The 'Life in the UK' test
This page explains how you can take the 'Life in the UK' test to demonstrate your knowledge of language and life in the UK before you apply for naturalisation as a British citizen.
Changes to 'knowledge of language and life' requirementsRequirements for applicants for settlement or naturalisation will change from 28 October 2013.
If your English skills are at or above English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Entry 3 level or Scottish Intermediate 1 level, you will need to pass the Life in the UK test before you apply.
The test is computer-based and is a series of 24 questions. The questions are based on the official handbook and a new version of this handbook was published on 28 January 2012.
From 25 March 2013 all tests will be based on the information in the handbook 'Life in the United Kingdom (Third Edition): A Guide for New Residents.'
To be ready to take the Life in the UK test, you must have read the correct version of the official handbook. If you have previously studied the handbook "Life in the United Kingdom (Second Edition): A Journey to Citizenship you will have to now study 'Life in the United Kingdom (Third Edition): A Guide for New Residents.'
These are the only official handbooks for the Life in the UK test. The handbooks are available from The Stationery Office or from bookshops across the UK. If you have a visual impairment, an audio CD version of the handbook is available. It is important that you read the correct edition of the Life in the UK handbook. The Stationery Office are the only official publishers.
The Home Office has also endorsed the following study aides 'Life in the United Kingdom: Official Citizenship Test Study Guide' and 'Passing the Life in the UK Test: Official Practice Questions and Answers'. These are also available from The Stationery Office and bookshops across the UK. Please note that the study aides do not contain the learning materials for the test, and should be read in conjunction with the handbook. Please note that the actual test questions are not available on line.
You can only take the test at one of the Life in the UK test centres around the UK. The Life in the UK test website explains how to prepare for and book your test. 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.
The test costs £50.00 including VAT. You must pay this fee at the test centre before you begin the test.
You will also need to show photographic identification. The Life in the Life in the UK test website lists the suitable forms of identification.
If you pass the test, you will receive a pass notification letter. You must include this letter with your application for naturalisation. The test centre will also notify us electronically within two working days that you have passed the test. If you pass the test, you will not need to provide any further evidence of your language skills.
Taking the test in Welsh or Scottish Gaelic
The test is usually taken in English. If you are taking the test in Wales, you can ask to take the test in Welsh. If you are taking the test in Scotland, you can ask to take the test in Scottish Gaelic. You should contact your nearest test centre for details.
If you are in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
You will need to pass a test similar to the Life in the UK test, or successfully complete an ESOL course that contains citizenship materials, before you apply for naturalisation. Tests taken on these islands are paper-based and consist of 25 questions, with 6 questions based on local information about the island where the test is being taken.