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What IS UKVI IELTS? Know Meaning, Test Scores, Exam Pattern

If you are a student looking forward to foreign education, English proficiency is mandatory! There are two reasons for this- one, because the international universities offer the majority of the courses in English, and two because English proficiency is important for visa purposes. Here’s where IELTS and UKVI IELTS play an important role. IELTS is an English proficiency exam that you might have heard a lot about and maybe even be preparing for it by now! However, you might wonder what UKVI IELTS is. UKVI IELTS is also an English language test that is especially required for visa and immigration purposes for work, study, or immigration in the UK. Let’s learn about it in detail in this blog! 


IELTS UKVI is a Secure English Language Test (SELT) developed by the UK government. It allows applicants to demonstrate their English proficiency for UK visa and immigration purposes. While it is similar to a regular IELTS exam, the key distinction is that IELTS UKVI is specifically tailored for obtaining a UK visa. 

All UK universities accept IELTS Academic results for international students. However, students need to take the IELTS UKVI test for UK visa purposes. It is recommended that students check with their chosen universities to determine which specific type of IELTS UKVI test is required.

UKVI Full Form:

The full form of UKVI is UK student Visa & Immigration.

Purpose And Importance of UKVI IELTS

While IELTS has its importance and benefits, UKVI IELTS has its purpose and unique importance. Let’s look at those in detail by referring to the points below: 

Addressing Customised Immigration Needs: To ensure that candidates have the appropriate English language abilities for effective integration into the UK, the UKVI demands a customised version of the IELTS exam. The test adapts to fit immigration demands and tests language abilities relevant and applicable to various immigration processes.

Differentiating Visa Categories: This test assists in discriminating between visa categories by creating particular band score standards for each category. Whether seeking a student visa, a work visa, or a visa to live in the UK, UKVI IELTS provides a standardised and objective language competency assessment tailored to each visa category’s language requirements.

Objective Evaluation: This test provides a fair and uniform evaluation procedure by using a standardised scoring system. The UKVI IELTS nine-band scale offers a clear assessment of a person’s language ability, ranging from non-user (band score 1) to expert (band score 9). This transparency lets immigration officials objectively analyse applicants’ language abilities, allowing for more informed visa determinations.

Promoting Integration And Success: English proficiency is required for individuals to excel academically, professionally, and socially in the United Kingdom. The UKVI IELTS requirement guarantees that immigrants have the language skills needed to traverse their studies, get work, and actively engage in society.

What Are UKVI IELTS Exam Variants?

There are four different types of UKVI IELTS tests, each designed for different purposes. Each test type has specific requirements and is tailored to different visa and immigration purposes, so it is important to choose the correct one based on your circumstances.

These are:

1. IELTS Academic for UKVI: This test is for those applying for higher education or professional registration in the UK. It assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in an English-speaking environment.

2. IELTS General Training for UKVI: This test is for those going to English-speaking countries for secondary education, work experience, or training programs. It focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

3. IELTS Life Skills A1: This test is for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills as part of their application for a UK visa and immigration for a settled person’s family. It is designed to meet the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

4. IELTS Life Skills B1: This test is for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills as part of their application for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship. It is also aligned with the requirements of UKVI.

IELTS UKVI General Score Chart 

UKVI IELTS general scores are the minimum score requirements to get the visa you are applying for. Each visa type mandates a specific minimum score. Below is a chart you can refer to: 

Visa Category Minimum ScoreVisa Category Minimum Score
Tier 1 (General) visa                      7.0   
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa                      4.0
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa                      4.0
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa                      4.0
Tier 4 (General) student visa – below degree level                      4.0
Tier 4 (General) student visa – degree level and above and including some pre-sessional courses                      5.5

What Is UKVI IELTS Cost?

As mentioned above, there are different UKVI IELTS, so the fees for taking these tests also differ. The table given below will help you understand the costs for each exam type: 

Types of Tests              Fees
IELTS Academic and General Training£175-195 (Depends on location)
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (Academic and General Training)£195
IELTS Life Skills (A1, A2 and B1)£150

UKVI IELTS Exam Format 

The UKVI IELTS exam format varies slightly depending on the specific type of test (Academic, General Training, Life Skills A1, or Life Skills B1). Here is a breakdown of the exam format for each:

IELTS Academic for UKVI and IELTS General Training for UKVI

Listening (30 minutes)

  • Four recorded monologues and conversations
  • 40 questions

Reading (60 minutes)

  • Academic: Three long texts taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers
  • General Training: Extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks, and guidelines
  • 40 questions

Writing (60 minutes)

  • Academic: Two tasks (describing visual information and essay writing)
  • General Training: Two tasks (letter writing and essay writing)

Speaking (11–14 minutes)

  • There are three parts: an introduction and interview, a long turn where the candidate speaks for 1-2 minutes on a given topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the long turn.

IELTS Life Skills A1

Speaking and Listening (16–18 minutes)

  • Task 1: The examiner asks the candidates to provide personal information.
  • Task 2: The candidates engage in a combined listening and speaking task.
  • Task 3: A further speaking task involving discussing a familiar topic.

IELTS Life Skills B1

Speaking and Listening (22 minutes)

  • Task 1: The examiner asks the candidates to provide personal information and engage in a discussion on a given topic.
  • Task 2: The candidates participate in a combined listening and speaking task.
  • Task 3: A further speaking task, including a plan or decision-making discussion.

Each test format is designed to meet specific visa and immigration requirements, so it’s crucial to select the appropriate one based on your needs.

How To Prepare For UKVI IELTS

Now that we know what UKVI IELTS is let us look at how students can prepare for the same:

Familiarise Yourself with the Exam Format: Begin by learning about the structure and format of the UKVI IELTS exam. Examine the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking areas and become acquainted with the questions and activities you may face. This will give you a better sense of what to expect on exam day.

Practise regularly: Schedule frequent study sessions to go through each area of the exam. Concentrate on improving your reading and listening comprehension, as well as your writing and speaking fluency. To familiarise yourself with the content and exam criteria, use practice resources made exclusively for UKVI IELTS.

Improve Time Management: Time management is essential in the UKVI IELTS exam. Learn to pace yourself appropriately, allocating enough time for each question or job. 

Develop Strong Language Abilities: Work on developing your English language abilities by reading a range of books, listening to English audio or podcasts, and conversing with English speakers regularly. Improve your vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills because these are required for success in all portions of the test.

Make Use of Study Materials: Use the many study materials accessible for UKVI IELTS preparation. Look through the official IELTS websites, for example, questions, practice resources, and advice. Various books, online courses, mobile applications, and practice exams are also intended exclusively for this test preparation. 

Difference Between UKVI IELTS Vs. IELTS

To better understand the relationship between the two, let’s highlight the key aspects in a tabular format:

Internationally RecognisedAccepted by UKVI for immigration, study, and work purposes in the UK
Measures English language proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speakingAssesses language skills required for UK visa applications and immigration purposes
Used for general purposes such as education and employmentTailored specifically for immigration and UK visa requirements
Available in two versions: Academic and General TrainingAvailable in Academic and General Training formats, similar to IELTS
The validity period of two yearsThe validity period of two years, the same as IELTS
Scored on a nine-band scaleScored on a nine-band scale, with specific band requirements for UK visa categories

Aspiring students and professionals may guarantee they achieve the language criteria for their selected visa category by learning what is UKVI IELTS. UKVI IELTS provides a standardised and trustworthy assessment of language competence, supporting effective integration into the active academic and professional environment of the United Kingdom, with its particular band score criteria and two-year validity term. Prepare thoroughly, ace the exam, and begin on a fulfilling road towards your goals. 


Can I use normal IELTS for UKVI?

You may use your IELTS General Training for UKVI or IELTS Academic for the results to apply for study, job, or migration permits worldwide. However, IELTS General Training or IELTS Academic results cannot be used to apply for a UK Visa.

What is UKVI in IDP IELTS??

It consists of the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests. However, if you want to study, work, or relocate to the UK, you must take an IELTS exam authorised for UK Visa and Immigration reasons.

What is the fee for this exam in India?

The charge for the (UK Visas and Immigration) is  ₹16,500. The IELTS Life Skills exam costs  ₹15,350.

What is the format of this test?

There will be 40 questions ranging from MCQs to summary notes, flow chart completion, and short-answers questions. 

Can I apply for the UK with 5.5 bands?

Many students are concerned that their poor IELTS scores will prevent them from enrolling in their desired degree in the United Kingdom. However, most colleges and universities will gladly accept their applications if their scores are between 5.5 and 6.5.

Thank you for reading the blog. For more such blogs, check out the following links.

1 thought on “Top PGDM Courses In Canada: Universities, Specialisations & Eligibility”

  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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What IS UKVI IELTS? Know Meaning, Test Scores, Exam Pattern

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