UKVI Exam Preparation - Frequently Asked Questions

What does UKVI mean?


UK Visas and Immigration, also known as UKVI, is a division of the Home Office responsible for the United Kingdom's visa system. Visit the UKVI website here




What is the English test for UK visa?


Secure English Language Tests, or SELTs, are tests which are approved by the government as an acceptable proof of your level of English proficiency. You can only take an SELT with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas)
  • LanguageCert (UK or overseas)
  • Trinity College London (UK only)
  • Pearson (UK and overseas)
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd (overseas only)
For more information click here




Which English test is required for UK spouse visa?


You will need to prove a level of English at A1 for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa (previously known as ‘spouse or partner’). This means you can take the Trinity GESE Grade 2 speaking and listening exam.




Which English test is required for UK spouse visa extension?


This is an extension visa from the ‘further leave to remain’ and you will need to prove a level of English at A2. This means you can take the Trinity GESE Grade 3 speaking and listening exam.




Which English test is required for UK citizenship?


For UK Citizenship you will need to prove a level of English of B1 or above. For this you can take Trinity’s GESE Grade 5 speaking and listening exam.




Who is Trinity?


Trinity College London is a leading international exam board and independent education charity that has been providing assessments around the world since 1877. They provide Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) which can be used to prove your level of English to the UK government for UKVI visa applications, UK visa renewal, British Citizenship and Leave to Remain.
For more information click here




Can I go to the UK without IELTS?


Yes! Depending on your goals and where you want to go, there are alternative tests and exams which can grant you access to move to or study in the UK.
Check out the full list here




What does SELT mean?


A SELT is a Secure English Language Test. It’s a term used by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to describe the English language tests they’ll accept as evidence of English Language proficiency for your visa application. An example of a SELT is Trinity’s GESE exams.




What does GESE mean?


GESE: Graded Examinations in Spoken English Trinity’s Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) are one-to-one assessments of speaking and listening skills. They offer examinations at all levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) from pre-A1 through to C2.
For more information click here.




What does CEFR mean?


The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language ability on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing, such as teachers or learners, to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare our qualifications to other exams in their country.

For more information click here.




What is the A1 English test?


You need to take this test if you are applying for Further Leave to Remain. English A1 is the first level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). A1 users have a basic knowledge of the English language and can communicate in everyday situations with commonly-used expressions and elementary vocabulary. You will need to take a 6 minute speaking and listening exam (Trinity GESE Grade 2)
For more information click here.




How long is A1 English test valid for?


Trinity GESE certificates are valid for life. However if you took the CEFR A1 when you first applied for your visa, you’ll need to take a CEFR A2 test when you apply to stay after 2.5 years. If you did not need to do the CEFR A1 when you first applied for your visa but you need to do it now, you’ll need to pass it when you apply to stay after 2.5 years. For more information click here.




What is the A2 English test?


You need to take this test if you are applying for Further Leave to Remain Visa Extension. English level A2 is the second level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). A2 users have mastered the basics of English language and can communicate simple, basic needs. You will need to take a 7 minute speaking and listening exam (Trinity GESE Grade 3) For more information click here.




What is the B1 English test?


You need to take this test if you are applying for British Citizenship/Indefinite Leave to Remain IRL. English level B1 is the third level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), At this level, students are beyond the basics but they are still not able to work or study exclusively in English. You will need to take a 10 minute speaking and listening exam (Trinity GESE Grade 5). The exam is in two parts; 1- Topic: You choose a topic to prepare in advance of the test, for discussion with the examiner. You must complete a Topic Form in advance and bring it with you to the exam. 2- Conversation: You have a short conversation with the examiner about two subject areas chosen by the examiner.
For more information click here.




How long is B1 English test valid for?


All Trinity certificates are valid for life as evidence of the candidate’s achievement and performance in a Trinity exam. However, where certificates are used for UK visa or immigration purposes, Trinity has recommended to the UK Home Office that, for security reasons, only certificates less than two years old should be accepted.
For more information click here.




How can I prepare for the exam?


Although your level of English may be at the required level, you should spend some time learning the exam structure and exam techniques. There are free resources available from the Trinity website and you can also book short term courses with our tutors to make sure you are fully prepared.
Click here for free Trinity resources.




How much does the exam cost?


Trinity GESE exams are £150 booking fee.





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