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China takes the Pole position in Brit Test

The news comes as the Home Office celebrates the fifth anniversary of the test this month. The pass mark is 18 for the test, and the Chinese scored an impressive 19.01, on average. Poland, meanwhile, plummeted to 29th place.

The Philippines and Jamaica came second and third, respectively. British born citizens achieved a dismal ranking of 40th with 15.14, although this was an improvement on Germany’s 43rd and France’s 46th.

Iran and Iraq both passed on average, and even Afghanistan scored 15.54 – a clear half a mark ahead of the British. Some continuity was preserved in that the US remain at the bottom of the table, although Argentina took last place.

The multiple-choice exam was based on the Home Office’s ‘Life in the UK Test’; questions included ‘When is the national day for England?’ (23rd April) and ‘What is the largest ethnic minority in Britain?’ (Indian).

George Sandison, Managing Editor of Red Squirrel Publishing, which carried out the test, said: ‘This shows the test is far from straightforward and the average Brit would fail.’

‘But these figures also reflect people who haven’t studied for the test and with effective study a pass is achievable.’ Sandison said.

Further details about the research are available on the company’s website www.redsquirrelbooks.com/press.


Users can take the test themselves by visiting www.lifeintheuk.net/facebook.

Over 193,000 people applied for British Citizenship in 2009, and over 900,000 people have taken the test since it was introduced – around three in ten people fail.

The Britishness league table

Rank Nationality Average Score Respondants
1 China 19.01 206
2 Philippines 19.00 865
3 Jamaica 18.92 201
4 Nepal 18.84 135
5 Iran 18.84 81
6 Colombia 18.65 153
7 Nigeria 18.49 486
8 Japan 18.44 167
9 Ghana 18.41 271
10 Pakistan 18.35 594
11 India 18.21 810
12 Brazil 18.13 214
13 Bangladesh 18.05 201
14 Zimbabwe 18.03 324
15 Iraq 18.01 93
16 Malaysia 17.83 248
17 Russia 17.69 156
18 Romania 17.69 78
19 Thailand 17.62 320
20 Bulgaria 17.49 178
21 Albania 17.29 140
22 Turkey 17.19 368
23 Ukraine 17.05 100
24 South Africa 16.97 912
25 Norway 16.42 111
26 Hong Kong 16.08 153
27 Switzerland 16.08 67
28 Sri Lanka 15.98 123
29 Poland 15.96 411
30 New Zealand 15.86 418
31 Chile 15.73 99
32 Belgium 15.71 89
33 Sweden 15.65 368
34 Afghanistan 15.54 98
35 Finland 15.50 403
36 Spain 15.40 223
37 Irish Republic 15.31 286
38 Netherlands 15.28 154
39 Australia 15.16 1,019
40 Britain 15.14 41,301
41 Denmark 14.94 177
42 Greece 14.91 149
43 Germany 14.68 507
44 Italy 14.60 376
45 Canada 14.57 1,485
46 France 14.53 837
47 US 14.42 2,841
48 Argentina 14.06 103

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.

Users can take the test themselves by visiting www.lifeintheuk.net/facebook.

Sample Questions
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?
(a) At least every year
(b) At least every four years
(c) At least every five years (correct answer)
(d) At least every ten years

What does the government programme New Deal provide?
(a) Funding and an advice service for small businesses
(b) Healthcare and medicines for the sick and elderly
(c) Accommodation and support for the homeless
(d) Help and support for unemployed people to get back into work (correct answer)

What is the largest ethnic minority in Britain?
(a) Black Caribbean descent
(b) Pakistani descent
(c) Bangladeshi descent
(d) Indian descent (correct answer)

When is the national day for England?
(a) 1 March
(b) 17 March
(c) 23 April
(d) 30 November

Which of these statements is correct?
(a) Only people on benefits are entitled to apply for council accommodation
(b) 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.

Other data sources

  1. 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 hundreds of thousands of people achieve their goal of becoming British since the first edition was published in January 2006. The 2011 edition of this definitive guide is expressly designed to help people pass the Life in the UK Test.

  2. National pass rates based on Home Office statistics obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.
  3. Nationality pass rates taken from the Britishness Test on Facebook and based on 59,102 responses. Please see attached spreadsheet for breakdown of scores.
  4. Red Squirrel Publishing pass rates based on customer feedback forms sent to http://www.lifeintheuk.net. 8,834 respondents.

For further details please contact

George Sandison
Red Squirrel Publishing
Suite 235, 77 Beak Street,
United Kingdom

Email: [email protected]
Website: www.redsquirrelbooks.com