Thursday, 12 April 2012

How to be a good UK citizen

Our beloved Prime Minister David Cameron has recently announced changes to the Life in the UK citizen test. We have a wonderful eclectic mix of nationalities working in the Enquiry Unit.  They include foreigners (eg me - Australian / Irish), EU citizen like G from Greece, first generation UK born like H who has a Burmese father,  and those from families that can trace their English roots back for several generations.  We decided to test our knowledge of life in the UK by completing the test questions found on the official government site:

I am not sure how helpful it is to know

  • The exact year of women gained the right to divorce their husbands
  • That schools need to open 190 days per year
  • Children aged 13-16 cannot work for more than 12 hours per week
  • How many parliamentary constituencies there are in the UK  choice of 464, 564, 646,664
  • Which were the largest immigrant groups to the UK in the 1980s.

All of us are undergraduates, while others are studying at postgraduate level taking masters level courses or even doctorates.  We all failed miserably.  Then we discovered another more useful questionnaire entitled ‘The Real citizen questionnaire test’ and I was quite stunned to score 9/10.  Try it at:

We thought of a few more useful questions:

What is the most popular food for uni students living away from home?
a) Pot noodles
b) Whatever is on special offer at Lidl or Asda
c) Who cares about food when you have cigarettes and alcohol?
What is the best way to secure a bicycle at university?

a) Using at least three sturdy locks applied to frame and both wheels  attached to the nearest security guard

b) Armed with a full tool kit, remove all detachable bits before  doing (a) 
You will need a large wheelbarrow to transport them all around with you as you go from class to class
c) There is no best way – leave it at home and take the bus

When driving, someone flashes their lights at you. Does this mean
a) What the ***** did you do that for?!!**
b) Out the way I’m coming through?
c) Watch out for the hazard ahead?

How long does the average car suspension last for London residents cursed by speed cushions and speed bumps.
a) A year or two if you’re lucky
b) Depends how successful you are in forcing your way through first to get preference on the least bumpy route.
c) Don’t know.  I gave up and got a trail bike

What is an Oyster Card?
a) A seafood restaurant discount card
b) A fisherman’s ID
c) A handy tool to use when locked out of your flat or someone else’s

When planning a day out in London don’t forget to pack
a) All weather gear
b) Credit cards, cash
c) Your map and guide

Your phone rings.  It is your fourth unsolicited call that day from a call centre in India.  How do you respond?
a) I'm only the cleaner
b) I live in a 5th floor flat – it would be difficult to fit a conservatory
c) When they insist your computer requires attention, ask ‘What is a computer?’

...any more suggestions very welcome!

Life in UK graphic
UK citizens:


  1. i totally took this test :P

    to be fair, i was sitting next to you at the time :D

  2. Al
    They still have not fixed up MYKI down here .Metcards are being phased out and are only now releasing details of a tourist card.

  3. Hi to All, I am sure you will be pass when you practice the questions in