New Life in the UK test focuses more on British history and tradition

India News Bulletin Desk
New Life in the UK test from January 2013
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Douglas the Comeback Kid)

Home Office has changed the Life in the UK test for those looking to settle in Britain. Immigrants will now have to learn about events and people who have contributed to making Britain great including William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton and Winston Churchill among others.

The updated Life in the UK handbook was released on Monday, January 28, 2013.

The new book and the test have been completely re-written, removing questions on topics that those living in the UK should already be aware of -- such as the public transport, credit cards and job interviews.

'We've stripped out mundane information about water meters, how to find train timetables, and using the internet,” said Mark Harper, Minister for Immigration.

“The new book rightly focuses on values and principles at the heart of being British. Instead of telling people how to claim benefits it encourages participation in British life,” he said.

In the past, historical information was included in the book but the applicants were not asked questions around the same. This meant that the migrants did not have to show they had an understanding of how modern Britain has evolved.

The new Life in the UK test focuses more on British culture, history and traditions as well as the events and people who have helped make Britain a great place to live. 

Those applying for citizenship will have to learn about writers such as William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, about scientists Isaac Newton and Alexander Fleming; engineers and industrialists like Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Richard Arkwright and politicians including Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee. Questions around British sports including London 2012 Olympic Games and Queen’s diamond jubilee will be included too.  

The changes are part of the coalition government’s objective to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands into the tens of thousands by the end of the current Parliament.

In addition to reducing net migration to sustainable levels, the government also wants to ensure that Britain continues to attract the brightest and the best migrants from across the world, according to the Home Office.

In 2012 alone, more than 150,000 migrants took the Life in the UK tests with as many as 77,000 tests in London city.

The Life in the UK test is taken by migrants including Indians wanting to settle permanently in the UK. Candidates taking the test must get 75% of the questions correct.

Sample questions of the new Life in UK test:

  1. Who is the Patron Saint of Scotland?
  2. Which landmark is a prehistoric monument which still stands in the English county of Wiltshire?
  3. At her Jubilee in 2012, how many years as Queen did Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrate?
  4. The second largest party in the House of Commons is usually known by what name?
  5. What is the name of the admiral who died in a sea battle in 1805 and has a monument in Trafalgar Square?
  6. From what age can you be asked to serve on a jury?
  7. What is the title given to the person who chairs the debates in the House of Commons?
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