IELTS Life Skills

What is IELTS Life Skills?

IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is a special IELTS test that was designed to assess and grade people who are required to prove their level of English (more specifically English Listening and Speaking skills) at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1.

This test is available at two levels:

IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening: Someone who is going to apply for the UK immigration Visa for a ‘family of a settled person should take the IELTS Life Skills A1 test.

IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening: IELTS Life Skills B1 is suitable for people who want to apply for UK Visa and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

Who this test is for?

If you are planning to apply for a UK visa and immigration for any of the two following purposes, then you are most likely require to take the IELTS Life Skills test:
1.  UK Visas and Immigration for ‘family of a settled person’ visas.
2.  UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

If you need to take IELTS for Academic, training or other purposes you need to take the Academic or GT IELTS. It is always better to check with the IELTS test authority or with the immigration authority before registering for an IELTS test.

Life Skills test taking decision

What the test consists?

Unlike Academic and GT IELTS tests, IELTS Life Skills does not have four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Rather there are only two sections: The face-to-face Speaking and Listening test which is more like an everyday conversation with someone. An examiner will take the IELTS Life Skills test and another test taker will be present during the exam with whom you will need to talk to. The examiner will assess your listening and speaking ability.
This test was actually designed to reflect the everyday situation and experience of people in an English speaking country like the UK. You will be tested whether you have the ability to communicate with others in an English Speaking country or not.

The range of topics for the discussion with the examiner or the other candidates includes common everyday topics and subjects like:

•  Family and friends.
•  Work.
•  Weather.
•  Personal details.
•  Personal experiences.
•  Hobby and leisure.
•  Education and training.
•  Health.
•  Daily activities.
•  Housing.
•  Buying goods.
•  Transport.

IELTS Life Skill Test Format:

There are two main parts to the IELTS Life Skills test.

In the first part, the test takers are expected to ask and answer questions on everyday familiar topics. The common topics are given in the previous section of this article.

The second part is a combined listening and speaking task.

What is assessed in the IELTS Life Skills test?

There are four assessment criteria in the IELTS Life Skills test:
•  Obtaining information
•  Conveying information
•  Speaking to communicate
•  Engaging in discussion.

You are allowed to take notes during the test (while listening to recorded audio). The examiner will assess your listening and speaking skills, not your notes.

IELTS Life Skills test Length?

IELTS Life Skills test comprises only a short session with an examiner and another candidate. The test duration varies depending on the test type. For IELTS Life Skills test A1, it takes usually 16-18 minutes while IELTS Life Skills test B1 takes around 22 minutes.

IELTS Life Skills test:
IELTS Life Skills – A1 16–18 minutes
IELTS Life Skills – B1 22 minutes.


IELTS Life Skills FAQs:

Q. How many sections are there in the IELTS Life Skills test?
A. There are only two sections in the IELTS Life Skills test: Listening and Speaking.

Q. Can I use any IELTS test results for my UK visa application?
A. After 5th  November 2015, you are not allowed to use your Academic or GT IELTS test result for your UKVI purposes.

Q. How often is an IELTS Life Skills test available?
A. Test dates will be available within 28 days at permanent locations and quarterly at pop-up locations.

Q. After I take the IELTS Life Skills test, how many Test Report Forms I will get?
A. You will get one copy of your IELTS Life Skills TFR.

Q. How often can I re-take IELTS or IELTS Life Skills?
A. If you pass the test, you are not allowed to take the IELTS Life Skills test again in two years. However, if you do not pass the test, you can retake it anytime. There is no restriction on retaking the test.

Q. How the band score is assigned for the IELTS Life Skills test takers?
A. IELTS Life Skills test results do not have any band score. The Test Report Form only gives information whether you passed or failed the test.

Q. How soon will a test taker get his IELTS Life Skills results?
A. Test results are normally available within 7 days of the test.

Q. Do I have to re-register for the test if I fail?
A. Yes, if you fail the IELTS Life Skills test, you will need to re-register for the test.

Q. What does a ‘Fail’ means in my test report?
A. A fails to result in your TRF means that you have failed the test and your test result cannot be used for your visa application.

Q. Why do I take the test with another candidate?
A. The main objective of this test is to assess your ability to communicate with other people in an English Speaking country in an everyday situations. Hence the test requires you to get engaged in a conversation and discussion with another candidate to demonstrate your speaking and listening skills.