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Passing your IELTS Life Skills A1 or B1 tests is an essential step to pursuing your UK dream to live in one of the world’s most dynamic countries filled with limitless opportunities. 

While the Life Skills test assesses your speaking and listening skills, it is much more than just a casual conversation between you and your friend.  

You will be judged and scored on specific criteria that encompasses your true conversational ability to converse in the English language. 

Thankfully, you can prepare for them but first, what exactly are you being tested for

For the A1 test, you will be expected to listen and respond to simple narratives, statements, questions and instructions as well as converse about familiar topics. 

You will be assessed through a series of tasks that includes describing, giving opinions, justifying your position and stating your preferences. 

For the B1 test, in addition to the A1 assessment criteria and tasks, you will be expected to communicate more skillfully by using appropriate formality, responding to others to reach a shared understanding about topics. 

You will also be expected to narrate a story or an idea, express future possibilities and show contrast in your ideas and conversion. 

Sure, this might sound like a lot to handle, but it is actually quite straightforward, especially if you have ample preparation. 

Here’s what you must do to prepare well for your IELTS Life Skills test to attain a passing grade! 

How to prepare for your IELTS Life Skills test

1. Take sample tests and online papers   

Practice makes perfect and the first step is to sit for free IELTS practice tests here.  

For both Life Skills A1 and B1, there will be multiple sample tasks that will take you through the exact format of how the test will be conducted. 

In addition, you can also gain insight by downloading the answer key to see exactly what the sequence will be like and the type of questions you will be asked. The key here is to get comfortable with what to expect and the types of tasks you will encounter. 

2. Boost your speaking skills with expert tips and webinars 

While taking the sample tests are great, you will also want to attend webinars and watch tutorial videos from IELTS experts. 

You can also find them on the same resource page here.  

You will be able to discover specific tips and tricks that will help you converse better, from understanding the commonly misused words and phrases as well as speaking tips to help you talk with more confidence! 

 3. Practice your speaking skills often 

This might sound basic, but you need to immerse yourself in the English language as much as possible. This means regularly practicing your speaking skills with family and friends. 

Ideally, you want to regularly hold conversations with native English speakers and understand how they talk and how ideas flow and the manner in which they are expressed. 

IELTS Test taker preparing for the test

4. Listen to common topics from the news across various channels 

One underrated method to swiftly boost your speaking skills is to listen to news programmes and shows from channels such as the BBC and CNN. 

While more formal in nature, the presenter's talk with perfect delivery is one way to inspire you to speak better.  

In addition, you can also tune in to some local programs, shows, and even sitcoms to understand better the conversational flow of conversion in English-speaking countries. 

5. Detail your opinions and preferences and understand why you view them that way 

Sure, you will not be able to prepare for every part of the IELTS Life Skills test, but you can detail your opinions and preferences and understand your views on them. 

This will help you to more easily communicate your ideas, opinions and point of view when asked during the actual task itself. 

It can be a struggle to think on the spot and converse properly, so this is one thing you can easily prepare ahead of time!

A test taker preparing for IELTS test using a laptop


Book your IELTS Life Skills test with IDP today!

While you shouldn’t worry too much about the IELTS Life Skills tests, it is always best to get prepared and practice well to help you attain a passing grade. 

Take the time to go through our resources and prepare yourself better with our wide range of sample tests at your disposal! 

And once you are ready, you can book your IELTS test with IDP!