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I took the LIUK this morning and here is my review of this book.
on 10 July 2013
The reason I purchase this book was because it includes the LIUK Handbook 2013 and Practice Questions in the same book. The LIUK Handbook section was is the same info that you would get if you purchased Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents sold by the Home Office. Hence, I will just discuss whether the practice questions were useful or not.
As per the practice questions. There were 12 practice tests at the end of the book. I did each of them a few times over and eventually have most of the answers edged into my memory. By the end, I was consistently getting 90% in all of the 12 practice tests.
I then noticed that they have a website were I can go online and do more practice tests. So a few days to go before the test, I jumped at this chance so I can be better prepared. The online practice questions were a bit different from the ones in the book so it kind of surprised me that I didn't pass the first couple of times. After a few gos at the online questions, I began to consistently get 85% and over.
My confidence was sky high on the day of the actual exam since I thought I have already prepared very well. It wasn't the case as I started doing the actual questions. The actual questions were different from the ones I have done in the book and online. I am not just talking about the wording of the questions, the type of questions were very different. The actual exam focused more on, dare I say it, "Life in the UK". The actual test didn't focus much on the details of the history. Whereas, if you have done the practice questions like I did, you would have spent so much time memorizing the years so and so did this or that since that's what the practice tests online and in the book were asking. In fact, none of the actually questions asked about the exact year of an event (Your mileage my vary since everyone gets a different set of questions in the test).
If it were not for my over preparation for this test combined with my existing knowledge of UK, I do not think I would have passed. In fact, I believe I barely pass the 75% mark in the test. So for those with less time to prepare and don't actually know much about the UK to start, just studying the practice questions in this book probably won't help enough for you to pass.
In summary, many of the actual questions in the LIUK test were not present in the book nor the online practice test. In fact, I went online right after to see how many of those actual questions showed up on the online practice test. I opened 3 different online tests and I have got to say, only 1-2 of the questions from the each of the 3 online tests were actually asked in the actual test that I did. I gave the book away right after the test but my suggestion is if you must buy this book, then concentrating on the practice questions at the back of the book is more useful than spending the time to do the online practice questions since the book questions were more similar to the actual test questions. They were more similar but yet, still very different than the actual test questions.