What is IELTS Life Skills?

IELTS Life Skills is a test for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills to acquire a UK VISA, and is available at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 and B1.

It is designed to meet the requirements of UKVI for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

  • IELTS Life Skills A1: If you are applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • IELTS Life Skills B1: If you are applying for a ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship' visa

There is no restriction on how many times you take the IELTS Life Skills test, however, if you pass the test once, you will not be able to re-take it at the same level for a duration of two years.

Availability of IELTS Life Skills test

IELTS Life Skills tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UKVI. The UKVI does 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 sit the test in an 'IELTS for UKVI' test session.

Find out if IELTS Life Skills is available in your city
Format of the IELTS Life Skills test

The IELTS Life Skills test is designed to meet specific immigration requirements for which applicants only need to demonstrate Speaking and Listening skills. You’ll be assessed on your everyday communication in an English speaking country, the topics may include:

  • Personal experiences

  • Friends and family

  • Buying good

  • Education, work or training

  • Weather, leisure or trave

  • Transport, housing, health, and more

The test is designed to evaluate your listening and speaking skills, wherein you can respond in a clear and correct way. Use this table to understand the test focus in a better way.

A1 B1
Test focus
  • listen and respond to spoken language, including simple narratives, statements, questions and single-step instructions
  • basic information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics
  • talk with another person in a familiar situation about familiar topics
  • listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information and narratives, and follow straightforward explanations and instructions.
  • communicate information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics, using appropriate formality.
  • talk with one or more people in a familiar situation, making relevant points and responding to what others say to reach a shared understanding about familiar topics.
Tasks

Tasks may include:

  • Describing
  • Giving opinions
  • Giving personal information
  • Stating preferences
  • Commenting
  • Asking for information or descriptions
  • Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Explaining, giving reasons or justifying
  • Deciding
  • Suggesting
  • Selecting

In addition to the A1 tasks shown on the left, the B1 tasks may include:

  • Comparing
  • Showing contrast, cause, reason or purpose
  • Prioritising
  • Planing
  • Persuading
  • Narrating
  • Asking about past or future events
  • Expressing future certainty or possibility

You take the test with another test taker and one examiner. Your own performance on both Speaking and Listening is assessed during this one session.

S. No. Test type Test duration
1 IELTS Life Skills CEFR Level A1 16–18 minutes
2 IELTS Life Skills CEFR Level B1 22 minutes

There is no break between speaking and listening components as you are assessed on both skills at the same time.

IELTS Life Skills assessment criteria

A certified IELTS examiner assesses your performance throughout the Speaking and Listening test based on:

  • Obtaining information
  • Conveying information
  • Speaking to communicate
  • Engaging in discussion

Remember to give your best shot as the performance of the other test taker paired with you in the IELTS Life Skills test does not affect the assessment of your own performance.

Assess yourself better – Sample tests for IELTS Life Skills

Practice tests are a great way to assess your progress. Our range of free practice tests can help you familiarise yourself with the test format and questioning pattern. See how you score under timed conditions, take feedback from your mentors and work on your areas of improvement.

LEVEL A1
Sample Paper A Listening Sample A Sample Paper B Listening Sample B
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LEVEL B1
Sample Paper A Listening Sample A Sample Paper B Listening Sample B
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Test results within a week

You can get your IELTS Life Skills result within seven days of your attempt. Your TRF is sent to the postal address you mention at the time of filling up your registration form.

Frequently asked questions

For IELTS Life Skills, the test dates will be available within 28 days at permanent locations.
You will receive only one copy of the IELTS Life Skills TRF.
There are no restrictions on retaking the test. However, if you pass the IELTS Life Skills test, you can’t re-sit the same level for a period of two years. There is no limit to retaking it if you fail the test.