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SELT (Secure English Language Tests)

In order to study in the UK as an international student, you must prove that your English language skills are at the level required for your course.

You’ll need to take a ‘SELT’ English proficiency test to determine your score.

If you’re not sure which test to take, don’t worry – we’ve put together a guide to help you decide. Read on to find out everything you need to know about SELT tests.

A SELT is a Secure English Language Test – a term used by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to describe the English language tests they’ll accept as evidence of your English Language level for your visa application.

There are only a handful of approved SELT test providers. The most popular is UKVI IELTS, but there are several others including LanguageCertTrinity College LondonPearson and PSI Services.

If you are planning to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a Student Route visa. Your visa application will ask for your English language test scores, which are determined by taking a SELT. For more information about your Student Route visa, visit our student visa support page.

For students who want to study an INTO program considered ‘below degree level’, a SELT is always required when applying for a visa – unless you qualify for an exemption (e.g. you are from a majority English-speaking country).

However, if you intend to study at degree level (NQF 6 or above), you may not need to take a SELT as the sponsor or study provider can assess your English language ability themselves.

You’ll find a full list of SELT providers on the UK Government website.

You’ll need to achieve at least B1 or IELTS 4.0 overall in each test sub-skill, to meet UKVI requirements. Your specific centre and course may have a higher minimum level.


Below degree level (CEFR B1)

At or above degree level (CEFR B2)

IELTS SELT Consortium

IELTS for UKVI(Listening: 4.0; Speaking: 4.0; Reading: 4.0; Writing: 4.0)

IELTS for UKVI (Listening: 5.5; Speaking: 5.5; Reading: 5.5; Writing: 5.5)


LanguageCert Academic SELT B1 (Listening: 40; Reading: 40; Writing: 40; Speaking: 40)

LanguageCert Academic SELT B2 (Listening: 60; Reading: 60; Writing: 60; Speaking: 60)


Pearson PTE Academic UKVI (Listening: 43; Reading: 43; Writing: 43; Speaking: 43)

Pearson PTE Academic UKVI (Listening: 59; Reading: 59; Writing: 59; Speaking: 59)

Trinity College London

Integrated Skills in English (ISE) (Reading: Pass; Listening: Pass; Speaking: Pass; Writing: Pass)

Integrated Skills in English II (ISEII) (Reading: Pass; Listening: Pass; Speaking: Pass; Writing: Pass)

PSI Service (UK) Ltd

Skills for English (4 component) (Listening: Pass; Reading: Pass; Writing: Pass; Speaking: Pass)

Skills for English B2 (4 component) (Listening: Pass; Reading: Pass; Writing: Pass; Speaking: Pass

The British Council offers free learning and practice materials. Preparation courses are also available in most countries.

If you are unable to meet the English language requirements for your course, there may be other options available to you.

Depending on your academic level and the course you intend to study, you may be able to use a non-SELT to demonstrate your language proficiency. However, students using non-SELTs to demonstrate their language proficiency will still need to meet the UKVI minimum language requirements.

Certain providers will also have lower SELT requirements for students who wish to undertake an extended program or who would like to complete an ‘English for University Study’ or ‘Pre-sessional English’ course.

If you intend to study at degree level in the UK (NQF6 or above), you can take a standard English test in order to apply for your Student Route visa. It doesn't have to be a UKVI approved test.

INTO programs that are considered NQF6 or above include undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, Graduate Diplomas and Pre-Master's.

Below, you’ll find links to our partner universities' webpages containing information about alternative English language tests.

INTO City, University of London

INTO London English language entry requirements and English language policy

INTO Lancaster

INTO Manchester

INTO Newcastle University

INTO Queen's University Belfast

INTO University of East Anglia

INTO University of Exeter

INTO University of Stirling

We’ll help you every step of the way. If you have questions about SELT, IELTS for UKVI or other UK English proficiency tests, our dedicated team are ready to help.

Email the SELT support team:

More about studying in the UK