I am in the process of applying for a spouse visa in the UK now and one of the requirements is A1 English IELTS Life Skills test.
There is only one place in the Czech Republic where you can pass this one only in Prague – https://www.britishcouncil.cz/. An examiner is coming from Viena though where you also can pass the test If you live in the Czech Republic but don’t want to go to Prague. If you don’t know where you can pass the test in your country, you can check a list of approved tests provided here.
The test itself takes around 15 minutes. There is no writing part, mostly speaking and 2 listening tasks. Questions were very basic, examiner spoke very slowly and you could ask any questions you had. The whole test is being recorded from the first minute till the end of it.
I passed my test with another guy. First of all, we were asked what our names were, where we are from, talked a bit about our friends and family. Then an examiner asked how often do we use English on a daily basis.
Then we kind of worked in a pair and asked each other: “What food you do you usually buy in the store?” and “Do you like walking in a park? How? Why?”. Next task was to listen to a conversation and answer a couple of questions like “What room are people were painting?” / “What’s the fridge’s colour?” etc.
The last one was the conversation about our rooms where we live, how my room looks like and what I like about it.
That is it! Literally. I think If you are more or less on even a basic conversation level, you can easily pass this one.
As for me, I expected it to be a full IELTS test, complicated with all those writing, listening, speaking tests, when you spend hours to pass it and then waiting for your results, quite nervous and excited. I am not excited. Of course, it’s another step towards the visa and being with my fiancee in the same country together. But I think the system could be smarter and instead of paying 4400kc = 150 GBP and spending the whole morning for 15 mins test, there could be some interview over the phone, which would define that my English level is definitely above A1.
If you can speak English already – no need to prepare. This test is so basic that you won’t need any time before you take it to prepare. If you are on A1 level – I also believe you will easily pass it, just don’t be too nervous, stay confident and no rush..there is enough time to answer all the questions.
I’ll get my certificate in a week and will send it straight to our lawyer.
Honestly, I wish there would be a chance to pass a full test to meet this A1 requirement for the UK visa, really wanted to challenge myself. I will save some money and will pass either TOEFL or IELTS but the full version of the test to finally find out my level of English 😉
Good luck to all of you who has to pass IELTS Life Skills test for the UK visa!