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The UK Citizenship test: could you pass?

Our dear leader has unveiled some changes to the citizenship test, that all potential immigrants are expected to pass before being allowed to get a British passport. You can take the test over at The Guardian.

I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the questions, and at the end I’ll let you know my score.

Let’s begin.

1. Is this statement TRUE or FALSE: in the 1980s, the largest immigrant groups were from the West Indies, Ireland, India and Pakistan

Slightly ambiguous. Is it asking whether most immigrants belonged to one of those ethnic groups, or whether most immigrants came directly to the UK from one of those areas? Not entirely sure how this is relevant to being a UK citizen today.

4. Why were recruitment centres set up in the West Indies in the 1950s?

To recruit workers for textile factories
To recruit workers to build canals
To recruit workers to build railways
To recruit workers to drive buses

Again, this seems utterly irrelevant to UK society and culture today.

5. Many job applications will require a covering letter and

a document showing proof of identity
your National Insurance number
a curriculum vitae
a signed photograph

Pretty sure the answer is CV, but I’m sure “many” job applications also ask for your NI number and ID.

7. In which year did married women get the right to divorce their husband?

1837
1857
1875
1882

They’ve made the years far too close together to make an educated guess – might as well stick a pin in the page. Again, how is this relevant?

9. The number of children and young people up to the age of 19 in the UK is

13 million
14 million
15 million
16 million

Who cares? Again, the numbers are too close together to apply any logic in answering.

12. Is the statement below TRUE or FALSE: you can attend a hospital without a GP’s letter only in the case of an emergency

True
False

I guess they mean a GP referral rather than an actual letter. The answer they want is probably True, but that’s incorrect. Plenty of hospitals offer drop in clinics, or allow self-referrals, and you could also attend with a referral from a dentist.

15. The official report of the proceedings of Parliament is called

the Speaker’s notes
Hansard
electoral register
the constitution

I’d be surprised if as many as 50% of “average” UK citizens know the answer to this.

18. Which of these statements is correct?

Children aged 13-16 cannot work for more than 12 hours in any school week
Children aged 13-16 cannot work for more than 10 hours in any school week

How is this important, unless you a) are a schoolchild, b) are a parent, or c) plan on employing schoolchildren?

20. When was the census first carried out in the United Kingdom?

1785
1801
1851
1912

How completely crucial it is to know that.

21. Who is the monarch not allowed to marry?

Anyone who is not of royal blood
Anyone who is not a Protestant
Anyone who is under the age of 25
Anyone who was born outside the UK

Ambition is good, but I’d probably take “marrying the monarch” off the list of things to do. This is another incorrect question, as the law only states that they cannot marry “a Papist” and does not mention other religions at all.

23. How might you stop young people playing tricks on you at Halloween?

Call the police
Give them some money
Give them sweets or chocolate
Hide from them

Well, the first three are probably equally effective, and pretending you are out could well work too.

After all of that, I scored 16/24 (66%) and the pass mark is 75%.

So not only are most of the questions utterly irrelevant, but they expect immigrants to know more of the answers than the natives.

Surely the important questions are on how to queue, tea, and expressing one’s disapproval in the most emotionally repressed way possible.

How did you do?

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