English language testing


Studying in the UK (and many English-speaking countries abroad) means you will need a test to prove your English language level and abilities.

Many tests are now accepted by the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) and by other immigration services and universities overseas. In the UK, for courses under degree level e.g. Foundations, Pre-Masters, and Pre-sessional English, or longer Academic English courses students will need what is known as a SELT (Secure English Language Test). This is essentially the same test but undertaken with stricter security measures.

One of the most well-known is IELTS (International English Language Testing System). IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council; IDP IELTS; and Cambridge University Press & Assessment. Their SELT is known as IELTS for UKVI (Academic).

It is a four-part test that checks the four skills – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The scores are aggregated, and you will receive an overall score that is benchmarked to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.) CEFR grades skills from A1 to C2.

Each immigration body, university, workplace, school or institution will have specific IELTS (or other test) score requirements. The score you need will depend on what you are looking to do in the country, whether it is work or study.

Atava only works with students and clients looking to study abroad so we will refer only to studying in our advice here.

Several organisations offer language tests to gain access to university and college studies. However, confusingly not all institutions will accept tests from every provider.
To ensure you take the correct test needed for admission to your course, that is accepted by the relevant university and the immigration authorities in the UK (or elsewhere) please get in touch for our guidance and advice.

Atava will help check which tests are acceptable to the university, college or school you plan to study with. In addition, we often get vouchers and discounts for the tests which we can pass onto our clients and students. You can book directly with Skills for English through our portal below.

Testing providers include the following companies:

Preparing for your English Language Test

If you need extra tuition to prepare for a test, we can suggest a number of solutions from one-to-one lessons and intensive crash courses, or affordable self-paced learning platforms that include recorded lessons and practice sessions for listening and reading.

Alternatively, there are options to join an in-person class to improve your skills or join online lessons from your home country.

Please contact us to discuss your English language testing requirements and options.

Take a look at the courses on offer: