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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Official Guide
I have used both the official Home Office handbook and the Life in the UK Test Study Guide 2012 with students hoping to take the Life in the UK Test, and the Study Guide is far better than the official handbook. I found that the Study Guide gave all the necessary information in a logical format and a good number of practice tests which were very close to the actual ones...
Published on 27 Feb 2012 by S. Smith

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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good resource to pass a bad test
The Life in the UK Test Study Guide 2012 Edition is not an officially approved guide, but it contains word for word the relevant chapters (2-6) from the official handbook. In addition, there are numerous side and footnotes drawing attention to key phrases and correcting incorrect information from the official guide. While people studying for the test must learn the often...
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Jennifer


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good resource to pass a bad test, 21 Jan 2012
By 
Jennifer (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
The Life in the UK Test Study Guide 2012 Edition is not an officially approved guide, but it contains word for word the relevant chapters (2-6) from the official handbook. In addition, there are numerous side and footnotes drawing attention to key phrases and correcting incorrect information from the official guide. While people studying for the test must learn the often outdated facts from the official guide (published in 2007), it can be useful to have the current facts or at least know what is outdated. Also, the book contains other information for people taking the Life in the UK test and 18 practice tests, with answers to help you study.

Chapters 2-6 from the official handbook are reproduced word for word; only the format and diagrams are different. I found this rather disappointing because the official handbook is one of the worst written books I have ever read. Nothing has been done to improve the disjointed, convoluted and often grammatically incorrect sentences. However, there are differences to the official handbook. There are numerous sidenotes drawing attention to key phrases and correcting incorrect information from the official guide. In most cases this is due to the fact that the official handbook was published in 2007 and many of the facts and figures are out of date. This ranges from the trivial (there are 650 parliamentary constituencies not 646) to the rather important (the Northern Ireland Assembly was reinstated in 2007). After each correction it warns that you must learn the old figures for your test. I appreciated knowing what information has changed.

This book contains a number of colour diagrams and figures. Sometimes these reiterate information presented in the text. Other time, they contain information which does not appear elsewhere. The book is particularly fond of pie charts. As much as I appreciate the colourful pictures brightening up the book, sometimes I think this format deemphasizes information you must learn. It is often much clearer that you need to learn the figures in the official handbook than it is in this study guide. You must learn every fact and figure, including those only contained in a chart.

Scattered throughout the book, there were four QR codes which you could scan with your mobile phone and it will take you to a youtube video that explains some of the more confusing parts of the text. Or, if you are like me and don't have a smart phone, it gives you the web address. I found the one on the EU to be the most useful. After reading the section on the EU multiple times I still didn't understand the differences between the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. The little youtube video helped me sort out the role of each one. I didn't find the other videos nearly as useful, but they were worth having a look at.

There are then 18 Practice Tests. Like the real thing, each test contains 24 multiple choice questions. You need to get 75% (18 of the 24 questions correct) to pass. I found these questions to be very similar to my actual test questions. In fact, on my actual test I believe 22 out of the 24 questions were basically the same as ones from these practice tests (slight differences in wording, etc). However, it is important to realize each person gets 24 randomly selected questions from a database of thousands of questions. That means everyone will get slightly different tests. It is important to read and study the text and not just memorize the practice questions.

If you register your book online you gain 24 hours access to more questions. You can register your book as many times as you want (thus gaining access for as many days as necessary). To register your book you had to enter basic information like your name, email and when you planned to take your test. Then you were sent a link which you used to verify your email. Only then could you sign in and access the questions. You could have 24 random questions or selections of questions taken from a single chapter. I found the registration process a bit long for only 24 hours access. I feel like something like 7 days access would be more practical. In the end, I only signed in once and preferred to use the practice questions printed in the book.

These questions helped me prepare for the test and feel confident that I had learned the information from the text well. When I missed a question I always went back and re-read the relevant section from the book. I took all 18 of the practice tests and passed every one. As such, I was extremely confident I would pass my Life in the UK test on the first try, which I did.

Should you buy this book? Yes. If you have to take the Life in the UK test, this is a good resource. I bought both this book and the official study guide, but I would go so far as to say you do not need the official guide if you have this book since the relevant chapters are reproduced word for word. Just be aware that you must learn all the information included in the figures in addition to the text. However, I cannot give this book more than 3 stars because still contains the disjointed, convoluted and often grammatically incorrect sentences as well as the bias viewpoints found in the official handbook.

Note: this is a condensed version of a review I posted on ciao.co.uk under the name j9j8j7.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Official Guide, 27 Feb 2012
By 
S. Smith (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I have used both the official Home Office handbook and the Life in the UK Test Study Guide 2012 with students hoping to take the Life in the UK Test, and the Study Guide is far better than the official handbook. I found that the Study Guide gave all the necessary information in a logical format and a good number of practice tests which were very close to the actual ones. For these reasons, it is probably contains all the information needed to pass the test at a reasonable price.

My only real objection is that it is not particularly well written. This was not too great a problem in a class where it could be explained in simpler terms, but may make it less suitable for self-study by people without reasonably good English. This is because it reproduces material from the badly-written Home Office, although the Study Guide adds side notes and diagrams which make it more accessible.

For all those who have to take the Life in the UK Test, this is probably your best resource.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Success, 13 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. T. M. Vieira (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I bought it a week before the test. The tests (in the book and on the website) are sufficient to get a 100% score. As per another reviews, it is exatcly the same as the official book, but with a lot of tests and comments on up to date information.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great value for money, 23 Feb 2012
This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
This is the only study guide you will need for the Life in the UK test. I like the fact that they faithfully reproduced the relevant chapters from the Home Office publication and then tried to make it more comprehensible by adding annotations and highlights. I read all the chapters, took notes to help me remember and understand it all, reviewed my notes during my daily commute on the Tube, and then took the practice tests at the back of the book. After all of that, the test itself was a breeze. Many of the questions on my test were similar to the ones in the practice tests. I especially liked the fact that there were so many practice tests (18!) in the book - I didn't need to go online for practice tests and felt very well prepared. And in the last section of the book they even give you the words for the citizenship pledge and lyrics to the national anthem. Definitely good value for money!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 24 July 2012
By 
Manish Sharma (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
Guys I have passed the test of The Life in the UK yesterday in first attempt and my sincere thanks for this excellent book .I studied this book for a week and I believe that I completed my test in 4 minutes. I have to tell you that about 15-16 questions were similar to the ones which are provided in the end of this book. This book was really a big help in my preparation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great study Guide, 13 Jun 2012
By 
Bluenose Girl (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I liked this guide's format and it was a good size for carrying around.

The practice tests were great to help highlight areas which I needed more study.

I passed my test first time around with this book so it worked for me. I can't compare it to the official guide as it is all I used.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PASSED IN A FLASH, 11 Jun 2012
By 
Sam (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I bought this book on thursday with an aim to appear in the test on Wednesday.
I went thro the book over the weekend.
Test question papers were quite useful(80% questions in the test were exact replica of those found in test papers in this book). Highly recommended book.
PS: no need to buy any other book, I found this book quite self sufficient.
It took me 5 min to pass the official test.
Good Luck
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
A very good guide for the test and arrived very quickly. I would reccomend it to anyone who is looking to take the test and amazon is the cheapest and best seller for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, strongly recommend, 8 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I have found this book very useful, which has 18 practice tests at the end. Have passed the real test on the first attempt after trying out all 18 tests.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the UK Study Guide, 5 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Life in the Uk Test: Study Guide 2012 - The Essential Study Guide for the British Citizenship Test (Paperback)
I like how they arrange the important points that we need to remember. The book was written in a way readers can easily grasp and understand the topic better.
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