UK

British Citizenship Test To Be Rewritten To Include National Anthem And William Shakespeare

01/07/2012 08:28 BST | Updated 30/08/2012 10:12 BST

The citizenship test taken by foreign nationals is to be rewritten by the government.

Immigrants will have to learn the first verse of the national anthem and be tested on key historical facts as part of the overhaul which is designed to place a greater focus on the nation's culture and past, The Sunday Times said.

It will tell immigrants the UK is "historically" a Christian country with a "long and illustrious history" and include sections about key battles as well as British inventions, discoveries and culture.

shakespeare

Shakespeare is to be included in the new citizenship test

But Home Secretary Theresa May believes it places too much emphasis on the practicalities of daily living in Britain rather than the country's history, according to the newspaper.

She is understood to have scrapped sections dealing with claiming welfare payments, borrowing money and the Human Rights Act.

A section on the Queen will also be included, with would-be-Britons also expected to memorise the profiles of famous artists, writers and playwrights such as William Shakespeare.

A new handbook, expected to be issued in the autumn, will be issued to prospective citizens and form the basis of the modified 45-minute exam all aspiring British citizens must pass.

The Life in the United Kingdom test was originally introduced by Labour in 2005.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Putting our culture and history at the heart of the citizenship test will help ensure those permanently settling can understand British life, allowing them to properly integrate into our society."