Secure English Language Test SELT
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Dr Mohammad Shafiq

Secure English Language Test (SELT)

Secure English Language Test (SELT)

It’s no secret that English is the international language for education, business, and culture. English language proficiency is crucial for higher study or migration, especially in Western countries. Students and migrants must take proficiency tests before applying for admission or visa. One such popular option is SELTs or the Secure English Language Test. It’s a kind of English proficiency test designed to assess your ability to use the language in a real-world context.

Understanding Secure English Language Tests

We already know that Secure English Language Tests are standardized English proficiency tests that assess an applicant’s ability to use English in real-world scenarios. These tests are designed to assess a person’s speaking, reading, writing, and listening English language skills.

A person’s English proficiency skills are assessed while applying for visas, work permits, and other immigration processes. These tests are conducted in a secure environment and are assessed through various modules.

Recognized SELT Providers

A lot of providers conduct SELT tests in the UK and outside. Here are the most common ones:

  • IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System: is offered in 140 countries and accepted by over 10,000 organizations.
  • TOEFL iBT, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language: is offered to over 165 countries and accepted by over 9,000 organizations.
  • PTE Academic or the Pearson Test of English Academic: is offered in over 50 countries and accepted by over 7,000 organizations.

SELT Tests and Proficiency Levels    

  • Commonly accepted SELT tests: there are many language proficiency SELT tests, but the commonly accepted ones include IELTS, TOEFL iBT, and PTE Academic. These tests are accepted by more than 10,000 organizations in the world, including the UK Home Office, the US Department of State, and the Canadian government.
  • Proficiency levels and score requirements: The SLET proficiency level or score depends on the visa or immigration program you are applying for. Each visa type has its own level of English language proficiency requirement. For example, a Tier 2 visa in the UK requires at least IELTS 6.0 or equivalent score.

SELT Requirements For Visa Applications

SELT Requirements For Visa Applications

Visa Categories That Require SELT

The following visa categories require SELT scores to determine your English language proficiency:

  • Student Visas: Students willing to study in the UK or other English-speaking countries must take a SELT assessment and achieve the minimum requirement. Only universities that have a license from the UK Home Office as certified student sponsors do not require a SELT test for admission.
  • Work Visas: Some work visas especially Skilled Worker visas or Employer-Sponsored Skilled migration visas require applicants to have a SELT assessment with a minimum score required by the visa category.
  • Settlement and Citizenship Applications: Those who want to settle down or get citizenship in an English-speaking country, are required to take a SELT assessment and achieve a minimum score based on the visa type. For example, the Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants need to have a minimum B1 proficiency level.

English Language Requirements for Different Visa Subclasses

Here are the English language requirements for different visa subclasses:

Visa Subclasses

SELT Level

Required Proficiency

Student Visa Degree Level

B2

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Student Visa Below Degree Level

B1

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Skilled Worker Visa

B1

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Indefinite Leave to Remain

B1

Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Minimum SELT Scores For Visa Applications

The minimum SELT English test score for visa applicants varies based on what visa subcategory you are applying for. Here are some examples of required scores:

Visa Subclasses

Minimum Score

Student Visa Degree Level

6.5

Student Visa Below Degree Level

6.0

Skilled Worker Visa

6.0

Indefinite Leave to Remain

6.0

 

SELT Providers And Test Formats

SELT Providers And Test Formats

There are many SELT assessment providers, but three of them are the most popular and taken by applicants worldwide. They are:

All these providers have their own assessment criteria and scoring system. As an applicant, you can take any of these tests to determine your English language proficiency.

Test Formats and Components

All the SELT assessments are designed to assess your English language proficiency in four key areas. They are:

  • Speaking: The speaking test is conducted by a one-on-one interview with a trained examiner. The examiner will ask various questions about yourself, your work, your interests, and a variety of topics. You will also be given a task like describing a picture.
  • Listening: This test is conducted through a series of recordings. You will be asked to listen to the recordings and answer questions from those recordings on a variety of topics, such as conversations, news reports, and lectures.
  • Reading: The reading test will have a series of texts you have to read out. You will be given several texts and answer questions from them. The texts might be in the form of articles, letters, or anything else.
  • Writing: The writing test consists of several assessments such as writing an essay, letter, or any other formal or informal writing.

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Test Duration and Scheduling Options

The duration of your SELT assessment varies based on which test you are choosing. Different providers have different durations of their tests. For example, the IELTS UKVI test takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

Each of these providers offers multiple test schedules throughout the year. You can book a schedule with your chosen provider over the phone or by email. 

Test Fees and Payment Methods

The test fees also depend on which provider you choose and the test level. For example, secure English language tests for UKVI IELTS cost GBP 181.25. You can pay the provider using credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.

Preparing For A SELT

Preparing For A SELT

Here’s how you can take an all-out preparation for a SELT assessment:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the test format: This is the first preparation you need to take for a SELT assessment. Different SELT assessment has different format. Knowing the test format includes knowing the question patterns, test durations, and how to answer the questions.
  • Understanding the assessment criteria: You must know the assessment criteria of SELT tests. This way you can determine which provider you will select to take the final test. You will find this information on the test provider’s website.
  • Practicing test components: This is the most crucial part of your test preparation. You need to practice four key components of the assessment: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Practicing them several times will give you the confidence to demonstrate these skills in the examination hall. Several resources are available to practice these modules.
  • Utilizing study materials and resources: You will find many study materials and resources to prepare well for the assessment. Some of these materials are available online on websites and apps.
  • Mock tests and simulations: Another good way to prepare yourself better for the assessment is by taking mock tests and simulations. They will help you practice the modules under timed conditions.

Booking And Taking A SELT

Secure English Language test SETL are standardized tests with specific formats. Taking a SELT assessment includes several stages. Let’s discuss the process of booking and taking an SELT test. 

  • Registering for the test: The first step of taking a SELT is to register for the test. First, you must choose a provider and register with them on an available date. Online registration is available or you can do that by phone call as well. 
  • Selecting a suitable test location: You do not want to go far away from your home to take the test. That's why you should choose a test center that is located in a suitable location for you. Make sure to select from approved secure English language test centres.
  • Booking the test date and time: After selecting a suitable test center, you can book your SELT test date and time. Typically, you will have multiple dates and times to choose from.
  • Test day instructions and requirements: On your test day, you must bring your identification and documentation with you. Make sure to follow the test center's instructions.
  • Identification and documentation: The SELT test requires two types of identification. One is a photo ID, such as your passport. The other one can be your birth certificate or your student ID.
  • Test center facilities and support: You can expect several facilities from the test center, such as a quiet room, fast internet connection, proper climate system, proper lighting, etc.

Receiving And Reporting Test Results

Receiving And Reporting Test Results

Test Results Timeline

The results of the SELT test are usually available within 13 days of the test. However, the timeline can vary based on the test provider and your center. To learn more about results and other information, contact your test provider.

Understanding SELT Score Reports

SELT score reports are given as a detailed breakdown of your performance on each test module. It also includes your overall SELT score. By looking at the score you can understand your strengths and weaknesses in English proficiency.

Validity of SELT Results

SELT assessment has a specific validity, which is 2 years. It means, your SELT score will be valid for up to 2 years from taking the assessment. After that, you will have to retake the test to demonstrate your proficiency.

Reporting Test Results to Relevant Authorities

You can use the SELT score to apply for a university admission, student visa, skilled worker visa, and Permanent Residency. Submit your SELT certificate to the relevant authority.

Retaking A SELT

If you are dissatisfied with your score or more than two years have passed since your assessment, you can retake the SELT test.

  • Reasons for retaking a SELT: There are several reasons you can retake a SELT. Such as, you did not pass the test, want to improve your score, and your score validity is over.
  • Waiting periods between test attempts: it depends on the test provider. Some providers allow retaking as soon as the result is out. Others require you to wait for some time.
  • Test registration and booking process for retakes: the process is exactly similar to the process of first-timers. You will have to create an account, take a test date, and pay the re-take fee.

Other English Language Proficiency Options

Non-SELT English Language Tests Accepted for Visa Applications

Some other non-SELT English proficiency tests are accepted by visa authorities around the world. Some of them are Cambridge English, IESP, etc.

English Language Courses and Qualifications

You will have several English language courses that will prepare you for a SELT or other English proficiency tests. Besides, some academic courses are accepted for visa applications. For example, GCSE and A-level English courses are school-level qualifications.

Conclusion

A Secure English Language Test will assess your English language proficiency and works like a certificate in applying to a university, job, or for visas around the world. So, be sure to take adequate preparation before taking this test. Most importantly, talk to the test providers for more information.

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