The research, conducted by Red Squirrel Publishing, tested over 15,000 Facebook users using a sample version of the Home Office’s citizenship exam. The results show that Polish users gained the highest average score.
The research also found that of the 11,118 British people who sat the sample test only 1,585, or 14 per cent, achieved a pass score. Britain was only ranked sixth in Red Squirrel Publishing’s “Britishness” league table of nations behind Poland, Finland, Sweden, Germany and New Zealan+
Facebook users completed the sample citizenship test, which examines knowledge of British life, laws and institutions, via an application on the social networking site.
Henry Dillon, editor of Red Squirrel Publishing, which publishes a range of British citizenship test study guides, said the research provides further evidence of the challenging nature of the test.
“What these statistics show is that walking into the test without proper preparation is a recipe for failure – even British nationals struggle answering many of the questions,” Dillon said.
“But these figures reflect people who haven’t studied for the test. Our research shows that with effective study a pass is achievable. Eighty-nine per cent of people who prepared using Red Squirrel Publishing’s best-selling Life the UK Test: Study Guide passed their test on their first attempt.”
Passing the Home Office’s Life in the UK Test is a requirement for anyone wanting to apply for citizenship or settle permanently in the UK.
Over 437,000 applicants have taken the Home Office’s test since it was introduced in November 2005. As of October 2007, one out of three people failed the test.
Note to Editors
The Britishness league table
The average scores of the 15 countries that have had the most participants have been taken to form the Britishness league table. To provide an accurate sample, only users from the top 15 participating countries have been included in the league table.
Rank Nation Average score Participants 1. Poland 15.20 49 2. Finland 15.14 169 3. Sweden 15.01 108 4. Germany 14.75 104 5. New Zealand 14.43 115 6. British 14.40 11,118 7. Spain 14.39 57 8. Denmark 14.08 66 9. Irish Republic 14.06 93 10. Italy 13.84 76 11. France 13.74 272 12. South Africa 13.68 97 13. Australia 13.67 283 14. Canada 13.16 528 15. United States of America 12.90 786
About the research
The research data was collected using an application built within social networking website, Facebook. Participants were asked 24 sample questions taken from Red Squirrel Publishing’s Life in the UK Test: Study Guide.
The application was launched on 1 November 2007. Facebook members from around the world were invited to participate. Within two weeks over 10,000 people had taken the online test.
The questions used in this research have been sourced from the publication Life in the UK Test: Study Guide. The Home Office keeps the official questions secret, however reader feedback indicates that the questions from this publication are very similar to those used in the real test.
Some of the questions used in the research are provided below
- How often are general elections held?
- At least every year
- At least every four years
- At least every five years (correct answer)
- At least every ten years
- What does the government programme New Deal provide?
- Funding and an advice service for small businesses
- Healthcare and medicines for the sick and elderly
- Accommodation and support for the homeless
Help and support for unemployed people to get back into work (correct answer)
What is the largest ethnic minority in Britain?
Black Caribbean descent
Indian descent (correct answer)
When is the national day for England?
23 April (correct answer)
Which of these statements is correct?
Only people on benefits are entitled to apply for council accommodation
Everyone is entitled to apply for council accommodation (correct answer)
If you would like to request a full list of questions then please contact us.
About Red Squirrel Publishing
Red Squirrel Publishing is a UK based publishing house specialising in citizenship test study guides. Its range of Life in the UK Test study guides has helped thousands of people achieve their goal of becoming British since the first edition was published in January 2006. Now in its third edition, the original definitive guide is expressly designed to help people pass the Life in the UK Test.
Other Data Sources
- National pass rates from Home Office statistics obtained using the Freedom of Information Act
- Red Squirrel Publishing pass rates based on customer satisfaction survey sent to all registered readers during May 2007. 1,334 respondents.