Do I Need to Take the Life in the UK Test?

For those asking whether they need to take the UK test or not, the answer is YES as long as they are applying for British citizenship or IRL (Indefinite Leave to Remain) application. We are familiar with the difficulty level of the Life in the UK test exam. That is why most people are looking for alternative ways to get British citizenship or shortcuts for submitting an IRL application. Unluckily, there is no shortcut and no other options.

British Citizenship test is one of the most important eligibility requirements needed to apply for naturalization or settlement. Besides, it holds greater importance in future immigration applications. Once you pass the test, you will never have to retake an exam. It comes with no expiry date. That sounds like a fair deal!

Back in 2005, the Life in the UK test was set as a criterion to judge candidates’ knowledge about British traditions, history, and laws. It evaluates the applicants’ understanding of the UK political system. And most importantly, it ensures that you are proficient and fluent in the English language. The solution to pass the test in the first attempt is to give as many Life in the UK mock test as possible.

Who Is Mandated To Take The Life In The UK Test?

The test is mandatory if you are in the age bracket of 18 to 65 and want to gain British citizenship legally OR plan to settle within the UK. Under certain circumstances, you are exempted from the test, such as people below 18 or above 65. Moreover, one can exercise discretion if they are diagnosed with a long-term ailment, either physical or psychological (use a letter from a doctor as proof).

On passing the test, you will receive a certificate that must be attached to your ILR application as a piece of official evidence that you have fulfilled the mandatory requisite.

A Quick Introduction To The Test:

It is a computer-based assessment comprising 24 MCQs that the applicant needs to solve within 45 minutes. The Life in the UK test questions is typically based on old British customs, important laws, and political arrangement. To successfully pass the exam, you must attempt 18 questions correctly as the passing mark is 75%. The best part is that you will get the results the same day, in fact, after 5-10 minutes.

For preparation, you need to invest time in the official handbook provided by the Home Office. All questions are chosen from the boo randomly. To check your preparation level, you better attempt all the sample questions provided at the end of each chapter. The Life in the UK test practice is effective for improving knowledge.

Once you have submitted £50 (test cost), it is non-refundable if you don’t pass the Life in the UK test. There are 30 test locations in the UK. Choose the nearest one!

Needs to Take the Test For Settlement:

As far as permanent residency in the UK is concerned, passing the Life in the UK Test is mandatory. Before you start planning to apply for naturalization as a British citizen, you must give enough time to prepare yourself for this challenging test. To forward your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application for a long-term settlement, you must fulfill the standards set by UK officials. These standards help them test your English language skills and the knowledge about the typical Life of the UK, such as political issues, government laws, etc. 

For settlement, you must:

Attempt and pass the UK life test with flying colors

Possess professional level speaking & listening skills in the English language at B1 CEFR (higher or equivalent)

In case you have completed your stay for a specific time in the UK, for instance, five years, you will be eligible to submit your application for ILR. For further details and confirmation, browse the form. If you fall in any of the below-mentioned categories, you are allowed to apply for permanent residency in the UK right away:

Spouse or a professional/business partner of a British citizen or a person who is already settled in the UK for a span of 5 years spent on the spouse or partner visa. You should be capable of showing proof that you are given full approval to lawfully enter or remain in the UK on a spouse or partner visa. Moreover, the pieces of evidence might be needed to prove your cohabitation and that you are intended to keep the marriage.

Legal residence – Once the applicant has completed 5 years (typically spent on a Tier 2 visa)

Long residency – After completing 10 years of legal residency

Upon receiving a legal affirmation on your ILR, feel free to live and work in any part of the country with complete confidence, as you will be abiding by all the legal requirements. The application has no restricted time limit on stay. Stay as long as you want! Moreover, the candidate faces no unbending restrictions in the residency period. Complete freedom!

The permanent residents are advised not to stay outside the UK for more than two years and spend most of the time inside UK territory. Or else, there are chances of your ILR being annulled.


Age under 18 years 

Age over 65 years 

No exemption based on the illiteracy

Needs to Take the Test For Citizenship

Where the Life in the UK Test is mandatory for settlement and ILR, it is required for achieving British citizenship that can really be a life-changing turn. Only if the candidate successfully fulfills all the standard requirements then they become eligible to apply for citizenship. Generally, attaining British citizenship requires an extra year in comparison to the ILR. How? Well, one is only entitled to move forward with a British citizenship application when one year is completed since they are granted ILR. This is the time when they reach the “free from immigration time restrictions” phase.

Gaining citizenship will give you the full right to exercise freedom of voting, use public services, get funds, and proceed to apply for a British passport.


People under 18 years of age

People over 65 years of age

Low level or unprofessional English language skills

Unfulfilling knowledge about UK life, rules, politics, history, and official laws

No exemptions for long residence

No exemptions if you possess a specific qualification

No exemptions if you have invested in the UK.

No exemption if you belong to English speaking country

No exemption based on the illiteracy

Health And Disabilities:

People with a long-standing, permanent, or untreatable health problem, physical or neurological, are exempted from the UK life test. Before discretion, physical condition is reviewed thoroughly. The mental impairment must be severe enough to hinder the learning skills or effecting the candidates’ ability to learn a new language and perform the test. To be exempted, you can have restricted mobility. People with visual and hearing impairment are not necessarily exempted.

IMPORTANT: You must be able to deliver the proof of your ailment/evidence from your medical practitioner to support your disability in the Life in UK test.

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