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Life in the UK Test

5 Tips on passing the ‘Life in the UK Test’

How to ace your British citizenship test

By Lauren Whitehead

, |

5 Tips on passing the ‘Life in the UK Test’

How to ace your British citizenship test

By Lauren Whitehead

, |

3 min read

The Life in the UK Test is an unavoidable exercise for many South African expats as it’s a necessary requirement for those who are applying for either British citizenship or settlement in the UK.

The computer-based test costs £50 (approximately R1,007) and was designed to provide applicants with knowledge of British customs, traditions, laws, and political systems, as well as the English language itself.

The short test requires a significant amount of knowledge on British culture that can be accessed and revised online.

So, what do you need to know before taking the test to ensure that you pass it with flying colours?

Top 5 tips

  1. Preparation is key

First encounters are always scary, so get yourself acquainted with the test. Browse through the official website and get a feel for what to expect – information on how to book your test and what it will look like is a great place to start.

Your ‘best friend’ for the job is the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test…so make sure you read it thoroughly.

  1. Give yourself a head start

Start revising as early as possible. Why cram all the studying into one session when you can tackle large chunks of information at a pace that suits you?

Try setting time aside on a daily basis or making use of a ‘focus’ app to ensure productivity on a manageable scale.

Studying a few months in advance of your test will give you a good head start and allow a full understanding of each topic. This will, in time, pay off as the marks start to mount up.

  1. Make use of practise questions

A simple search on Google will provide you with a handful of practise tests, along with apps dedicated to helping you prepare – make use of these.

Even though you might fail on multiple occasions, repeating run-throughs will help to put you at ease for the real thing.

  1. Add a bit of joy into learning

Simply put, make it fun. Tests are not everybody’s preferred bit of fun, but there are plenty of ways to help the time pass quickly.

Try finding engaging YouTube videos, interesting podcasts, or creating flashcards to help with your studies.

  1. Stay calm

Most importantly, stay calm before and during the test. Remember to follow exam instructions correctly, take your time, and read the question carefully.

Keeping your composure will help you to focus on the task at hand and sail through the test with ease.

An applicant’s advice

Desiree Swanepoel, who lives in Sevenoaks in Kent, recently passed the Life in the UK Test, and her experience may provide you with the answers you’re looking for:

She says: “Getting to the last stage of the process is extremely stressful. You’re basically having to study everything – the UK’s history, entertainment, architecture, medicine – and you don’t know what questions you’re going to be asked.

“Doing the practise tests helps you learn things, they’re interesting – I think I learned a lot.

“When you’re studying, nine times out of ten you fail those practise tests, so you really are stressed before you go in.

“But the test itself is really quick. You sit down, do the test, and then, once you’re done, you’re free to get up and go.

Life in the UK Test
Desiree Swanepoel

“[I wish I’d have known] to relax a little bit more – it really wasn’t that bad.

“Also, [I wish I’d] taken a bit more time to prepare.

“I thought I needed to do the practise tests first, and I kept failing, so I tried to cram the studying into two weeks.

“I wish that I’d started around two months before, so it wasn’t so much pressure, and I could go over things a little bit more – because the test itself really isn’t too bad”.

On your marks, get set, and go

Despite a few ambiguous questions, preparation, revision, and composure are key to passing the Life in the UK Test.

Keep these few simple tips in mind and you’re sure to pass with ease.

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