July 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

I just took the practice UK citizenship test online. I’d heard that some parts of it a bit trivial and far-removed from everyday life (e.g. questions how many days schools must be open for, or what year divorce laws were reformed). Still, I thought that a) I’m a well-read British citizen, and b) I enjoy pub-quizzes. So how hard can it be?

My citizenship test result

My citizenship test result

Final score: 50%. Fail. I think the pass mark is 75%, so I wasn’t even close.

Well, I’ve failed exams before, so no biggy, but I was surprised to find that the offical guidebooks for citizenship and for the test itself are for sale by the Stationery Office. For some reason, I’d have thought that that kind of advice would be free, like a government leaflet. I suppose £6-17 is not too much extra to pay if you’re serious about gaining citizenship, but I am curious to know how much help is given in those books.

I’m also mildly surprised by the 45 minute time limit. There’s 24 questions, all multiple-choice. Even if you’re a slow reader with English as your second/third/fourth language, it can’t take that long. There’s nothing to work out – either you know where the EU parliament meets or you don’t.

Perhaps everyone should be given citizenship tests for every country in the world, and then sent to live in which ever country they get the highest score in. Do I know more about US citizenship than UK? Or French maybe? Mais non…


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On changing jobs A giant octopus wandering through the forest

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