IELTS Life Skills FAQs

IELTS Life Skills FAQs

This IELTS Life Skills FAQ section answers all the questions you might be wondering about the special IELTS test called 'IELTS Life Skills' test. This section should be used only by the candidates who need answers related to IELTS Life Skills test, not the Academic or General Training IELTS test takers.

If you are looking for Academic or GT IELTS Exam FAQs, visit: Our FAQ Section

You can also visit the IELTS Official page for more details about IELTS Life Skills.


What is IELTS Life Skills?
IELTS Life Skills is a new English Language test available across the world for people who want to get a visa in the United Kingdom for the following three purposes:

  •     To remain with a relative, spouse or partner already living in the UK permanently.
  •     Who are already living in the UK and want to make the UK their permanent home.
  •     To become a British citizen/ to get citizenship in the United Kingdom.


IETLS Life Skills is a test designed for people to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes listed above.

Who owns IELTS Life Skills test?
‘IELTS Life skills’ is jointly owned by the three IELTS Test Partners - British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. These are the partners who own and offer the Academic and General Training IETLS tests as well.    

Which skills are tested in the IELTS Life Skills exam?
Only Speaking and Listening skills are assessed in the IELTS Life Skills exam.

There are two types of IELTS Life Skills test: Level A1 & Level B1. Which one should I take?
Take the Level A1 test if you want to remain with a relative, spouse or partner already living in the UK permanently.

Take the Level B1 if you are already living in the UK and want to make it your permanent home or if you want to get a British citizenship visa.

To find out more details about how you can use IELTS or IELTS Life Skills for UK visas and immigration, visit www.ielts.org/uk

How long does the IELTS Life Skills test take?
The IELTS Life Skills test at CEFR Level A1 takes 16-18 minutes while the Level B1 takes about 22 minutes.

Who will take my IELTS Life Skills exam?
A nominated professional IELTS examiner will take you exam.

What is the format of the IELTS Life Skills test?

You will take the test with an IELTS examiner and another test taker. You will talk to both the examiner as well as with the other candidate. Your performance will be assessed based on your listening and speaking skills.

Is there any break between Speaking and Listening?
No, you are not allowed to take any break between the speaking and listening test. In fact, your listening and speaking skills are assessed at the same time. The exam lasts for less than half an hour and you should not even ask for any break during your exam.

Why does IELTS Life Skills only cover Speaking and Listening?
The new IELTS Life Skills test has been designed to meet specific immigration requirements and that’s why applicants only need to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills. No writing or reading is required in the IELTS Life Skills test.

How is IELTS Life Skills test assessed?
A professional and nominated IELTS Examiner will assess your performance throughout the Speaking and Listening test based on the following 4 criteria:

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

You skills in listening, understanding what others are saying, conveying information to others and ability to continue a discussion would be assessed in the IELTS Life Skills exam.

Can I pick the other IELTS Life Skills test taker for my exam?

No, you can’t. That would be decided by the test authority.

Will the performance of the other test taker affect my performance or assessment?
The performance of the other test taker paired with you in IELTS Life Skills test will not affect the assessment of your own performance. You will be assessed solely based on your own performance.

Where can I take IELTS Life Skills test?
IELTS Life Skills tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). See the list of dates and locations from http://www.ielts.org/test_takers_information/find_test_ukvi.aspx. You can also find locations of this test and pay the registration fee online from this link.

How soon will I get my IELTS Life Skills results?
Usually, you will get your result within 7 days of your test.

How many copies of IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form will I get?
You will receive one copy of the IELTS Life Skills Test Report Form.

What the IELTS Life Skills result will indicate?
It will indicate whether you have Passed or Failed. No Band score is given like Academic or General Training IELTS test results. If you pass the test, you can use the Test Report Form as part of your requirement for the UK visa or immigration. If you fail the test, you need to re-take the exam.

How often can I re-take the IELTS Life Skills?
If you do not pass the test, there are no restrictions on retaking the test. You can re-take it anytime you wish. However, if you pass the test, you cannot retake it at the same level for a period of two years.

How long is my IELTS Life Skills Test result valid for?
Your IELTS Life Skills Test result is valid for 2 years.

Where can I find a test location if I need to take IELTS Life Skills exam?

You can find a test location from the official web page of IELTS at  http://www.ielts.org/test_takers_information/find_test_ukvi.aspx. Alternatively, you can contact the local IELTS test or registration centre to find more.

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