The IELTS Life Skills is a new UK Government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) version of the IELTS test. It is used to support UK Visa and Immigration applications and is designed for international English speakers who need to meet specific immigration requirements. Candidates are required to demonstrate speaking and listening skills only. Your speaking and listening abilities will be assessed at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

IELTS Life Skills is available at A1, A2 and B1 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This is an international standard used around the world to describe learners’ language skills.

Test format:

There are two main parts to IELTS Life Skills.In the first part, you are expected to ask and answer questions on familiar topics. The second part is a combined listening and speaking task.At level A and level B, you will listen to a task played on a CD. Completing the task allows you to show your ability to listen for both the general meaning and detail.You will say your answers, although you can make notes on paper while you listen to the CD.There will then be a discussion on a theme related to what you have listened to on the CD. Additionally at B1 level, there is also a task where you plan an activity with the other candidate.

How long is the test?

  • IELTS Life Skills 1:

  •  A1 Speaking and Listening 16–18 minutes

  • IELTS Life Skills 2:

  •  A2 Speaking and Listening 20 minutes

  • IELTS Life Skills 3:

  •  B1 Speaking and Listening 22 minutes

  • IELTS Life Skills 4:

  •  B1 Speaking and Listening 22 minutes

How will I be assessed in the test?

  • Obtaining information

  • Conveying information

  • Speaking to communicate

  • Engaging in discussion

At times during the test, you will be allowed to take notes to prepare your answers. The examiner will not mark your notes – only your speaking and listening skills are marked during the test.

Why do I take the test with another candidate?

IELTS Life Skills tests how well you can communicate with other people in everyday English. The best way to test these skills is to pair candidates at a similar level of ability, so you can show how well you can speak English to communicate and engage in discussion with others.