- IELTS Life Skills test format
What happens during the test?
There are two main parts to IELTS Life Skills.
- In the first part, you are expected to ask and answer questions on familiar topics.
- The second part is a combined listening and speaking task.
- At level A and level B, you will listen to a task played on a CD. Completing the task allows you to show your ability to listen for both the general meaning and detail.
- You will say your answers, although you can make notes on paper while you listen to the CD.
- There will then be a discussion on a theme related to what you have listened to on the CD.
- Additionally at B1 level, there is also a task where you plan an activity with the other test taker.
- How long is the IELTS Life Skills test?
Test times for IELTS Life Skills
For IELTS Life Skills you only need to attend one short session to complete the test. The times allowed for each level are:
- IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening 16 –18 minutes
- IELTS Life Skills – A2 Speaking and Listening 20 minutes
- IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening 22 minutes.
- Assessment of IELTS Life Skills
How will I be assessed in the test?
You will be assessed on your ability in four key areas:
- obtaining information
- conveying information
- speaking to communicate
- engaging in discussion.
At times during the test, you will be allowed to take notes to prepare your answers. The examiner will not mark your notes – only your speaking and listening skills are marked during the test.
- IELTS Life Skills Results
Results for IELTS Life Skills tests
Test results are normally available within seven days of your test.
You will get one of two results:
A fail result means that you have not been successful and your test cannot be used for your visa application.
- IELTS Life Skills topics
What are the IELTS Life Skills topics?
You will take the test face-to-face with an examiner, and with one other test taker. You will participate in a structured conversation listening and responding to a selection of tasks.
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
- family and friends
- buying goods
- IELTS Life Skills - A1 Speaking and Listening
A1 Speaking and Listening
You will be expected to:
- Listen and respond to spoken language, including simple narratives, statements, questions and single-step instructions
- Communicate basic information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics
Talk with another person in a familiar situation about familiar topics.
Tasks may include:
- giving opinions
- giving personal information
- stating preferences
- asking for information or descriptions
- agreeing and disagreeing
- explaining, giving reasons or justifying
- IELTS Life Skills - B1 Speaking and Listening
B1 Speaking and Listening
You will be expected to:
- Listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information and narratives and follow straightforward explanations
- 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.
In addition to the A1 tasks, the B1 tasks may include:
- showing contrast, cause, reason or purpose
- asking about past or future events
- expressing future certainty or possibility
Test dates for IELTS Life Skills
If you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre. In New Zealand, only IDP IELTS Auckland is UKVI approved. We offer all the approved IELTS tests for UK visa applications. To register for a test, please visit here.