Secure English Language Test - Crossroads Languages

SELT – Secure English Language Test

Information for students who need an approved English Language test for a UK visa.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) now accepts only 2 level tests as a Secure English Language Test:

  • IELTS for Visas
  • Trinity SELT exams

All English level tests for UK Visas have to be taken under specific secure conditions in a small selection of centres.

Where can I take a Secure English language test?

  • Most countries have at least one of these exams represented.
  • In the UK you must take your test at one of these approved centres.

If I have a choice, which secure test is the easiest, IELTS or Trinity?

  • They should be the same level.
  • You must find out how the test is organised and what they are testing.
  • If possible do some practice exercises.

What do the exams test?

  • It depends on the visa you need.
  • The GESE and IELTS Life Skills will assess your speaking and listening (A1 – B1)
  • The ISE and IELTS will test your speaking, listening, reading and writing (B1 – C1).

How do I prepare for a secure English language test?

  • The IELTS, and Trinity websites have sections that will help with your preparation for the test. Preparation is important.
  • Crossroads Language has several partner schools that offer preparation for SELT.

I already have a qualification from my country, can I use it?

  • No, the UKVI only accepts ‘secure’ English language tests. They have to be taken at approved centres.

IELTS for UK Visa

Two IELTS tests for UK Visas
  • IELTS for UKVI is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT)
    An IELTS for UKVI score can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application.
  • a new test, IELTS Life Skills.
    An IELTS Life Skills score can be used to prove your English Listening and Speaking abilities in support of an application for a UK family visa or settlement.


How is my IELTS test different if I take it for UK visa purposes?
  • You must take the IELTS UKVI at an approved SELT Centre
  • Test Report Forms will be slightly different, to show that test takers have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session.
  • There are no differences in the test format or questions. The actual test taken is the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on.

IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is for people who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills are at levels A1, A2 or B1.

What’s in the test?

  • 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.

Results for IELTS Life Skills tests

  • Test results are normally available within seven days of your test.
  • You will get one of two results:
    • Pass
    • Fail.
      A fail result means that you have not been successful and your test cannot be used for your visa application.

Trinity SELT exams

Which SELT exam do I need to take?

The Trinity exams offered for SELT are:

  • Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) – A1, A2 and B1 tests
  • Integrated Skills in English (ISE) – B1, B2 and C1 tests

The level and type of the exam you need to take depend on the type of visa you need.

How long does it take to get the results?

  • IELTS takes a maximum of two weeks but is sometimes a little quicker.

Where can I find more details about the Trinity SELT GESE and Trinity SELT ISE?

  • More information can be found on the individual examinations via the Trinity UK visa test pages (see link to Trinity on the right).
More information on SELT exams

More information on SELT exams

FAQs on the Secure English Language Test for UKVI

More information on SELT exams
UK Visa information for students

UK Visa information for students

A brief overview of useful general information for students.
Please go to the UK Government website for more details.

UK Visa information for students
IELTS for UK Visas

IELTS for UK Visas

Get more information about IELTS as a Secure English Language Test.

Trinity Secure English Language Tests

Trinity Secure English Language Tests

Find out more about the Trinity College, London Secure English Language Tests.

Information for Trinity SELT Tests