What is the IELTS Life Skills Exam?

IELTS Life Skills is an exam provided by IELTS and their test partners. It’s a brand new exam introduced in 2015. The test is designed to meet the requirements for UK visas (UKVI). The exam only includes a speaking and listening section, because it is the only skills applicants need to demonstrate when applying for a visa in the UK. The IELTS Life Skills test is available all over the world.

IELTS Life Skills Test Format

There are two versions of the IELTS life skills exam, the A1 and the B1. The A1 version is for “family or settled person” visas while the B1 is for “indefinite leave to remain or citizenship”.

The A1 version of the IELTS Life Skills takes about 16 to 18 minutes to complete which includes two sections. The B1 takes 22 minutes to finish, which includes three different sections. When taking the test, there will be two candidates taking the exam and one examiner in the room.

IELTS Life Skills at Level A1 has two parts. IELTS Life Skills at Level B1 has three parts.

Part I: Ask and answer general questions, this is the section in which candidates have basic conversations and discussions. Topics include weather, family, friend’s work, health, education etc.

Part II: Candidates will have to listen to a recording and understand the general meaning and details of what they have just heard. Candidates will be asked questions about the recording and will also have discussion on the same theme.

Part III (B1): A more advanced discussion between the two candidates. Often required to plan an activity or event together.

IELTS Life Skills Test Score

Your IELTS Life Skills Score are based on these four factors: obtaining information, speaking to communicate, engaging in discussion and conveying information.

There are two types of scores on the IELTS Life Skills, pass or fail.
If you fail it means that the test cannot be used for the Visa application however, if you pass you may use the test. The results are usually available within 7 days of taking the exam. If you fail the exam, there are no restrictions on retaking the test.

To learn more about IELTS Life Skills exam visit IELTS official page.