IELTS Life Skills – FAQs

Q. What is IELTS Life Skills?
A. IELTS Life Skills is an English language test designed to examine a candidate’s speaking and listening skills. This test assesses whether a candidate has required speaking and listening skills to meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

Q. Who owns the IELTS Life Skills test?
A. IELTS Life Skills is owned and offered by the IELTS Partners – The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English; the same authority who own and administer the IELTS GT and IELTS Academic tests.

Q. Who is the test for?
A. This test is designed for people who need to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). If you are applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa or ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK’ visa, this test is for you.

Q. Can I use my valid IELTS GT/Academic score instead?
A. You can not. If you are planning to apply for the ‘family of a settled person’ or ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship’ visa, you need to take the IELTS Life Skills test. However, you can always contact the UK Visas and Immigration authority to know which IELTS test you should take.

Q. What are the different types of IELTS Life Skills test?
A. IELTS Life Skills test has three formats – IELTS Life Skills A1, IELTS Life Skills A2 & IELTS Life Skills B1.

Q. Which IELTS Life Skills test should I take?
A. If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration authority for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, choose IELTS Life Skills A1. You usually take this visa when you are not in the UK.

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for a ‘family of a settled person’ extension visa, choose IELTS Life Skills A2. This test is 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 take this test in order to qualify, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement. This test can only be taken if you are already in the UK.

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

Notes:
» ‘Family of a settled person’ visas: If you want to remain with a relative, spouse or partner already living in the UK permanently.
» Indefinite leave to remain: If you are already living in the UK and want to make it your permanent home.
» Citizenship: If you want to become a British citizen.

Q. What is the format of the IELTS Life Skills test?
A. IELTS Life Skills test has been designed to meet specific immigration requirements for which applicants only need to demonstrate their “Speaking” and “Listening” skills. So basically, you will take the test in which your speaking and listening skills will be assessed.

You take the test with another test taker and a designated IELTS examiner. Your own performance on both Speaking and Listening will be assessed during this one session.

IELTS Life Skills A1 takes 16–18 minutes, IELTS Life Skills at A2 takes 18- 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.

Q. Do I take the speaking or the listening test first?
A. You take both the test together in a single session. You will take the test with another test taker and an examiner. You talk/listen to/communicate/discuss/convey information/engage in discussions with the other candidate and the examiner assesses your performance.

Q. How much this test costs?
A. IELTS fee is subject to change without prior notice and the cost to take the IELTS Life Skills vary from location to location. To find out what it might cost you from https://www.ielts.org/book-a-test/find-a-test-location. Select your country and find a test location. When you click on the “Book Now” button (you can check it even if you do not want to book the test now) and it will show the accurate amount you will need to pay to register the test.

Note:
To book an IELTS Life Skills test with British Council London, United Kingdom right now, you need to pay GBP 150. It usually costs less than the IELT GT and IELTS Academic tests.

Q. When and where can I take an IELTS Life Skills test?
A. 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 take the test in an ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test session.

Use the UK Government visa checklist to find out whether you need to take an approved test, what level you need to achieve, and which test you can use.

Q. How is IELTS Life Skills assessed?
A. On your test date, you take the test with another test taker and an IELTS examiner. Your own performance on both Speaking and Listening will be assessed during this one session. Other candidate’s performance will not affect your result.

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

a) obtaining information
b) conveying information
c) speaking to communicate
d) engaging in discussion

So basically, if you can obtain information from the other candidate and from the examiner, express your opinion, give information, communicate effectively and get engaged in a discussion, you will pass the test.

Q. Who will take my IELTS Life Skills exam?
A. An expert IELTS examiner who is designated by the IELTS test authority will take the test. However, unline IELTS GT or Academic exams, which you take alone, you will take the IELTS Life Skills test with another candidate.

Q. Why do I take the test with another candidate?
A. IELTS Life Skills test assesses 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.

Q. Can I choose the IELTS Life Skills test taker for my exam?
A. No, you can not. That will be decided by the Exam authority.

Q. Will I be affected by the other test taker’s performance?
A. As stated previously, the performance of the other test taker/candidate paired with you in the IELTS Life Skills test will not affect the assessment of your own performance.

Q. How long does the IELTS Life Skills test take?
A. IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A1 takes 16–18 minutes, while IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A2 takes 18-20 minutes. Finally, IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level B1 takes 22 minutes.

Q. Is there any break between Speaking and Listening tests?
A. There is no break between speaking and listening components/tests as you will be assessed on both skills at the same time.

Q. How often is an IELTS Life Skills test available?
A. IELTS Life Skills test dates will be available within 28 days at permanent locations and quarterly at pop-up locations decided by the IELTS test authority. You can find these dates and test locations from https://www.ielts.org/book-a-test/find-a-test-location

Q. How soon will I get my IELTS Life Skills results?
A. IELTS Life Skills test results are normally available within seven days of your test. So you can expect to get the result within a week.

Q. Can I get my IELTS Life Skills test result online?
A. No, you cannot see the result of your IELTS Life Skills test online.

Q. How many copies of the IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form will I get?
A. You will receive only one copy of the IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form (TRF). However, do not worry because if you pass the test, your score will be verified using the IELTS SELT (Secure English Language Tests) Consortium online system using a unique reference number which should be stated on the application form.

Q. How often can I retake IELTS Life Skills?
A. If you fail the IELTS Life Skills test, there are no restrictions on retaking the test. But if you pass it, you cannot retake it at the same level for a period of two years, which means you can take another IELTS Life Skills which is not the same level.

Q. How long my IELTS Life Skills Report Form will be valid?
A. Your IELTS Life Skills Report Form (result) will be valid for two years from the date you took the test.

Q. How can I find a location to take the test?
A. Please visit “Find a test location” for that.

Q. Can I take IELTS Life Skills A2 outside the UK?
A. No, you can not. IELTS Life Skills A2 (also known as IELTS Life Skills at CEFR Level A2) is designed for the visa extension of people who are already in the United Kingdom.

Q. Is there any band score in IELTS Life Skills test?
A. No, there is no band score in IELTS Life Skills test. You either pass or fail. If you pass the test you can use the Test Report Form (TRF) to apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) authority to meet their requirement. If you fail the test, you can not use the TRF for this purpose.

Q. What if I fail the test?
A. If you fail the test, you can re-take the test as many times as you like. If you fail, your IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form (TRF) is not accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) authority.

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