I took the "Life in the UK" test this morning. I arrived at Brixton Library about 20 minutes early. This turned out not to be a problem, as the remarkably inefficient system for checking people in meant that it took 50 minutes to process 15 test-takers. (A few people didn't queue properly, which I thought should have been grounds for immediate disqualification.) Once we started, everyone finished well before the end of the 45 minutes allocated for the test. We were, however, still made to wait for them to give us our official notification letters. Despite clearly being easily reproducible printouts with a single stamp, we were told that they could not be replaced in the event of their loss. The whole experience seemed calculated to maximize the stress of the situation. It also seemed ineluctably British.
I no longer care, however, because I PASSED. I can now pay £820 for the privilege of applying for permanent residency. Maybe I should try to claim it on expenses, for additional Britishness Points?