[Ah, such are the pitfalls of using a shared computer: this post was written by the male half of our marital collective, even though it doesn't appear that way. Just saying, like, to avoid confusion.]
Well, close, but no cigar.
Two questions shy of passing: if only I had known the correct answers to 'What age must you be to be let into betting shops or gambling clubs?' (it's 18 whereas I thought it was 16) and 'How many days must UK schools be open for each year?' (190 instead of my foolish guess of 170), I'd have made it.
(While we're on the topic: why is it that you can legally have sex and join the army at 16 but not place a few bets? Political correctness gone mad, I tell you.)
Given that I'm not actually planning to become British, my failure to pass the test isn't all that tragic. In any case, as it says up there in the photo, only about one is seven Britons can themselves manage a passing score, and, in failing, I'm in illustrious company.
I assume that some provision is made to prepare people for the test (or for them to prepare themselves), and to learn all about council taxation, betting shops and the intricacies of school regulation.
More relevant to my life and future, I have recently taken the German citizenship test (Einbürgerungstest) that was introduced last year and consists of 33 questions: 30 nation-wide ones (drawn from a catalogue of 300) and 3 that are specific to the federal state in which you reside (from a list of ten that are provided beforehand).
And I am happy to report I managed 33 of 33. (There's a separate requirement for a language test, but I had that covered years ago.)
It helped that there were no tricky questions about betting shops (off-track betting not apparently considered an essential aspect of citizenship in this country). Instead, the questions tend to focus on general democratic principles, the basic functions of the various levels of government, the key dates in German history and the reasons why Germans need to feel guilty about their past.
There are also a few thrown in that signal clearly the populations at which this test is aimed, such as those asking how many wives a man may have -- the answer is one, in case you were wondering -- and the steps that parents may take if their daughter tells them she intends to marry a lad of whom they disapprove (the answer: nichts!).
Given that the bar for success is set generously low (17 of 33 correct), it occurs to me that theoretically one could be firmly of the view that Germany accepted polygamy and 'honour killing' and still pass the test as long as he or she has memorised the functions of the Bundesrat, the duties of the Bundespräsident and the fact that between 1933 and 1945 Germany was not a constitutional monarchy but rather a dictatorship. (And has, in addition, memorised the state-specific questions, which are actually the harder ones: without a little preparation, I'd likely not have been able to tell you the colours of the state seal of Rhineland-Palatinate.)
It seems to me that there is little knowledge that is useful on an everyday basis that is tested, such as how to pour Hefeweizen, knowing how to find and use the Wagenstandanzeiger or comprehending that 'there is no strong tradition of queuing in Germany'.
On a vaguely related note: Shuggy has pointed out that the British government's most recent plans for making life hard for immigrants grants them extra points if they agree to settle in Scotland.
I'm trying to think of what the German equivalent of this kind of plan would be.
And I'm stumped.
(Thanks to Dale, who is even somewhat less successfully British, for the link to the test.)
[Posted by JCW, aka The Husband]