Approved IELTS Tests for UKVI


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 accessible 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 undergraduate or postgraduate level, or institutions of higher and further education. Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) also 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.

If you are taking the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test for UK visa applications, you will need to make sure that the test is taken at a UKVI approved test centre. 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.

IELTS Life Skills – Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to show that their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1.

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, IELTS Life Skills A1 is the test for you.

If you are applying to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship, IELTS Life Skills B1 is the test for you.

IELTS Life Skills A1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for ‘family of a settled person’ visas.

IELTS Life Skills B1 Prove your English speaking and listening skills as part of your application to UK Visas and Immigration for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship.

Before you register for your test you should check the English language requirements for your visa category. Please visit www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa for more information.

IELTS test and score required for UK visa applications

Please note that if you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre. AEO Pakistan is a UKVI approved test centre and we offer all the approved IELTS tests for UK visa applications.

Before you book your test, we strongly recommend that you check with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on the test that you will be required to submit for your application. Please visit www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa for more information

As a guide, you can use the following table:

Visa description 
(United Kingdom only)
CEFR level required Skills IELTS test and score required
Tier 1 (General) visa C1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 7.0 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.0 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.0 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.0 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 2 (General) visa B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.0 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa A1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.01 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa B2 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 5.5 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 4 (General) student visa – below degree level
(Please read the important note on Tier 4 student visa.)
B1 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 4.03 overall, and for each of the four skills
Tier 4 (General) student visa – degree level and above
(Please read the important note on Tier 4 student visa.)
B2 Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening IELTS – 5.53 overall, and for each of the four skills
Family of a settled person visa A1 Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass
Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship2 B1 Speaking and Listening IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass

1 IELTS is accepted by UKVI at band scores 4.0 and above, equivalent to CEFR level B1.
2 UKVI will accept a test on the SELT list or an Ofqual regulated test for this immigration category. The test must cover Speaking and Listening at B1 level.
3 Scores mentioned above for TIER 4 categories are the requirement of UKVI. Universities and colleges may require a higher band score for the course that you are applying for. Please check with them on the band score requirement for your course.

Please note that these changes do not affect the use of IELTS by people from the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and ‘majority English speaking countries’ as defined by the UK Home Office https://www.gov.uk/english-language

Important note for Tier 4 Student Visa

This recent visa change does not apply to Tier 4 student visa. Those who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) to study a bachelor or postgraduate degree are required to meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results. This means that you do not need to take the IELTS test under UKVI specified condition, unless your institution has required you to.

Please check with the institution that you are applying to for their admission requirement. Visit: Official list of British Universities and Colleges with Highly Trusted Sponsor Status

Why choose IELTS

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IELTS scores are accepted as proof of your English language skills by more than 9,000 organisations….

Book your IELTS test

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Find a test centre near you to see test dates, fees and contact information.

Prepare for IELTS

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Be better prepared for IELTS with AEO Pakistan Education’s range of practice materials, sample test questions and test day advice.