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Home > Learn about IELTS > IELTS for UKVI > IELTS Life Skills test format

IELTS Life Skills test format



IELTS Life Skills is available at three levels:

  • IELTS Life Skills - A1 Speaking and Listening
  • IELTS Life Skills - A2 Speaking and Listening (offered in the UK only)*
  • IELTS Life Skills - B1 Speaking and Listening

*The A2 English requirement is for family route migrants seeking to extend their stay in the UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-a2-english-requirement-in-the-family-route). After two-and-a half-years in the UK, non-EEA national partners and parents on the family route will need to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 in order to qualify, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement.

Face-to-face Speaking and Listening test

You will take the test with an examiner, and with one other candidate.

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
  • work
  • health
  • leisure
  • education/training
  • transport
  • housing
  • weather.

The focus of the test

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



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:

  • describing
  • giving opinions
  • giving personal information
  • stating preferences
  • commenting
  • asking for information or descriptions
  • agreeing and disagreeing
  • explaining, giving reasons or justifying
  • deciding
  • suggesting
  • selecting.



You will be expected to:

  • listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information and narratives, and follow straightforward explanations and instructions.
  • 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 shown above, the B1 tasks may include:

  • comparing
  • showing contrast, cause, reason or purpose
  • prioritising
  • planning
  • persuading
  • narrating
  • asking about past or future events
  • expressing future certainty or possibility.
Find out more information about IELTS Life Skills.

You can also download the IELTS Life Skills Guide for Test Takers and Agents.