Bruce Lawson's personal site

Better UK citizenship test questions

I tried the UK citizenship test and failed, even though I’m am a history buff and a lifelong UK citizen. In my defence, the questions are crap. How do I know when women got the right to divorce, or whether “Methodist” means Church of England?

I propose these as some better questions:

Got any to add?

(On a serious note: I’m bloody glad my lovely missus got her citizenship before this silly test came out.)

Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

29 Responses to “ Better UK citizenship test questions ”

Comment by Ed Everett

Pictures of topless ladies can famously be found on which page of a national newspaper? a) The centre fold of the Indepedent, b) alongside the Telegraph crossword, c) making light heated comments about world affairs on page 3 of the Sun, d) accompanying obituaries in the Guardian.

(I only got 54% 🙂

Comment by Adrian Bridgwater

Made my day. What a heap of rubbish.

How can they ask me about the CoE when I am an atheist? That’s not PC.

This is not a test aimed at general knowledge. It is mental cruelty.

I got 63%. But then I have lived abroad for 10 years.


Comment by JackP

…it is a fairly nonsensical thing. Having said that, in respect of how much it is like what you need to be a citizen, you could compare it to the driving theory test / actually driving.

I’m presuming people taking the test get a book with the answers in they are expected to revise from.

But more importantly, when are you going to put YOUR test online properly, so it scores your answers and so on?

[Which was British – Laurel or Hardy?]

Comment by Karl

lol @lachlan, I propose Bruce blocks all .au comments now haha.

How about:

What is the national dish of the UK:
a) Fish and chips
b) Curry
c) Chinese
d) Kebab
e) Roast dinner
f) All of the above?

Comment by Chris Hunt

I managed 67%, but that’s still a fail. Some questions:

Pick the most important answer: Germany is…

a) The homeland of Schiller, Goethe and Beethoven.

b) An important trading partner within the EU.

c) A country that we have defeated in two world wars and one world cup.

Comment by Kate Bolin

At least they only make you do 20 questions when you actually take the test.

You study like a bastard, get into the test room, wait forever for all the checking and registration to take place, and then it just takes a minute to actually do the bloody thing.

It’s hideous. And it’s not just for citizenship now — you have to take it if you want permanent residency.

Comment by Jim O'Donnell

Bruce, Harry H. Corbett played Sergeant Sidney Bung in Carry On Screaming.

And Phil Silvers took on Sid James role in Carry On Follow That Camel, now that I think about it.

Comment by Peter

Ah. But the reason why it looks crap to most of us is that it is not aimed at most of us, it is aimed at people from other countries who want to live in the UK. It’s purpose is not to weed out the unBritish, but to give people a process by which they can grow more at home here, and if they become British citizens, give them a sense of achievement and belonging. My ex-students that got citizenship this way were very proud of their achievements, and rightly so.

This is not to say that it isn’t fun to make up our own questions, as Bruce has done, and the choices we make define our own sense of ourselves as UK citizens.

Comment by Michael Kozakewich

I think the neeps and tatties was the only one I know, because I had done research on rutabagas when I got one for my birthday.
Oh, and Flying Circus.

And I agree about the Doctor Who. You need at least one.

Comment by ThePickards » Citizenship Test #FAIL

[…] A few of us on twitter have taken the test, and despite being British by birth, none of us actually passed. This is likely for two reasons: firstly, we don’t actually feel that in order to be a productive British Citizen that we need to know in which year in the 19th Century did women win the right to divorce their husbands (indeed, Bruce has come up with a list of more relevant questions). […]

Comment by Tarquin, Four-stringed Hammer of the Ancients

Hello again Bruce, I’m glad you’re still alive and one day I must visit you, though it’s so hard to find a road that actually stops in Brum instead of just going straight through it.

I failed too.

Frankly I was amazed. Not that I failed it, but that it exists at all in its present form. It contains virtually nothing of British contemporary culture. It is actually impossible for the average *British* resident to pass this test without an awful lot of preliminary studying and research, which defeats the point entirely. It smacks of either incompetence or fraud on the part of the responsible governmentalists, which smells from here like Phil Woolas and/or those who cling to his slippery pole at the Ministry of Fog In The Channel (Europe Cut Off).

Remember when Woolas was president of the NUS? He was an idiot then, he’s an idiot now, the only difference is that back then he was *pretending* to be a socialist. Nick Griffin must be winking and drooling with glee.

Speaking of Griffin, it was nice to see him getting pelted with eggs outside Parliament by Weyman Bennett, who (unlike some other so-called socialists – Zelda S. springs to mind) is and always has been 100% for real.

Anyway, I much preferred your version Bruce – it’s an honest, streetsmart and contemporary test of Britishness, and I think someone should start a Facebook or Twitter campaign to make it the official test.

Somebody should do it! I’d do it, but I’m too busy whining to actually do anything myself, and also if it did happen, I’d have nothing to whine about. There! I just PROVED I’m British…

Tarquin x

Comment by Christophe Strobbe

Which British blogger wrote the alt text: “Bruce Lawson, wearing a dayglo pink diamanté dress, a tiara on his blonde beehive hair, his lips enhanced by collagen and painted glossy red, shows his fabulous new 40 DD bustline”?

Comment by Mippy

I just scraped 75% so can stay which is unfortunate as I was going to use it as and excuse to get out of work tomorrow – Sorry can’t come in have failed the UK citizenship test and must hand myself over to the Home Office immediatly ( I can not spell to save my life tonight!)

The reason they ask about the Church of England is that officially this is christian country therefore PCness doesn’t come in to it because its the country they are talking about not the people in it or doing the test.

Although a better question would be according to Eddie Izzard what would the motto of the Spanish Inqusition have been if the C of E had run it A) Cake or Death, B) Tea or Torture or C) Tea or Coffee?

Here’s my own question for the test In 70’s Dr Who what one thing, apart from the Doctor, always defeated the Daleks?

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