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What is IELTS Life Skills? What is it for?

For visa applications to the UK, you may need to have an English language qualification. In particular, for many categories of visa, you must submit an English language qualification which is included on the UK Home Office’s list of Secure English Language Tests (often referred to as SELT tests).
IELTS Life Skills are necessary for UK visas and immigration from 6 April 2015!
 IELTS Life Skills is a test of Speaking and Listening, available at CEFR Level A1 and CEFR Level B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories.

When and where can I take an IELTS Life Skills test?

We will be announcing dates for registration and testing here shortly.

IELTS Life Skills tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration. The IELTS Life Skills test centres will also be announced here shortly.

To find out whether you need to take an approved test, and what level you need to achieve, please visit for more information.

What is the format of the IELTS Life Skills test?

You take the test with another test taker and one Examiner. Your own performance on both speaking and listening will be assessed during this one session.

Why does IELTS Life Skills only cover Speaking and Listening?

The new test has been designed to meet specific immigration requirements for which applicants only need to demonstrate speaking and listening skills.

How long does the IELTS Life Skills test take?

IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A1 takes 16-18 minutes and Level B1 is 22 minutes.

Is there any break between Speaking and Listening?

No. You will be assessed on your Speaking and Listening skills at the same time.

How is IELTS Life Skills assessed?

A certificated IELTS Examiner will assess your performance throughout the Listening and Speaking test based on the following criteria:

·         obtaining information

·         conveying information

·         speaking to communicate

·         engaging in discussion

How can I prepare for the IELTS Life Skills test?

Free test samples will be available here shortly.

How many copies of IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form will I get?

You will receive one copy of the IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form.

How soon will I get my IELTS Life Skills results?

Test results are normally available within 7 days of your test.

How often is an IELTS or IELTS Life Skills test available?

For IELTS and IELTS Life Skills, test dates will be available within 28 days of booking your test.

How often can I re-take IELTS or IELTS Life Skills?

There are no restrictions on retaking IELTS. You can register for a test as soon as you feel you are ready to do so.

Candidates who have previously taken the IELTS Life Skills test and have passed are not allowed to re-take the test at the same level within two years. E.g: a candidate who has taken an IELTS Life Skills A1 test and has passed cannot take another Life Skills A1 test within two years. Similarly a candidate who has taken an IELTS Life Skills B1 test and has passed cannot take another Life Skills B1 test within two years.


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