If you need a visa to either live, work or study in the UK, then you might have been asked to take a SELT test. We explain what Secure English Language Tests are, and what the different grades mean.
A SELT is a Secure English Language Test. You need one to be able to get either a family visa, work visa, or study visa to be able to live in the UK. The test is designed for you to show your English language proficiency - you need it to be able to live in the UK for an extended period of time for either Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship.
To be able to take your SELT test, you'll need to book one through a provider who has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) - such as Trinity College London.
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.
There are two types of SELT tests offered by Trinity College London - GESE (Graded Examination of Spoken English) and ISE (Integrated Skills in English). The test you will need will depend on the type of UK visa you are applying for.
If you are applying for either a Partner, Parent, Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain), Citizenship, a Sportsperson or Representative of an Overseas Business visa, then you will need to be able to prove your skill of speaking and listening in English.
The SELT test that you will need for each are:
If you are applying for either an Innovator, Start-Up, Skilled Worker, Minister of Religion or Student visa, then you will need an English language test that proves you’re capable of reading, writing, listening and speaking in English - also known as an ISE.
The SELT tests that you will need for each are:
Both GESE and ISE are Trinity College London’s version of SELTs. The difference between them is that to pass a GESE, you need to prove your English speaking and listening abilities. For ISE, you’ll need to prove your English speaking and listening abilities, PLUS reading and writing. The type you’ll need will depend on which type of UK visa you’re applying for, and the level of English needed to apply.
GESE stands for Graded Examinations in Spoken English, and they are English speaking and listening exams. They are split into grades from 1 to 12 and the grade relates to the level of language proficiency:
Trinity SELT exam
GESE Grades 4-6
GESE Grades 7-9*
GESE Grades 10-12*
ISE stands for Integrated Skills in English, and these exams test people's English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. These are aimed at helping people develop real life English skills required for both studying and working in the UK. There are three levels of ISE:
While searching to book a SELT test, you may have come across the term CEFR (also known as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and wondered what it means. In order to determine your English language proficiency at different levels, CERF uses a six-level framework, which depends on the kind of visa you are applying for.