The UK’s immigration minister has announced changes to the UK’s citizenship test. Mark Harper said that the changes were necessary because the old test tested people’s knowledge of ‘how to claim benefits’ whereas the new test would ‘encourage participation in British life’.
The UK citizenship test was introduced in November 2005. Those wishing to become UK citizens must take the test which has 24 multiple choice questions based on the contents of the Life in The UK handbook. It is necessary to score 75% (18 out of 24) in order to pass. When it was introduced, critics of the citizenship test complained that it did not teach potential citizens enough about the history or culture of the UK and focussed instead on details about UK life that were irrelevant or encouraged immigrants to claim benefits.
Mr Harper said that the new test would contain questions based on the new version of ‘Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship’ which will be on sale from Monday 28th January 2013. The new test will include questions on Britain’s history and geography as well as on famous British cultural figures including the composers Benjamin Britten and Henry Purcell, comedians including the Monty Python team and The Two Ronnies and engineers and sportspeople.