    Hi i took the test in 2008/2009 but was never given any notification that i had passed. We were told details would be sent to the home office. I am now looking to apply for my citizenship, can anyone help please?

    • admin says:

      Hello. For this kind of inquiry, you should call the Life in the UK test helpline on the number below:
      0800 0154245
      Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.
      Good luck!

  2. ajay says:

    Hi, i took the test in 2008/2009.. and i passed the test and given the notification pass letter.. i did a photocopy but unfortunately i couldn’t find it.. however, on getting to the home office to process my ILR i gave them all my documents including my original pass notification letter..after the process all my documents was returned to me except the pass notification letter and i wasn’t told i would need it for my citizenship..now i am about to apply for my citizenship can you help me out on this issue and advice me on what to do??.. and tried to contact the home office several times but will not avail..i can’t afford to do another test. what if i don’t pass it??..thanks very much.

    • admin says:

      Hello Ajay. We help people pass their citizenship test, but unfortunately we cannot tell you what you should do regarding your original pass notification letter. You should try to contact the Life in the UK test helpline (0800 0154245 – Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6). They will certainly be able to help you out.

  3. Moh says:

    Hi there,

    Just want to know how early could we give this test if i am tentatively about to apply mid Dec 13 for ILR?

    Thanks

    • admin says:

      Hello Moh. We can help you prepare and pass your Life in the UK test, but for any questions regarding the official requirements for the Life in the UK test, you should contact the Life in the UK test helpline on the number below:
      0800 0154245
      Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.
      Good luck!

  4. sana says:

    hi I would like to know that I did my first test and I was fail on that time I had my passport but because of short time I send my passport to home office and rebook the test I have test but I have passport copy so will they accept it or not or what should I do

    • admin says:

      Hello Sana. For this question, it is best if you call the Life in the UK test helpline on the number below:
      0800 0154245
      Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.

  5. emma dudlee says:

    Can I take this test by Audio only?????

    • admin says:

      According to the UK Border Agency website, if you have a visual impairment, you can take the test in large print or the computer can read out each question for you. If you have special needs, you should contact your nearest test centre for details of the support it can provide.

  6. paul bannister says:

    how long does my wife have to live in the uk before she can take the test, she is thai, thanks Paul

    • admin says:

      Hello Paul. We don’t know about your wife’s situation, so it is best if you call the UK Border Agency to get a definite answer to your question. Good luck!

  7. Roya says:

    Hi,
    I have ESOL advanced certificate, which is passed reading, writing, listening and speaking the advance level (higher). Do I still need to do the Life in the Uk test or not.
    Thank you
    Rono

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m 18 years old. I’ve already done my GCSEs and a levels and I’m currently doing my first year at University. Do I still need to take the Life in the UK test before applying for British Citizenship?

  9. Nihal Kiri-Ellage says:

    let me know how long I have to wait, after received my resident permit, to sit exam. and when can I apply my British Pass Port.
    Nihal.

  10. pat ali says:

    if a person as been here since 1967 but never learn English and are not educated how can they become a British chitiezn

  11. Mr Samra says:

    Hi! I am wondering that how long does life in the UK test result valid? If I passed it now, will it expire after some time? Thanks!

    • admin says:

      Your Life in the UK test should not expire. Please confirm with the Life in the UK test helpline at 0800 0154245 (Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.). Good luck!

  12. Duha says:

    Hi,
    I am Duha,
    could you help me, last week in December I did life in the UK exam
    but unfortunately I didn’t pass my exam life in the UK test.
    I have a question about during the exam on the computer it has one option ‘FLAG’
    how can i use it? please explain me.

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