Archive for Tricky Questions

How many public holidays are there in Britain?


How many public holidays are there in Britain?
If you search on the internet, you may find that there are as many as 8 public holidays.

You will also find out that Scotland - part of Britain - does not consider Easter Monday a public holiday.

Nevertheless, page 53 of the official manual says:

“There are also FOUR public holidays a year, called Bank Holidays, when legislation requires banks and most businesses to close.”
This seems to be the “expected” answer.

Good Luck!


How many countries are members of the Commonwealth?

The TRICKY QUESTION of the Day is:

How many countries are there in the British Commonwealth?

Page 72 of the official “Life in the UK” manual says:

The Commonwealth has a membership of 54 states.

But the webpage of the Commonwealth Secretariat,
says differently:

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace.

The right answer is 53.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003. The authors of “Life in the UK” perhaps looked at some outdated data. This error will be most probably corrected in the new edition.

And remember: a country might be “suspended” from the Commonwealth (like Fiji is now), but it still remains a member.

More questions on the Commonwealth, European Union, Council of Europe, United Nations etc., are available in the “Practice Questions: UK and International Organisations:

Good Luck!


Who is the head of the Anglican Church?

The TRICKY QUESTION of the Day is:

Who is the head of the Anglican Church?

You might get possible answers like:

The Queen
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Head of State of the United Kingdom


“The Life in the UK” manual is not clear at all on the matter.

Here’s what it says:

“The Church of England, or Anglican Church as it is also known, came into existence in 1534. The King installed himself as head of the Church, and the title of the Supreme Governor has been held by the King or Queen ever since. /…/ The Queen or King also has the right to appoint a number of senior church officers, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the head of the church. “

(Page 50).

The same paragraph mentiones both the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury as “head of the church”.

In fact, this position simply doesn’t exist.

According to the Bible, the head of the church is actually Jesus Christ:

The Church never refers to the Archbishop of Canterbury as its “Head”; they prefer the title “spiritual leader”.

The official title of the Queen is “the Supreme Governor of the Church”.

But the Queen does not have the title “Head of State”, yet she is.

In fact, if you are asked, “WHo is the Head of State of the United Kingdom?” the only correct answer is “The Queen”.

So, what is the right answer?!

It is VERY likely that the authors of the test expect you to answer “Archbishop of Canterbury”.

Hopefully you will not get BOTH “the Queen” and “the Archbishop of Canterbury” as answer options!


How many parliaments are there in Britain?


How many parliaments are there in Britain?

Write down your answer - just the number.

Now, answer the following questions, and also write down your answers.

How many local parliaments are there in the UK?

How many local parliaments are there in England?

How many parliaments are there in the UK?

Now check your answers. Your numbers should be, in this order:


Did you get it right?

Where’s the trick?!

If the question is about “parliaments”, don’t forget to include the Westminster - the actual parliament of the United Kingdom.

If the question is about “local parliaments”, there are only 3:

the parliament of Scotland
the Assembly of Wales
the parliament of Northern Ireland, also known as Stormont

The very first question used the word “Britain” instead of “UK”, therefore, you must exclude the parliament of Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland is not part of Britain.

The third question was about England. There is NO English parliament; there was one in the past, but only until 1707. (You don’t need to remember that). So, because we are asked only about LOCAL parliaments, the answer is zero. If it didn’t say “local”, we would have to answer “1″, because the UK Parliament is in London, which is in England!


Read the questions carefully.

Avoid the situation where you know the material, but still give a wrong answer just because you missed a tiny detail in the question.

Remember: your knowledge of English is also being tested.

There are some questions on Parliaments in our Free Training and in the Evaluation Test.

Good luck!

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