What is IELTS Life Skills?

IELTS Life Skills is a new test approved by UKVI as a Secure English Language Test (SELT). It’s designed for those who need to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills at Level A1, A2 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

What are the Three (3) Levels of IELTS Life Skills?

  • A1 Speaking and Listening
  • A2 Speaking and Listening (Offered in the UK only)
  • B1 Speaking and Listening

Each level is designed to assess whether the applicant can listen and respond, make the meaning clear and talk with other people.

Speaking and Listening Test Format

  1. You will take the test face-to-face with an invigilator, and with one other test taker.
  2. You will participate in a structured conversation listening and responding to a selection of tasks.
  3. The tasks are designed to reflect everyday experience of communicating in an English-speaking country. You will be taking part in short discussions on everyday subject to include the following:
  • Personal details/experiences
  • Family and friends
  • Buying goods
  • Work
  • Health
  • Leisure
  • Education/training
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Weather

What are the focus and task contents for each level?

1)   A1 Speaking and Listening


2)   A2 Speaking and Listening


3)   B1 Speaking and Listening


Important information regarding IELTS Life Skills A2

On 18 January 2016, the government announced a new English language requirement for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK.  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 A2 level in order to qualify for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement.

The government recognizes the need to give those affected sufficient time to prepare for the new test.  The timing of implementation and further details will be confirmed by the Home Office in due course and published on the GOV.UK website.  The new A2 English language requirement will not affect those required to apply for further leave to remain in the meantime. 

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