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IELTS Life Skills FAQs

What is IELTS Life Skills? What is it for?

IELTS Life Skills is an English language test offered by the IELTS Partners – The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
IELTS Life Skills is a test of Speaking and Listening and is available at CEFR Levels A1, A2 and B2. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

Which IELTS Life Skills test do I need?

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, choose IELTS Life Skills A1.

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for a 'family of a settled person' extension visa, choose IELTS Life Skills A2.

* In January 2016, the UK government announced its intention to introduce the A2 English requirement for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-a2-english-requirement-in-the-family-route).  After two-and-a half-years in the UK, non-EEA national partners and parents on the family route will need to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 in order to qualify, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement.  Information on when this requirement will be introduced and further details will be confirmed in due course and published on the GOV.UK website.  Please note that the new A2 English language requirement will not affect those required to apply for further leave to remain in the meantime.

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship, choose IELTS Life Skills B1.

Life Skills decision matrix

IELTS Life Skills  A1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for further leave to remain.
IELTS Life Skills A2 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for further leave to remain (extension visa).
IELTS Life Skills B1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

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

IELTS Life Skills tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The UKVI will not accept results from other testing locations. You must confirm at the time of registration that you wish to use your test result for a UK visa application, and make sure that you sit the test in an 'IELTS for UKVI' test session.

Use the UK Government visa check list to find out whether you need to take an approved test, what level you need to achieve, and which test you can use
 
What is the format of the IELTS Life Skills test?

The new IELTS Life Skills test has been designed to meet specific immigration requirements for which applicants only need to demonstrate Speaking and Listening skills.
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.
 
IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A1 takes 16–18 minutes, IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A2 takes no more than 20 minutes and Level B1 is 22 minutes. There is no break between speaking and listening components as you will be assessed on both skills at the same time.
 
How is IELTS Life Skills assessed?

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

  • obtaining information
  • conveying information
  • speaking to communicate
  • engaging in discussion.

The performance of the other test taker paired with you in the IELTS Life Skills test will not affect the assessment of your own performance.

How can I prepare for the IELTS Life Skills test?

Prepare for the test with free test samples.
 
How many copies of the 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 seven 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 at permanent locations and quarterly at pop-up locations.
 
How often can I retake IELTS or IELTS Life Skills?

For IELTS tests, there are no restrictions on retaking the test. For IELTS Life Skills, if you pass the test, you cannot retake it at the same level for a period of two years. If you do not pass it, there are no restrictions on retaking the test.

Register for IELTS Life Skills