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Skills for Life Entry 3

Skills for Life is changing.

Please go to the ESOL Skills for Life (QCF) page for information on preparing and booking the new QCF Skills for Life exams from January 2015. The information on this page relates to the older NQF framework exams.


Entry 3 is suitable for learners who can do things such as:

  • listen and respond appropriately in formal contexts; engage in discussion to reach a shared goal; narrate a chronological event
  • read and understand short texts (eg diagrams, short reports); produce simple texts with some organisational features (eg letters, narrative accounts about past events and future activities)
  • use language items such as: past, present and future simple verb forms; order in complex sentences; comparatives; sequencers; modals of possibility/ uncertainty/ advice; use of paragraphing; use of question marks and exclamation marks

Entry 3 can be taken as a standalone Speaking & Listening exam or a four-skills exam in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Download a one page overview of the exam structure (PDF, 190KB) 

Download the Entry 3 syllabus (PDF, 106KB)


Speaking and listening exam videos

These were filmed under real exam conditions with genuine candidates – they’re not model performances. You should have the marks and rationales document (PDF, 402KB) to hand, as this gives the marks awarded and the reasons behind them. The Speaking and Listening Performance Descriptors (PDF, 196KB) are what Trinity examiners use to assess a candidate’s performance against the syllabus requirements.



The exams have changed slightly since the older videos were made so their content may not match the current syllabus exactly.

Role-plays and  group discussion

Candidates have to perform a role-play task and a group discussion task. Download specimen role-play and group discussion tasks (PDF, 74KB)


Reading: past papers and answer keys

July 2012 paper (PDF, 256KB) and answer key (PDF, 75KB)

June 2010 paper (PDF, 73KB) and answer key (PDF, 8KB)

June 2009 paper (PDF, 110KB) and answer key (PDF, 16KB)

You’ll find older papers in our resource archive.


Writing: past papers

July 2012 paper (PDF, 53KB)

June 2010 paper (PDF, 61KB)

June 2009 paper (PDF, 60KB)

You’ll find older papers in our resource archive.


Writing: sample answers

Candidate E (PDF, 225KB)

Candidate F (PDF, 211KB)

These are genuine candidate answers, they’re not model answers. Review them together with the marks and rationales document (PDF, 355KB), which contains the marks awarded to each candidate and explains the reasons for awarding the marks.

The Writing Exam Performance Descriptors (PDF, 438KB) are what Trinity markers use to assess a candidate’s performance against the syllabus requirements.

ESOL Skills for Life: Entry 1 is fully accredited by Ofqual – download the Ofqual qualification titles and codes (PDF, 230KB)

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