Have you ever taken a practice version of the US citizenship test just to see if you’d pass? Seriously, it’s pretty hard. It’s filled with all kinds of fine-print details about civic life and how laws get passed and random political history questions that are actually really difficult. I’m pretty sure if I took the whole thing I wouldn’t pass.
England has stricter immigration laws than the US—it’s harder to obtain citizenship there just by waiting it out. But the government wants to make it even harder, and part of their strategy is devising a new citizenship test filled with all kinds of obscure factoids about British life. The Guardian announces a “new test to be launched by the Home Office as part of government attempts to cut net migration.”
And if you think knowing 200+ years of American history is tough, this new test covers “the stone age, through the Romans, Norman conquest, Magna Carta, the Reformation and break with Rome and beyond.”
It also includes questions on British pop culture, including Monty Python trivia. It covers “the music of Purcell and the worldwide influence of modern British composers, from Benjamin Britten to the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as artistic achievements from medieval stained glass to David Hockney.”
There’s a hell of a lot to know about England. Since I have never once quoted “Love Actually” while editing this site I’ll do so now: as Hugh Grant says, “We may be a small country but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot.”
Q: What British movie features a song with the lyrics, “Always look on the bright side of death”?
Don’t know? I’m sorry, but you may not move to England.