As a citizen from a non-EU country and is applying for a settlement visa in the United Kingdom, one of the requirements for the visa processing is the English language test or the IELTS Life Skills test to be exact. I decided to have my English proficiency test in Manila last March 8, 2018, and I just want to share my experience hoping that it would help those who are planning to take the test in the future.

I have categorized this topic into three (3) sub-topics namely: TIPS, PROCESS, and TEST SEQUENCE/ADMINISTRATION/TASKS.


1) I was originally scheduled for my test at 1:35 PM but was advised to be at the testing center an hour before the test schedule. When I arrived at the testing center, the staff told me that my schedule was at 1:05 P! I told her that the email they sent me clearly stated the test schedule was at 1:35 PM. Unfortunately, they said that they have to follow what’s given them on the day of the exam. A word of advice: ARRIVE AT THE TESTING CENTER AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

2) Do not forget to take with you a photocopy of your passport/ID you used to register for the test.

3) Dress appropriately. You do not need to wear too formal nor too casual clothes. What I am trying to say is that the testing center is but a business place. Besides, it’s kinda freezing cold in there. (Disclaimer: There’s no dress code. You’re still free to wear whatever you fancy wearing.)

4) No additional fees/charges for the preferred mode of test result delivery.


1) At the front desk, a clerk will be assisting you. You will be asked to present the ID/passport and its photocopy you used to register for the test. She will then ask you to state your full name, birthdate, and the test module you’re taking.

2) Biometrics. You need to wait for your turn to have your biometrics taken. As your name’s being called, you will be directed to a room. A clerk will ask you to take a seat in front of a camera. She will be taking the passport/ID along with the photocopy. She’ll then ask you to state your name, birthdate, and the test module you’re taking. After that, you’ll be given a script, which you have to read over and over again until you’re told to stop. It’s for two minutes and is being recorded. After all these are done, the clerk will play the recording just to make sure that it’s successfully recorded. As the last task, you’ll be given a name tag which you need to wear for identification purposes. You will then be directed outside the room to wait for the test proper to begin.

3) A roll call by the clerk will be done once again before you and your partner are allowed to enter the testing room.

C. TEST SEQUENCE/ADMINISTRATION/TASKS: (This was what I experienced on my exam day, March 8, 2018. You’ll take note that the topics here are quite definitive.)

1) The examiner will begin with his greetings. He’ll then state his name, examiner ID #, the test location, etc. after such, he’ll be stating in specific details the names of the candidates, individual testing ID number, and specific seating order. The examiner will then ask each in turns to state full name, spell it correctly and then the birthdate. (On this point forward, all hell breaks loose!) LOL


I. LISTENING: You’ll be tasked to listen to a recording of at least 3-4 sentences. The questions afterward will be all about the identification of feelings/emotions denoted from the recording.


a) Discussion of the mode of transportation in our hometown. I and my partner were each given a minute and a half to do it.
b) We were then tasked to talk about things that make us happy. Each of us had to formulate 3 questions related to what we heard based on what each of us had shared.

III. LISTENING – This portion was all about comprehension: listening for details. We were asked to listen to a recording and were asked several questions regarding what we heard and understood.

IV. SPEAKING – The examiner gave us a single topic to discuss. The topic was about a college celebrating its 100th anniversary. There were two sets of situational subtopics with options. We discussed between us which was the best option for each subtopic. The examiner was just listening and making notes. We were given 2 minutes to do it.

The examiner then informed us the test was over and bade us goodbye.

Tada! And I went my merry way! 💖💖💖


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