IELTS Life Skills Test

The IELTS Life Skills Test is a new part of the exam that was introduced on 6th April 2015.

If you are planning to study abroad (Academic IELTS Test) or to work abroad (General Training IELTS Test) then this will not be relevant to you.

This new test is designed specifically for those:

  • Applying to UK Visas and Immigration for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • Applying to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship

The IELTS Life Skills Test ties in with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is an international standard for describing language ability.

You can learn more about the CEFR here - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

There are two types of the test, depending on why you are taking it:

  • CEFR Level A1 - family of a settled person’ visa (Test time: 16-18 minutes)
  • CEFR Level B1 - indefinite leave to remain or citizenship (Test time: 22 minutes)

IELTS Life Skills Test Assessment

The test does not have a Reading or Writing element.

It is only a test of Speaking and Listening because the test has been designed to meet certain immigration requirements for which applicants only need to show adequate speaking and listening skills.

Unlike the Academic and General Training tests, you take the test with another test taker and one certified IELTS Examiner and your performance of speaking and listening will be assessed during this.

You will be assessed on four criteria:

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

The level of English of the person who you are tested with may not be the same as you, but their performance in the test does not impact in any way on your score.

Results are usually available within 7 days and you will get a pass or fail.

The tests are available around the world, but they must be test centres specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Useful Links

Here are some useful links if you want to learn more about the IELTS Life Skills Test and have some practice:

What's in the IELTS Life Skills test?

Search test dates and locations

View Sample IELTS Life Skills Tests

Frequently Asked Questions



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