Life in the UK test – a complete guide to what to expect at your test

Life in the UK test centre

Life in the UK test – what is it and how to book it

It is compulsory to pass the Life in the UK test if you want apply for settlement in the UK or for British citizenship. This test is will assess your knowledge of British society, values, history and general life in Britain.

The test is based on the Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents (3rd edition) handbook, and is administered on a computer. To pass this test, you must answer at least 18 questions out of 24 multiple-choice questions within 45 minutes. (you must score 75% on the test, 18/24).

You can book your test here.

You must book your test at least 3 days in advance. The test costs £50.

You will take your test at one of the test centers (around 60 in the UK), so you can choose one of the centres closest to your home.

If you need help with your booking, call the Life in the UK Test Helpline at 0800 015 4245
(Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm).

Life in the UK test – what you need to bring to the test

You will have to present the exact same photo ID that you used to book your test. This is very important. If you do not bring that same ID, you will not be allowed to take the test, and you won’t receive a refund.

You will have to demonstrate evidence of your address with a document that shows your full name and the post code that you used to book your test (that document must not be older than 3 months). This document can be:

    ● Council Tax bill

    ● UK photo card driving licence

    ● Gas, electricity or water bill

    ● Letter from the Home Office with your name and address on it

    ● Bank or credit card statement (this statement must be an original, printed and stamped by your bank)

If you do not bring one of these documents, you will not be allowed to take the test.

You will also be required to answer any questions regarding your documents, and your reason for taking the test without actually looking at the documents. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to take the test.

Life in the UK test – arrive on time at the test centre

After you book your Life in the UK test, the government will send you an email telling you what time to arrive at the test centre.

You will spend 2 hours at the test centre.

If you do not show up on time, your test might be cancelled and no refund will be given to you. If your appointment in cancelled you will have to book another test and pay the £50 again!

Make sure you know exactly where your test centre is and you give yourself plenty of time to get there. Ideally, you should practice beforehand how to get to the test centre, so you know how much time it will take you to get there (with your own car or with public transit). That way, on your test day you will not have to rush and will arrive more relaxed.

Life in the UK test – Friends and Family members

Test centres have no childcare and no waiting area for family members, so do not take your children or relatives with you to your test.

Life in the UK test – behaviour

If you are threatening or verbally abusive to the test centre staff in any way, you will be asked to leave (with no refund), and you will be reported to the Home Office and to the police. It might affect your application, so please be respectful to the test centre staff.

Life in the UK test – what happens when you arrive at the test centre

Upon arriving at the test centre, staff will ask for your ID and will confirm that you are on their list. You might be told where the toilet and the drinking water are. Staff will give you a number and a document explaining how the test works. You will be asked to turn off all electronic devices.

Then you will take a seat in a room with other persons who are also taking the test. You will have to wait for your number to be called. When your number is called, you will go into an office where you will be asked for the ID you used to book your test, and for your document showing proof of address. You might be asked information about your documents, such as full name, date of birth, post code or nationality. This is to confirm that you are the person you say you are.

If everything is acceptable, you will sign a form and you will be taken to the test room.

Life in the UK test – rules in the test room

You won’t be allowed to bring any written material, electronic devices, bags or wrist watches into the test room with you. The test centre will have lockers for you to use to hold any of these items. You will be searched before entering the test room.

You must remain silent during the test. If you are unruly, you will be asked to leave, and you won’t receive a refund.

Do not cheat during the test. If you are caught cheating or attempting to cheat, you will be reported to the Home Office and the police. You won’t be allowed to take the test and it might affect your British citizenship or settlement application.

Life in the UK test – what happens during the test

You will be shown to a desk and you will have to put your ID on the desk. Next to the computer, instructions will explain what to expect and how to take the test. You will have to wait for all the people taking the test with you to go through the same verification process before entering the test room to be seated for the test.

Once everybody is in the test room, staff will go to each computer and open the test software. They will also verify your ID again.

Five minutes before the test, you will be able to take a short practice test (4 questions) to get used to the test interface. Make use of it and get used to how to go to the next or previous questions, and how to directly access the questions by clicking on their squares.

If you need to go to the toilet or drink some water, you must do so before the actual test starts.

You will have 45 minutes to take the test, so take your time answering each question. Do not press the “Finish test” button unless you are 100% sure that you are finished the test. Once you press it, there is no going back.

Life in the UK test – tips for passing the test

    ● Read the handbook many times before your test day

    ● Take a lot of practice tests before your test day

    ● Be very careful to enter the correct information when booking your test

    ● Eat well (but not too heavily) before the test so you are not hungry during the test

    ● Get a good night’s sleep before the test

    ● Arrive on time at the test centre

    ● Use the toilet before your official test starts

You are allowed 6 incorrect answers, but answer ALL the questions. Take your time during the test, relax, read the questions carefully. The test software allows you to go back to each question and change the answer (until you press “Finish test”).

Life in the UK test – after the test

Once you finish your Life in the UK test, raise your hand. A staff member will give you a number. You will have to wait in the reception area for your test result (you won’t get your exact mark). You will be called in an office where you will have to show your ID again. If you have passed, you will be given a Pass Notification Letter that you will have to sign. Do not leave the test centre before you are given this letter, otherwise it will be destroyed.

Don’t lose this letter as you will have to send the original, with your citizenship or settlement application to show that you have passed the test. If you have lost this letter, call the Home Office, they’ll tell you what to do (Home Office lost pass letters telephone 03001 232 253).

Life in the UK test – if you fail the test

You can re-take the test as many times as you need to, but you will have to wait 7 days before you will be able to book your test again.

Do you need help preparing for your Life in the UK test? We have helped thousands of people pass their test, check out our Life in the UK Test – Complete Online Training Program.

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44 replies on “Life in the UK test – a complete guide to what to expect at your test”

  1. Are there any test centers in Kent? I have tried googling but nearest ones I could find are in London.

    1. Hi Martina,
      We are not affiliated with the UK government. We specifically help people to train for their Life in the UK Test.
      We recommend that you contact the Life in the UK test helpline for your inquiry.

  2. HI ive been living in the uk for almost 3 years i have pre settle status, can i book right now for the life in the uk test? Thank you

  3. I can’t find a list of test centres anywhere, we are being asked to not travel but my wife needs to apply urgently as she has no valid passport or travel docs as they ran out out during lockdown 1. She has elderly frail parents in Europe and needs to know she can travel if they get sick. I can only find centres in London 2 hours train or 3 hours drive…. where are the test centres for Suffolk or Norfolk?

  4. Hi, I received my Settlement Status and recently applied for citizenship. I did not read anywhere that I have to take the life in the UK test. How do I find out whether I am required to take it, as my citizenahip application has already been sent off?

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