Life in the UK Test cheats are
'exceptionally rare'
says Home Office

BBC1’s Inside Out show recently reported that ‘gangs’ are charging migrants to help them cheat on the ‘Life in the UK’ test.

At the Ideal Learning Academy in East London, they obtained footage of a man who claimed he could guarantee a pass for a fee. He says:

‘You have to spend nearly £2,000. This is the business, it’s completely hidden. But you are getting a result.’

Candidates need to pass the Life in the UK test as part of the process to secure UK citizenship or indefinite leave to remain. It consists of 24 multiple-choice questions on a range of subjects such as UK law, history, society and popular culture. The pass mark is 18 correct answers.

The test is failed by about 20%  – or one in five – of those who attempt it.

The BBC investigation was made because applications for citizenship are increasing. There was a 32 per cent increase in the number of EU nationals applying for British citizenship last year.

The report also shows the undercover reporter was fed the correct test answers via Bluetooth to a hidden mobile phone earpiece.

The Home Office responded by saying ‘instances of attempted cheating are exceptionally rare’.

And their statistics appear to back up the statement.

According to a Freedom of Information request from campaign group Free Movement, between 2010-2015 there were 81 individuals who were stripped of their citizenship using deprivation powers.

Of those, 36 were specifically deprived of citizenship under the ‘public good’ power (the remaining 45 being for fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact).

By the summer of 2017, the Home Office had cancelled or refused leave in over 40,000 cases where they found deception in English language tests that had been outsourced to the company Educational Testing Services.


Here are some sample questions about Life in the UK. How many can you get right?

1  What flower is associated with England?

2  When did the first Christian communities appear?

3  Which of the following two English actors have won an Oscar?

  • Jacky Stewart
  • Colin Firth
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Joan Collins

4  When did Hitler come to power?

5  What year were Protection Orders to protect a person from being forced into a marriage introduced in Scotland?

6  Which of the following social changes took place during the ‘Swinging Sixties’?

  • The position of women in the workplace was improved
  • Everyone could study in the University for free
  • People from the same gender were allowed to get married
  • All musical events were free


Answers are:

1 Rose

2 The third and fourth centuries

3 b and c

4 1933

5 2011

6 a

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