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The Official Stuck-up Snobbery Test

I've never been a huge fan of the idea of having a citizenship test. Much as I'd love to give a well balanced discussion about it, I'm annoyed, so I'm not going to and you're going to get a rant instead.

Having just attempted the the official practice test released by the stationary office, I've come to the conclusion that it's the biggest load of pretentious b***cks I've ever seen!

I thought this had to be someone having a joke until I checked the domain and it is in fact registered to the stationary office.

OK, it's important to be aware that their is a mix of ethnicities in our society (but surely any immigrant is going to be well aware of that fact anyway?), but why do you need to know the largest immigrant group in the 1980s or the exact proportion of muslims.

Constituencies are an important part of our system of government and it's certainly useful to know about them, but I've never found I've needed to know exactly how many there are.

The fact that married women can get divorced is an important part of society, so is worth knowing, but although it may be interesting from a historical point of view why do citizens need to know the year it was introduced?

Why assume everyone is going drive? Question about that belong in the driving test not in a citizen test.

The only actual relevant questions I can see in amongst that lot appear to be 4, 5, 14, 15, 19 and possibly 17 and 22. That's only 7 of the 24 questions if you include dubious ones.

I managed to get more right then those 7, but I still failed and I'm ethnically British, have lived here my entire life, appear not to be completely stupid and I seem to integrate well enough into society. So, if I don't need to know some of this stuff, why does someone applying for UK citizenship?

This just seems to be an excuse for us to be elitist and turn around and say to people, "you are not worthy our country".

As far as I can see UK nationality seems to be like heriditary peerage, except more of us have it here, so it's somehow more acceptable.

Could we just get rid of this and be more friendly and less up ourselves for a change?



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dave Holland [org.uk]
5th Aug, 2009 22:52 (UTC)
I'm very much in favour of some form of citizenship test (and written/spoken English test come to that) but what we have now is ludicrous, I agree. Knowing (say) in which century women got the vote is enough to give you a handle on that particular tiny narrow aspect of the country's history. Etc.

I scored 53%. Byeeee...
6th Aug, 2009 06:59 (UTC)
Question 8 is a cheat. You have three options (A - London, B - Strasbourg, C - Paris) and the question "In which two places does the European Parliament meet?" (as if that bears any relevance at all to UK citizenship, but I digress ...)

When you get around to the summary, you are told that you should have opted for B ... and D - Brussels.

There is no D - Brussels.

The test is a deliberate cheat. It is intended to fail candidates. This is a Kobayashi Maru test.

Nevertheless, I got 75% the first time, and I passed.

I'm Belgian. :P
6th Aug, 2009 07:06 (UTC)
Other cheat questions ...
Question 19, about having a dispute in work:

"From which TWO places can you obtain advice if you have a problem at work and need to take further action?"

The answers are A - CAB; B - MP; C - employer.

And again, there's no D - ACAS.

At least two questions in this test are designed so you are guaranteed to get them wrong.
6th Aug, 2009 11:51 (UTC)
I certainly had all 4 options when I tried the test.

They clearly knew you were going to do well and hid them from you to give you a disadvantage.
6th Aug, 2009 09:54 (UTC)
17 is fun, the fourth option is "anyone resident in the UK", the other three are subsets of this, and one has to select two options, so it is clear that (although logically correct) the fourth option won't feature in a correct answer.

21 is silly - there are laws which affect everyone which are much more important, I'm sure.

9 is dodgy, since the real answer is "well, most of group B as well".

What I find more concerning - I have to pay to buy the syllabus for this test, an electronic version should be free.
6th Aug, 2009 11:56 (UTC)
What I find more concerning - I have to pay to buy the syllabus for this test, an electronic version should be free.

Good point, certainly worrying, but I'm still yet to be convinced that having a test full stop is a good idea.
6th Aug, 2009 10:04 (UTC)
From the perspective of somebody who regularly gets harrassed for walking down the street while female, I think we should have a citizenship test, but instead of being a test of specific facts it should run a bit more like this:

1) You are in a shop and wish to pay for something. Which of the following do you do:
(a) queue
(b) push to the front of the queue and act like a spoiled brat when the sales assistant tells you to wait in the queue like everybody else
(c) shoplift

2) You see a woman walking down the street wearing no makeup, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and minding her own business. Which of the following is an acceptable thing to say:
(b) Where you going you minger you so ugly
(c) Good morning

3) Which of these places should you cycle in the UK:
(a) the right hand side of the road
(b) the left hand side of the road
(c) the pavement
(d) motorways

4) Somebody returns to you an item you have accidentally dropped in the street. Which of these is the correct response:
(a) You are my lady, yes, I want you
(b) You are thief, you steal my clothes, I beat you
(c) Thank you

5) You are again in a shop with your friend. You wish to show him something amusing you have seen. Which of these is polite:
(a) Walk over to him and show him the amusing thing
(b) Shout at the top of your voice
(c) Throw the amusing thing, laughing uproariously when it hits the floor and breaks

6) You are lost, and wish to consult a map. Which of these is the best place to do this:
(a) At the side of the path, allowing other pedestrians to get past
(b) In the middle of the path, waving your arms around and deriding anybody who attempts to walk around you and is accidentally hit
(c) In the road

7) You find your nose is running. What do you do?
(a) Suck it back into your head and spit it on the pavement, sharing your germs with everybody
(b) Wait until you are in a public place and slurp like a broken washing machine
(c) Take out your handkerchief and blow your nose
6th Aug, 2009 11:55 (UTC)
There are plenty of British citizen that would get all of those wrong.

Unless your going to get all the current citizens to sit the test too and turf out the ones that fail (and who knows where they'd all go), then it's not actually going to solve anything.
6th Aug, 2009 14:40 (UTC)
That would be a perfectly good plan from my point of view, though it would be unethical to inflict a sudden influx of all our rude idiots on everybody else.
8th Aug, 2009 09:39 (UTC)
The fact that you're stuck with your current citizens (unless you're Mugabe, which is model I'd rather we avoided) isn't a good reason to be incautious about getting new ones.

However, as you point out this test is stupid. It failed me with 54%. Makes you wonder what it is about us that makes the government wish we'd never been forced on it as citizens.

Probably our habit of pointing out that their tests are stupid.
6th Aug, 2009 20:43 (UTC)
That looks like the Basque flag.
6th Aug, 2009 22:56 (UTC)
I hadn't spotted that, but it does a bit.

It's actually the oxymoron
10th Aug, 2009 22:44 (UTC)
I got 13/24 so failed. I'm with you!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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