What you will read
We’re going to go over the new IELTS Life Skills English exam. We’ll talk about the format, what types of topics you will encounter and some details such as prices, registration times and dates. Also, we’re going to let you know how we at GlobalExam can help you get ready for the IELTS Life Skills exam.
What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an exam that measures English language proficiency. People who plan on studying or working in English take the exam. Also, people who are immigrating to an English speaking country can use it. IELTS uses a nine-band scale to identify proficiency (1 = no English ability, while 9 = near native-like ability).
Find out more articles about the IELTS test:
- Should you take the IELTS or the TOEFL?
- CELPIP or IELTS? What’s the difference between the tests?
- IELTS General: exam structure and sample questions
What is IELTS Life Skills?
IELTS Life Skills is intended for people who need to prove their speaking and listening skills in English at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1, A2 or B1. It is specifically designed for UK visa applications as proof of listening and speaking skills. For example, someone who needs proof of their English proficiency for UK Visa & Immigration could sit for the IELTS Life Skills exam; however, a person considering entering a university would not.
What’s in the test?
There are three levels that you can sit for:
- IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening
- IELTS Life Skills – A2 Speaking and Listening (it’s only available in the UK)
- IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening
You should establish which exam you want to sit for prior to registration. If you want proof of your English proficiency for the UK Visa & Immigration, then check with the UK government what the current requirements are for it.
What is the new format?
It only includes speaking and listening unlike the regular IELTS, which includes reading and writing as well.
Typically, a candidate takes the exam with another candidate and one IELTS examiner. Your performance for both Speaking and Listening are assessed in the single session.
Lengths of each exam vary according to the level being assessed:
- IELTS Life Skills CEFR Level A1 takes from 16–18 minutes
- IELTS Life Skills CEFR Level A2 takes 20 minutes or less
- IELTS Life Skills CEFR Level B1 is around 22 minutes
You don’t get a break between speaking and listening since you are assessed on both skills simultaneously.
Who should take this exam?
People who are applying for some form of visa from UK Visa & Immigration or people who may have need of English proficiency certification for employment. The IELTS Life Skills exam is meant to support UK Visa and Immigration applications.
For specifics regarding which version of the IELTS Life Skills exam you need to support your application to UK Visas and Immigration, follow this link to the decision matrix on the IELTS website.
Prices, registration times, and dates
Go to the official IELTS website for an up-to-date list of approved test centers. Click on this link for an official list of test centers: ielts.org
Prices may vary somewhat, but the cost of an IELTS Life Skills exam should be in the neighborhood of 175-200€. Check official test centers in your country for the current prices.
Registration is typically done online, and you will need official government ID. If you are a foreigner residing in the UK, then you will need to use your passport. A test center may have in-person registration; official government ID is also required.
Each test center will show the times and dates for upcoming IELTS Life Skills exams on their website. When registering, ensure that you are selecting the correct IELTS exam.
Make sure that you arrive early on your test day; they won’t wait for you.
Getting the results
Regarding your results, you will receive them within seven days of your test under normal circumstances if you take a paper-based exam. If you take a computer-based version, your results will be available between 5-7 days after your exam.
You will get one of two results: Pass or Fail. A failed result means that you were not successful, and you cannot use your exam for UK Visa & Immigration to obtain a visa.
Getting ready with GlobalExam
Even though the IELTS Life Skills exam is not difficult, you still need to prepare. You’re going to use it for UK Visa & Immigration to obtain a visa, so it’s kind of important. If you’re planning on flying from Pakistan to the UK and spending a lot of time and money, you better be sure that you have what you need to support your visa application at the British embassy in Pakistan.
GlobalExam is a language exam expert. We can help you prepare with the following:
- Corrected exercises: These will help you to practice, and learn from your mistakes, enabling rapid advancement
- Mock exams: Taking the exam under real conditions is a great way to practice and hone your skills
- Track progress: Following your progress is an excellent way to see where you are and plan for where you want to be
- Personalized study path: Choosing a study path adapted to your goal is a great motivator as it gives you a sense of agency in the process
There’s no need to guess with GlobalExam. Our materials, exams and information are current and reliable. With us, you can get a passing score on the IELTS Life Skills exam and obtain your UK visa.