Citizenship guide a library hit

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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It is 180 pages long and covers topics including the Middle Ages and the British Constitution, but a Home Office guide to the government’s citizenship test has proved an unlikely literary hit.

Life In The United Kingdom: A Guide For New Residents, published by The Stationary Office, has been named one of the most borrowed library books of 2013/14 along with more obvious titles by writers including Lee Child and Dan Brown.

The book, which says it will help new residents “integrate into society and play a full role” in their community, includes sections on the “values and principles of the UK” and a glossary explaining the meaning of concepts including “bank holidays” and “the phone book”.

Data released by Public Lending Right, which organises payment for authors whose books are borrowed from libraries, showed it was the most borrowed book from London libraries.

Applicants for c itizenship have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions based on the book and must get 75% or more right to pass.

Examples of questions include: “What important event happened in England in 1066?” and “What is the capital city of the UK?”.

The test has been criticised in the past as ”unfit for purpose” as it concentrates too heavily on history and not enough on practical knowledge.

Immigration expert Dr Thom Brooks, of Durham University, criticised it for not mentioning practical issues such as h ow to register with a GP or how to ring for an ambulance.

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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