Well let’s get right to it- I PASSED! Yes, on my first try I passed the Life in the UK Test. I found it quite simple really, although I can understand where the challenges lie for people who come from different cultures and don’t speak English as a primary language. It took me less than 10 minutes to finish all 24 questions and review my answers and I was the first one in the group that finished with my test. I was 100% sure about all of the questions except one, which was probably the easiest one as it was about film ratings!
The way the study materials are set up made it quite easy for me to study, but I did have to put in a lot of time. Because the book is aimed at people with a proficiency in English but who are not primary English speakers the materials were very easy to read and understand and just the basic facts without confusing or unnecessary information. I started off reading the required chapters of the book and went through and highlighted the statistics and figures I would need to memorize. After reading everything I utilized an online service at flashcardmachine.com to make my own flashcards using the stats and figures that I had highlighted throughout the book.
Using flashcards to study was really helpful for me as there were so many specific figures to commit to memory. As I went through the flashcards I was able to “flag” the ones I needed to review over and over again which made it very easy to sort out what I needed to concentrate on and what I had firmly committed to memory. Here is a link to the flashcard set I made using Flashcard Machine, you are welcome to use them for studying or if you are just a curious Anglophile and want to see a rundown of the material covered in the book you can check them out.
If you are studying for the Life in the UK Test you may find these helpful, although of course these are things I felt I needed help to remember, so while I think it is a fairly complete set it isn’t necessarily “one size fits all”. This is by no means an “official” study tool but the numbers were taken directly from the Second Edition book. I did find that many of the stats and dates in these flashcards did appear on the actual test, so I know from my experience that these flashcards are a good study tool and relevant to the test. I hope that anyone out there preparing for their test can use this set of flashcards to study and pass on the first try!
My next step is to fill out the application form and submit the necessary documents. As I’m going through the application I can see how the various documents required can help weed out anyone trying to commit fraud. If you remember the movie Green Card, BrontÃ« and Georges went to quite a bit of trouble to try and fool INS into thinking they were a genuine couple. Here they would have trouble getting past the first step, as spouses applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa are required to provide 6 “letters” addressed to both spouses ranging over the 2 year period of living in the UK from at least 3 different sources, this means things like utility and council tax bills addressed to both people.
One good thing that came out of my husband’s deployment was that we had to go through and put my name on all of our accounts before he was deployed in case I needed to call and make any enquiries. I was able to go through our records and easily pluck out 6 documents, but for some couples I can see how this might be a challenge. If one spouse moves here and the other has already established a life and home they might not think to immediately put both names on accounts, and in some cultures having the wife’s name registered on bills might not be customary. I would definitely advise anyone planning to move to the UK with a spouse and plans to settle to be sure to get both names on bills as soon as possible to make it easier when the time comes to apply for settlement.
In my next and (hopefully) final installment of the Path to Settlement in the UK series I’ll go a bit more in depth about filling out the application and applying for settlement.
Please note this post is only a reflection of my personal experience and does not represent any official views/advice from the Home Office. If you are uncertain about anything related to immigration or settlement, you should contact the Home Office directly.