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IELTS to Roll Out a New Language Test for UK Visa Applicants

March 2015, 06
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New Language Test for UK Visa Applicants
The government of UK has unveiled significant reforms to language test for visa applicants, lowering the total number of tests to be considered for visa purposes and made new announcements for managing the tests, stated by the British Council. 

Sources stated that IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is recognized as the world’s famous English test for higher education and all applicants of UK visas are required to demonstrate their English language skills. IELTS is playing a key role in language testing for UK immigration and other nations such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

According to new amendments, IELTS tests for applicants of UK visas will be offered all through the year in over 100 major locations across the world.  And, a new test labeled as IELTS Life Skills will come into force, which is devised for applicants who are required to prove their listening and speaking skills at either level A1 or B1 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). 

Citing the information provided on www.ielts.org, the IELTS Life Skills test has to be taken by an applicant with other test taker and an examiner. Both speaking and listening levels will be assessed during this single session. 

Reportedly, IELTS Life Skills test has been devised to satisfy particular immigration prerequisites for which applicants need to demonstrate their listening and speaking skills. The test at CEFR Level A1 will be conducted for 16 to 18 minutes and Level B1 will be conducted for 22 minutes. And, a certificated IELTS examiner will evaluate the candidates’ criteria in speaking and listening test based on obtaining information, conveying the data, speaking and participating in discussion.

Apparently, the performance of the other test taker coupled along with the aspirant in IELTS Life Skills test will not affect the evaluation of candidate’s performance. IELTS tests for immigration purposes should be taken only at endorsed centers and the center must abide by certain procedures defined by the government of UK. While booking a slot, candidates must mention what the test is for and make sure that the center is approved to run tests. However, the endorsed IELTS test centers is listed on www.ielts.org.    

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