Tomorrow morning I am sitting the Life in the UK test. Passing the test is a requirement before I apply for an extension of my visa in November. There are 24 question and you have to get 18 of them right to pass. The book you need to study in order to pass is over 150 pages long. For a 24 question test.
I have read the book twice and taken countless practice tests and yet I am still nervous about the real test tomorrow morning. Nothing really bad happens if I don’t pass it, I’ll just need to take it again and pay the £34 test fee again which is not something I would like to do.
A lot of the study material is simple stuff, about holidays (When is Christmas Day?) and everyday life (What numbers do you dial in an emergency?) which is second nature to me because the UK and US are so similar and I have lived here for 5 years. Some is more difficult – there’s a whole section on politics that is giving me a headache, for instance. Some of the material is just plain ridiculous.
The statistics are the part that is causing me the most trouble, and there’s no surprise there, really. I do understand that this test needs to be a comprehensive overview of modern life in the UK and that it serves to assimilate persons from other cultures into the ways of life in the UK. I do get that. I just don’t understand why I need to know that as of the 2001 census, there were 0.7 million people of “mixed” race in the UK and that they made up 1.2% of the overall population.
I don’t understand why I need to know that 0.3% of the population are Buddhist. Or why I need to know that ethnic minority groups make up less than 1% of the population of Northern Ireland.
Of course, I could throw in the towel the regard to those sections and just hope that no more than 6 of the questions on the test tomorrow relate to percentages and numbers, but you never know? The randomly generated questions could somehow KNOW that I am useless with numbers and dates and make the entire test out of questions I can’t remember the answers to. Then again, all of the questions could be ones like “What day is April Fools celebrated on?” and “Is Boxing Day a public holiday in the UK?”
Fingers crossed I pass this the first time, because I need to free up my brain space for more important things. Like what percentage of the weekend I am going to be able to spend sleeping.
Fancy trying your hand at the exam? This Website has a lot of practice tests if you want to give it a go!! Let me know how you do!
Wish me luck!