Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Spill my pint, win a British passport!

british passport Looking at the Scotsman's web site, I see a story about the new British citizenship test, costing £34 (6800 yen) to sit, in addition to a £286 (57,200 yen) citizenship fee and a £9.99 exam preparation book. One of the more strange questions is:

If you spill somebody's pint in a pub, should you: (a) Offer to buy the person another pint (b) Dry their shirt with your own (c) Challenge them to a fight in the pub car park (d) Run off

Others are vague, like:

Do many children live in single-parent families or step-families?

What percentage is many? If you come from a country with few single parents, like Japan, the answer may be Yes, but from another point of view it might seem like not as many.

Yet more are rather tricky, like:

Almost 60 million people live in the UK. By what factor do the English-born outnumber their Scots or Welsh neighbours? (a) By nine to one (b) By seven to one (c) By six to one (d) By 100 to one

The or seems strange. As far as I can remember, Scotland has just over five million inhabitants and Wales has less than two million, so that's perhaps 6 or 7 million versus 53 or 54 million, which makes the answer just over eight to one, so (a) is closer. However, what about Northern Ireland? That's another million to remove, and what about internal migration, since it mentions English-born; where does Tony Blair stand, for instance. So, we could easily be at 7 million versus 52 million, which is getting closer to (b) seven to one. Now, checking UK Gov official statistics, in mid 2004 the population was as follows:

Northern Ireland1,710,300

Oops, I was wrong on both Wales and Northern Ireland, both by close on a million. So we have now 50,093,800 versus 2,952,500 + 5,078,400, which gives us a ratio of 6.238 to one, so the answer is in fact (c)!

The BBC has a sample test here and I scored a mere 7 out of 14. Damn, I'll have to hand back my passport! Also note the answer to the population question above.

UPDATE: I just thought - the question is about native-born people. The only data I can find about this is in a paper by the government on this - it says that there was only 4,865,600 non-UK born people, so to get a ratio of even just eight to one, we'd need to place over 3 million, nearly two-thirds into Scotland and Wales, making over a third of the populations of both countries born overseas. I don't think so!

Very strange. It get's even more tiricky though. Of the 3 milion that live in Wales, 25% were born outside Wales (20% were born in England).

Bloody hell my head is spinning already.
Yes, I remembered later that I forgot about internal migration, but that also cuts both ways! I'd love to know how they came up with the nine-to-one ratio.
Hello Seron

I see you visited the Lost Budgie so I thought I'd drop in and say hello.

Japan, eh? Quite a long way from home. Mr. & Mrs Lost Budgie have a condo in Thailand, so we occasionally pass through Narita, but haven't had the chance to stay over as yet.


And if you ever spill my pint - I'd prefer you bought me a new one instead of rubbing your shirt on mine... Might look funny to the wife.

here's a couple of funny questions from the test prep site:

What is mugging?

- stealing in the street by threat or violence
- sitting in the street with a mug and begging for money
- stealing from children
- any drug-related crime

Why do children do when they expect presents from Father Christmas?

- they leave an open cardboard box next to the door
- they hang up a long sock, stocking or pillowcase at the foot of their bed or around the fireplace
- they leave an empty bucket in the fireplace
- nothing, Father Christmas is supposed to leave the presents under the Christmas tree

What is the traditional Christmas meal?

- meat sausages with mashed potatoes and fruit salad
- oatmeal with blueberries and apple pudding
- oast turkey and pudding made from suet, dried fruit and spices
- fish and chips, followed by tea

Found here
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