B1 English test (ISE I)

The Trinity B1 ISE I is a 4 skills test covering reading, writing, speaking and listening, the test is taken over one full day at an approved Trinity SELT centre. The test is used to prove your level of English language proficiency and is required when applying for:

Book your B1 (ISE I)

What is a B1 ISE I English test?

A B1 English language test is a type of Secure English Language Test (SELT) that is needed for a number of UK visa applications. 

B1 refers to the level of English you have, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The CEFR guidelines say that someone at the B1 level in English can:

  • Understand conversations and read text about work, school, and personal related topics
  • Connect phrases in a simple way in relation to travel, family or personal interest
  • Write simple text about topics of interest to them such as hobbies, family and work
  • Describe their experiences, events, dreams, ambitions, and opinions clearly

With a SELT test, there are two types offered by Trinity College London; GESE (Graded Examinations in Spoken English) and ISE (Integrated Skills in English). 

What are B1 ISE I English tests used for?

B1 ISE I English tests are used to assess the level of English proficiency a person has. The level of English language ability needed for a visa application can vary depending on the immigration route. English language test results are needed for the application process for a number of visas so to find out which level you need it's best to check the UK Government website.      

You will have to pass a B1 English language test if you are applying for:

How can I prepare for a B1 English ISE I test?

The B1 - ISE I is a 4-skill test covering reading, writing, speaking, and listing.  The speaking and listening test is delivered with Trinity examiners remotely via video conference. The writing and reading exam is taken in a room with other candidates taking an ISE exam. If you choose to take your exam in a Trinity SELT centre, both exams will be set up for you using a Trinity tablet device for the speaking and listening exam, and pens and paper will be provided for the reading and writing exam by your personal steward.

The test is taken over one full day and is split into two parts: 

Reading & Writing - consists of four tasks and is two hours long.

  1. Long reading task: the candidate reads a single text and answers 15 questions. Topics usually covered are, travel, money, transport or music.
  2. Multi-text reading task: the candidate reads four texts and answers 15 questions. Topics covered may include fashion, festivals, special occasions or personal experiences.
  3. Reading into writing task: the candidate produces a piece of writing based on the four selected topics in task two.
  4. Extended writing task: the candidate produces a piece of writing in response to a prompt. Topics that could be covered are rules and regulations, health and fitness, entertainment or travel. 

Speaking & listening – consists of three tasks and is 18 minutes long 

1. Topic (4 minutes long) 

  • You will choose a topic to prepare before the test, for discussion with the examiner. 
  • You must complete a Topic Form in advance and bring it with you to the exam. 
  • Here is an example of a completed Topic Form

2. Conversation (2 minutes long)

  • You will have a short conversation with the examiner about one subject area chosen by the examiner.

3. Independent listening (10 minutes)

  • Candidates will listen to two different recordings and answer questions related to each recording.
  • After the first recording, the examiner will ask the candidate six questions.
  • After the second recording, the candidate will state six facts orally to the examiner, and then the examiner will ask four follow-up questions about the content of the recording.
  • In both tasks, the candidate listens to the audio recording twice.

To help you prepare for your B1 – ISE I Trinity has a variety of preparation materials for you to choose from.

Prepare for your ISE I (B1)

What do you need to take a SELT test?

If your exam is at a Trinity centre you MUST do the following in order to take your SELT test:

Why choose Trinity for your B1 ISE I exam?

Real-life accredited examiners

Trinity College London uses human examiners to run SELT tests. This allows for more flexibility than computer adapted tests do.

Convenient locations

With over 20 SELT test centres across the UK, Trinity offers tests seven days a week. You can choose from 100's of slots based on the date, time, and location that works best for you

Learn more

Digital Certificate

Within 21 days of taking your exam, you will be emailed your diagnostic report and you will be sent a link to access your digital certificate by email.

Learn more 

What happens after you’ve booked your SELT?

Once you’ve booked a SELT test with Trinity, you will receive an email from us with details about your exam. This will include: 

  • Type of test you’ve booked
  • Time and date of your test
  • The test centre your test will be at

When this email comes through, be sure to check that the details of your exam are correct. If you can’t find the email, please check your junk and spam folders.

On the day of your SELT exam

If you’re taking your SELT exam at a Trinity test centre, then it’s important to make sure you follow these instructions so that there are no issues on the day of your test: 

Arrive at the test centre at the time given on your email - you will be greeted by your personal steward.

*Please note that only the candidate can enter the exam centre. Family members or other people are not allowed to enter the exam centre or wait in the reception area.

For more information about what happens on your SELT exam test day, watch our step-by-step video for Trinity ISE tests.

Ready to book a SELT test?

Book your B1 (ISE I)

Frequently Asked Questions about B1 ISE I

Your B1 English test must be taken at one of the Trinity test centres. Find a centre near you today.

All Trinity certificates are valid for life to be used as evidence of your achievement and performance in a Trinity exam. However, where certificates are used for UK visa or immigration purposes, Trinity has recommended to the UK Home Office that, for security reasons, only certificates less than two years old should be accepted.

All Trinity ISE exams cost £180.

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