Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, 3rd Edition

The new Life in the UK test began on 25 March 2013 and is based on the Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, 3rd Edition published by TSO on behalf of the Home Office on 28 January 2013.

The Life in the UK test and handbook were completely re-written, removing questions on topics that those living in the UK should already be aware of like public transport, credit cards and job interviews. Instead it focuses on our culture, history and traditions.

Migrants are now expected to show they have an understanding of how modern Britain has evolved, and will be tested on the events and people who have contributed to making Britain great.

Minister for Immigration Mark Harper said:

“We’ve stripped out mundane information about water meters, how to find train timetables, and using the internet. The new book rightly focuses on values and principles at the heart of being British. Instead of telling people how to claim benefits it encourages participation in British life.

This is just part of our work to help ensure migrants are ready and able to integrate into British society and forms part of our changes which have broken the automatic link between temporary and permanent migration.”


Since becoming the publisher for official Life in the UK publications in 2005, TSO has continually sought to ensure that the official publications are market leaders and widely available to provide candidates with alternative formats that suit their needs.

The solution

TSO developed a portfolio of Life in the UK learning materials in a variety of formats, including:

·         The official handbook

·         DRM-protected PDF

·         Audio CD

·         iTunes audio downloads

·         Large print

·         eBook

·         Practice questions and answers book

·         Test study guide

In 2010 TSO launched the first official ‘Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship’ test iPhone app. With access to hundreds of practice questions, the app provides candidates with a simple and convenient way to prepare thoroughly for their test – at anytime and anywhere.


In March 2013 a new iPhone app was launched including updated practice questions and answers relevant to the latest edition of the handbook. In addition an eBook version of the new handbook ‘A Guide for New Residents’ was published.

A video trailer, hosted on the Home Office YouTube channel, encourages Life in the UK test candidates to use the app as part of their test preparation as the practice questions are very similar to the real test.  The actual test questions are not in the public domain.

TSO’s end-to-end publishing service include sales and marketing activity to ensure the learning materials are widely available through high street and online booksellers and helping the official handbook to remain the market leading publication.

In late 2014 TSO will publish a new title, “A Practical Guide to Living in the UK”. This guide is designed to be a helpful supplement to the official publication, providing useful information all new residents need to know and supporting deeper integration.

Service mix

  • Marketing
  • Editorial
  • Multi-format publication
  • Bibliographics
  • eCommerce
  • Online cataloguing and ordering
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Digital publishing and app development


We have received excellent feedback from customers who have used the app when practising for their tests; ensuring it remains highly visible within the iTunes app store. Examples include:

“Read the book then practice with this app, it’s all you need!!!”

“I just passed the test, all you have to do is to read the book once, and then practice as much as possible using this app. Easy peasy!!!”

“Passed with flying colours!!!

“I must say that this app is REALLY useful and practice makes perfect. You should also read the book as well so you can understand the answers better.”

The iPhone app has consistently featured in the top 20 of the best-selling apps in the iTunes UK Education chart.

The 2nd Edition of the book was ranked 8th in ‘bestselling political books of all-time’ (April 2010, The Bookseller).