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Level 1

The ESOL Skills for Life exam specification and teaching resources on this page relate to exams from December 2017. (For resources relating to previous (QCF) specifications click here.)


Unit awards

There are three awards available at Level 1:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening

Candidates who pass all three awards receive an overarching ESOL Skills for Life (Level 1) certificate.


Unit Format Time
Reading Controlled exam - 30 questions within 3 tasks 60 minutes
Writing Controlled exam - 4 tasks 110 minutes 
Speaking and Listening

Conversation with an examiner - 2 tasks

Group discussion with an examiner - 1 task

10 minutes

Up to 10 minutes 

Full details of the exam format and procedures at this level can be found in the exam specifications below. 


Teaching and learning resources - Level 1

Find more information about these exams.
Visit exam administration for guidance about booking.

Resource type Resource name and link

Exam specifications

Download Trinity ESOL Skills for Life exam specifications - Level 1 

This document contains: Assessment objectives, candidate profile; unit details; exam format and procedure; assessment criteria; generic performance descriptors; plus general guidelines and policy information.

Practice papers - Reading

Generic answer sheet - Reading

Practice papers - Writing

Marked paper - Writing

An example of candidate responses with marks and rationales:

Sample examiner prompts -
Speaking and Listening

Sample videos -
Speaking and Listening

These videos are suitable for teachers and students and show the format of the test. They are not intended to show model exam performance.

Watch sample videos below and use the rationale documents to see how they were marked:


ESOL Skills for Life - Level 1 - Conversation sample video

ESOL Skills for Life - Level 1 - Group discussion sample video


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