The naturalisation process in the United Kingdom includes as a first step the “Life in the United Kingdom” test that needs to be attached to the citizenship application.
The test is meant to evaluate the English level and UK experience of the applicant in every day matters as well as politics, economy and historical facts. The test is a civic rights compendium that prepares the future citizen to face its responsibilities and privileges as UK citizen.
As an alternative to the test for non English speaking countries immigrants is available a sections of courses called ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) The course contains “language with civic content”, in a way is a step by step resource book for immigrants.
At the en of the course the applicant will be rewarded with a certificate that suffices the English level skills needed for the citizenship application and will allow them to sit for the Life in the UK test.
The test can be taken as many times necessary by the applicant. The passing score is a 75% of correct answers (18 out of 24). The questions are based on the Life in the UK resource book second edition “Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship”. The testable content goes from chapter 2 to 6 as of 2007 where the test book was enhanced with everyday matters such as housing, health, money and education aspects of the UK life. The test can be taken in three languages; English, Scottish and Welsh upon applicant request however more often is taken in English.
The UK citizenship resource book can be bought at local library shops or online through the UK Border Agency website. Bare in mind that the test is regionalized, so is the resource book. For example for an candidates located in Wales will be asked about the Welsh assembly and not the Scottish Parliament. The tests are also tailored by regions. It is advisable to obtain the latest version of the resource book from the candidate’s residence area.
The test itself has also a fee, £34.00 per sit. The candidate needs to book the test in one of the 27 centers scattered all over the UK through the test website or calling the call center. The 24 questions come from a confidential pool of 300 out of the 24,000 words of the testable content in the resource book. The test stresses in the citizenship responsibilities and obligations such as election participation and police enforcements.
The applicant has 45 minutes to complete the computer based test of 24 questions. The results are immediate so the applicant can retake the test on the sport if there is availability in the center at that particular moment.
The failure of the test does not affect the applicant residency status or VISA at any level. The applicant will be handled with a letter with the test score and code that needs to be added to the naturalization form so the citizenship process can be started.
Keep the notification letter safe, the UK Border Agency might not be able to reproduce the letter which would mean that the applicant will have to take the test again if the letter is not in his possession.
The ESOL course completion needs to be added as well if taken. There are no additional language test or grammar English questions included in the Life in the UK test. The ESOL course or the sole understanding of the English used to build the questions is proof enough that the candidate has the English level to become a citizen.
The Border Agency offers resources to prepare candidates for the test as well as the ESOL course. There are many online features in the BA webpage that can be used to be better prepared to face the citizenship test. There are also many third party training courses available on the web that has proven satisfactory results. The citizenship test is not impossible, so study hard and it will pass by smoothly. Source: George Raitzin
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