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Are you going to live, work or study in the UK?
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IELTS test required for UK

The UK government has announced new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. These requirements reduce the number of tests on the list of Secure English Language Tests (SELT) which are required for many categories of visas, and bring in additional requirements for the way the tests are administered.
IELTS (Academic & General Training) and the new test IELTS Life Skills are both included on this revised list.

IELTS for UK Visas

The IELTS test for UK visa purposes is designed to meet certain administrative requirements specified by UK Visas and Immigration.

The Test Report Form will be slightly different, to show that you have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session. However, the actual IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests for UK visa applications and non-UK visa applications are the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on. Find out more...

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training

The IELTS test you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.

  • IELTS Academic

    IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are a ccessible to anyone, irrespective of your subject focus.
    The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in a university that teaches in English at undergrad uate or postgraduate level, or institutions of higher and further education. Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) al so require an Academic test result for registration purposes in many countries.

  • IELTS General Training

    IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. The General Training version of the test is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. This version of the test is also often a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries including Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.


IELTS Life Skills test is specifically designed for people who need to show their English speaking and listening skills at Common Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) levels A1 or B1.
It can be used by people applying for:

  • ‘Family of a settled person’ visa

    If you want to remain with a relative, spouse or partner already living in the UK permanently.

  • Indefinite leave to remain

    If you are already living in the UK and want to make it your permanent home.

  • Citizenship

    If you want to become a British citizen.

Find out more...about the other UK visa categories that the IELTS test can be used for.

IELTS Life Skills Test Levels & Format

IELTS Life Skills is a face-to-face Speaking and Listening test. You will take it with another test taker and one examiner in one short session. IELTS Life Skills is available at two levels:

IELTS Life Skills Test Focus

The tasks in IELTS Life Skills are designed to reflect the everyday experience of communicating in an English-speaking country.
You will be expected to take part in short discussions on everyday subjects including:

  • Personal details / experiences
  • Education / training
  • Buying goods
  • Family and friends
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Weather
  • Work
  • Transport
  • Leisure

IELTS Life Skills Test Levels & Format

At each level, the test is designed to assess whether you can listen and respond, make your meaning clear and speak with other people.

Need to Prepare?

Download free IELTS Life Skills support materials.




Where to Take IELTS Tests?

IDP IELTS test centres are UKVI approved test centres and we offer all the approved IELTS tests for UK visa applications.

Check out the upcoming IELTS for UKVI & IELTS Life Skills test dates at the nearest IDP IELTS test centre & book your test now!

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About IDP

IDP Education is co-owned by 38 Australian universities and Seek Ltd, Australia’s leading online employment and training company.
For more than 45 years, IDP Education has played a major role in international education. During this time, IDP has placed more than 400,000 students into quality institutions in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and New Zealand.

IDP Education is a proud co-owner of IELTS and manages a network of more than 200 test locations around the world, supporting thousands of organisations including universities, professional associations, employers and governments around the world that use IELTS to help select the right people.