Life in the UK – the unofficial test

“It’s life in the UK Jim, but it’s not life as we know it.”  Underground sign

Very shortly I have to traverse the final (we hope) stage in our immigration journey towards attaining a permanent leave to remain visa in the UK. I’ve written (grumped!) lots about this arduous expensive process so I won’t go on about it here, because I already have here and here!

The next steps involve parting with about £4k verifying we are who we say we are in that jewel of a London suburb – Croydon – no doubt being finger-printed (again) and revealing all our biometric details (again! Bust size anyone?) and passing a Life in the UK test.

Most countries have a similar kind of thing, in New Zealand apparently the test is geared around obscure details of the Treaty of Waitangi that only a history graduate (or prospective immigrant) would know. How this is supposed to help you in assimilating into the NZ culture and lifestyle I really don’t know.

The Life in the UK test is likewise, pretty useless.

It asks you such important questions as – how much deposit do you need to stand as a member of the European Union?

Could we care less?

Here’s my unofficial Life in the UK test. This is the stuff you really need to know about living in the UK.

1/ When you use the Tube escalators if you wish to stand you MUST stand on the right otherwise someone will come and order you to do so through pursed (stiff upper..) lips, accompanied by a great deal of tutting?      True/False?

2/ S.A.D is a disorder that many living in the UK suffer from. What does S.A.D stand for?

The result of being bombarded daily with Strange And Disturbing News items?

Sexually Amoral and Deviant? – The typical private behaviour of members of the House of Lords? (we’re talking about Mr Osborne, and Black Beauties – no not the horse!)

Stupid And Determined? – the mood of the urban rioters?

3/ When using a roundabout on the road in the UK (particularly in Basingstoke or Milton Keynes) you must never use the inside lane, or you run the risk of never exiting. Ever.                 True/False?

4/When waiting to board a train the typical British behaviour is to:

Create a flash mob and make use of that brolly! (thwack!)

Stand well back, mind the gap and wait for the next train which won’t be as busy?

Form an orderly queue?

5/ It takes two weeks carried in the saddle of a virginal Boudiccea-lookalike, across the rugged Pennines and along the full length of Hadrian’s wall,  for a cheque to be cashed by a local English bank?                  True/False?

6/ It is written in English law that drinking twelve cups of tea per day is a fundamental Human Right! True/False

7/ Britannia still rules the waves. This time with her nuclear subs?                                                                        True/False

8/ News from outside of the UK is outlawed by the Minister of Homeland Communications – Mr R Murdoch


9/ Innit. Bovver. yeah (used as a verbal full stop, sometimes a question mark!) have all been entered into the Oxford English Dictionary and are now accepted as Received Queen’s English.                                                                  True/False

10/ 11 year olds across the country must all sit the 11 plus exams that are judged by Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. These tricky tests ascertain the children’s suitability for appearing on X Factor and their potential for a lifelong career in reality TV.                                                                                                                                                                          True/False

Answers will be released in the comments later in the day. How well did you do?  If you want to have a go and see whether you’d pass the real Life in the UK test test yourself here

Image:Flickr CC DanieVDM


'Life in the UK – the unofficial test' has 21 comments

  1. September 21, 2011 @ 9:59 am Notes From Lapland

    ha ha ha, I think i’d fair a lot better at this one than the real one.


    • September 21, 2011 @ 10:22 am Anonymous

      what do you think we could do to get it officially instated?


  2. September 21, 2011 @ 10:02 am John Clayton

    That’s genius.  Innit.
    And you’re definitely right about the cheques.


    • September 21, 2011 @ 10:21 am Anonymous

      Thanks John. I cannot believe the ineptitude of the UK banking system, especially when you consider how much they pay the bankers! ;-p


  3. September 21, 2011 @ 12:56 pm Steve

    Erm. I’m beginning to think I might be an illegal alien.


  4. September 21, 2011 @ 4:24 pm London City Mum

    Brilliant. And relevant. Twenty-one (FFS) years in Blighty and I still don’t ‘get’ it.

    Luv ya.

    LCM x


    • October 4, 2011 @ 2:07 pm Anonymous

      Wow that is a long time to still not get it. But you so crazy LCM you’d fit in anywhere!


  5. September 21, 2011 @ 10:53 pm Expat Mum

    Brilliant! I thought 12 cups of  tea was the aw not just a right!
    I might just have to nick this idea and do it on the USA, if you don’t mind.


    • October 4, 2011 @ 2:09 pm Anonymous

      Thanks so much Toni and I loved your reply on your blog.


  6. September 21, 2011 @ 10:54 pm Expat Mum

    That would be the “LAW”. Duh!


    • September 22, 2011 @ 6:09 am Anonymous

      Oh please do nick it. It wonder what other country’s ‘real’ tests would be?


    • September 22, 2011 @ 1:50 pm Anonymous

      If you could link back to this that’d be cool. Wonder if we could get expats in other countries to do one. Wonder what the test is for living in Oz for example?


      • September 22, 2011 @ 2:40 pm Expat Mum

        Let’s put the word out. Will definitely link back to this. I’m going to put it on my Pond Parleys web site on Sunday.


  7. September 22, 2011 @ 7:51 am Martin Koss

    What an absolute farce. If they put every “immigrant” (legal and, erm, otherwise) through this, surely most of them would sod off home and we’d have no hard working Polish lads on building sites?
    If this is how the UK treats genuine people who have played by the “rules” how do so many just waltz off a boat and get a free house and free dental?
    I’m absolutely baffled at the hoops you’ve had to jump through to prove, time and time again, you are who you say you are and all the rest of it…
    I want to swear – a lot!


    • September 22, 2011 @ 1:49 pm Anonymous

      I must admit Martin at times I have seriously considered packing up and taking my toys home. 🙂


  8. September 22, 2011 @ 12:14 pm Muddling Along

    You forgot that there’s an oral test of being able make small talk, primarily about the weather for a minimum of 5 minutes…

    Rather pleased to get 75% in the citizenship test!


    • September 22, 2011 @ 1:48 pm Anonymous

      And the correct answer to the question ‘how are you’ is ‘I’m fine thanks or can’t complain’ even if you’ve broken all your ribs and have chronic diarrhoea!


  9. September 22, 2011 @ 6:51 pm MIdlife Singlemum

    In Israel you have to pass your driving test whilst multi-tasking – the second task can be talking or texting on your mobile, shaving or putting on make-up, reading the newspaper, reading the morning prayers from the prayerbook, eating, arguing or asking directions from the car travelling parallel to you. And never, ever, ever, let a car in front of you. Even a car ahead that has almost finished it’s three-point turn must be overtaken in a swerve into on-coming traffic. And bus-drivers must be able to take money, issue and punch tickets, give change, and chat whilst driving. If you don’t know any of the above you’d better walk. Except that it is oblligatory to park on the pavements so walking is difficult.


    • September 22, 2011 @ 6:59 pm Anonymous

      OMG that’s hysterical!! And from what I’ve experienced in Israel, obviously legit.


  10. September 23, 2011 @ 6:16 am Russell Ward

    Oh question 3 is just far too easy. Never ever use the inside lane, stoopid. In fact, just stay on the ring road and drive straight past! 😉


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