Secure English Language Test (SELT) - Format, Syllabus, Test Dates


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jul 26, 2022 10:03 AM IST

The SELT exam is taken to prove English proficiency for UK immigration and visa purposes. Know the exam fees, syllabus, exam pattern, test dates and much more from this detailed guide.

Secure English Language Test (SELT) - Format, Syllabus, Test Dates

Secure English Language Test (SELT) is an English language test approved for UK visas and immigration by the UK Home Office. The exam is taken based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) which is a guide to English language proficiency.

The SELT exam can be taken by students, innovators, start-ups, skilled workers, partners, parents, sportspersons, overseas business representatives and for settlements and citizenship.

You will be required to take a SELT exam if you do not belong to a majority English-speaking country or do not have a degree studied, awarded or conferred in an English native speaking country. The SELT exam is accepted by more than 100 colleges and UK universities for admission purposes.

What is SELT Exam?

A Secure English Language Test is a test that is conducted at an approved SELT test centre assessing the four English language skills-reading, writing, speaking and listening. The SELT exam is to be taken for living, work and study visa.

A SELT exam is requested for university applications to UK universities as official proof that your English language level is appropriate to the course chosen to study. A SELT exam is a general requirement for a Tier 4 student visa (replaced by Student Visa) for all non-EEA/EU international students.

The minimum level to qualify for the visa is decided by the UK government. The universities also set their own minimum requirement criteria which can be above the minimum level set by the UK Home Office.

Conducting Body of SELT Exam

SELT is a term used by UK Immigration and Visa (UKVI) to describe the English language tests required as evidence of English language proficiency for visa application.

The approved conducting bodies or providers of SELT exams are given below:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium

  • LanguageCert: LanguageCert International ESOL SELT

  • Pearson: PTE Academic UKVI or PTE Home

  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd: Skills for English UKVI:

  • Trinity College London: Secure English Language Tests for UKVI Integrated Skills in English (ISE) or Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

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Overview of SELT Exam

An overview of the SELT Exam can give you detailed and key information about the exam. Here are the key highlights of the SELT exam:



SELT Full Form

SecureEnglish Language Test




UK Immigration and Visa

Conducting Body

PTE, IELTS, LanguageCert, PSI Services, Trinity College London

Type of Exam

Assessment Test

Exam Duration


Number of Questions

Depends on the exam taken

Question Types

Multiple Choice, Essay Type



SELT Exam Dates and Deadlines

SELT Exam providers declare the dates and deadlines for registration well ahead of time. SELT exam registration can be done on an immediate basis but a late registration fee has to be provided for some exams. Here is all about SELT exam dates and their deadlines:

SELT Exam Provider

Exam Dates

Exam Registration Deadline


Available throughout the year in both paper-based and online mode

Can be done from three months to one week before the exam date


Online exam is held throughout the year on all days

The exam can be booked even 24 hours before the exam date

Trinity College London

Exams are provided seven days a week

Book as quickly as possible


Available on specific dates depending on test location

Exam can be booked up to 24 hours prior to exam date

PSI Services (UK) Ltd

Numerous test dates are available

Quick booking is advised

SELT Exam Centres in India

SELT exam centres are available across the major cities in India. The Trinity College London SELT exam is only available for residents of the UK. Apart from that, the threeother English language providers conduct SELT in India.

SELT Exam Provider

SELT Test Centre(s)


Gurgoan, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata

Pearson PTE

New Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Kochi, Pune


Gurugram, Gandhinagar, Pune, Ahmedabad, Karaikudi

Eligibility Criteria for SELT Exam

Eligibility criteria for SELT exam are the minimum requirements or conditions to be eligible to appear for the test. The common eligibility criteria for the SELT examination are:

  • Test-taker has to be at least 16 years old for some SELT exams.

  • Those below 16 years have to get parental consent signed while booking.

  • No specific educational qualification is required for appearing in the SELT exams.

  • Test-takers must be fluent or must have working knowledge in English reading, writing, speaking and listening sections to be eligible to sit for the SELT exam.

  • Candidates must have a valid ID card to prove their identity for registering for the test.

How to Apply for SELT Exam?

In order to sit for the SELT exam, you will have to complete the registration process. The booking can be done online or by phone. The following steps are given to apply for the SELT exam:

Step 1: Visit Official Website of the Test Provider

To register for the SELT exam, you will have to visit the website of the test organisers. For example, if you wish to book an IELTS test, you will have to visit IDP IELTS India website.

Step 2: Open an Applicants Account

By providing your login credentials that include your name, email ID and phone number, you will have to open an account through which you can book the test.

Step 3: Select Test Date and Test Centre

Once you have selected the test type you wish to appear for, you have to confirm a test date and test location. Choose a centre near to your residence.

Step 4: Provide Personal Information and Upload Documents

Here, you will have to share your personal details such as name, ID card number, the purpose of the exam and etc. After that upload the necessary documents.

Step 5: Select Organisations to Send Scores

If you wish to send your scores to the organisations you wish to. It can be any government department of the UK, corporate office located in the UK or a UK university.

Step 6: Pay the Application Fees

The exam fee has to be paid to complete the registration process. There are several debit cards, credit cards and net banking options to pay the fees.

SELT Exam Fees

Different SELT exam providers charge different fees to conduct SELT examinations. The exam fees include fees to register, reschedule, cancel and for various other services. Here, we have provided the registration fees of different SELT exam providers:

SELT Exam Provider

Exam Fees (in INR)





Trinity College London




PSI Services (UK) Ltd

Depends on the place and type

SELT Exam Pattern

The SELT exam pattern is based on four sections of English language communication. The total duration is 2 hours and 52 minutes and the exam is computer-based. The reading and listening sections contain multiple choice questions with three options while the writing section contains writing topics. The SELT exam pattern is given below:



Number of Questions


30 mins



2 hours and 10 mins



2 tasks


12 mins

4 parts

SELT Exam Syllabus

SELT exam syllabus is designed to assess the proficiency level of test-takers in the English language. A range of authentic tasks is used to analyse the listening and reading skills along with vocabulary, and lexical and grammatical knowledge.

The syllabus of the SELT exam is divided into four parts:

SELT Listening Syllabus

There are four parts to the SELT listening syllabus containing multiple choice questions. The tasks of the four parts are given below:

  • Task 1: Seven short sentences between two speakers are played twice. One sentence is formal. Seven multiple choice questions need to be answered.

  • Task 2: Three short conversations between two speakers are played. You need to identify and answer six multiple choice questions based on, purpose, topics, context, speakers, the relationship between speakers, gist, roles, functions, feeling, attitudes and opinions.

  • Task 3: One recording is played to identify relevant information. Notes are to be written on message pads. You have to answer seven questions based on one to three words.

  • Task 4: A discussion is played two times and test-takers have to identify opinion gist, examples, purpose, fact, contrast, attitude, key ideas, cause and effect

SELT Reading Syllabus

The SELT reading syllabus also contains four tasks. The task descriptions are given below:

  • Task 1: Five short texts are given with blanks. It aims to test your idea of the usage of layout, coherence and cohesive devices.

  • Task 2: An incomplete text is given with options containing sentences to fill up the gaps. One of the options is a distractor.

  • Task 3: Four texts are provided to be read which include email, advert, article etc. Then seven questions are to be answered telling which text answers which question.

  • Task 4: A narrative, expository, descriptive, instructive or biographical text is given. Eight questions are to be answered in one to three words.

SELT Writing Syllabus

The SELT writing section contains two tasks. The two parts are:

  • Task 1: A response to a poster, letter, diary, leaflet, timetable, etc. has to be written in 70 to 100 words.

  • Task 2: A letter of 100-120 words on a personal topic is given.

SELT Speaking Syllabus

The speaking section lasts for 12 minutes with four parts. The parts of the speaking syllabus are:

  • Task 1: Here you will have to spell your name, give the name of the country of origin and answer five questions.

  • Task 2: Test-taker has to respond and initiate a conversation on two to three circumstances presented by the interlocutor.

  • Task 3: A visual prompt will be shown. Students have to plan, arrange and decide based on that.

  • Task 4: A topic is provided by the interlocutor. The test taker has to think for 30 seconds and speak for one and half minutes and then answer follow-up questions.

Note: The exam SELT exam pattern and SELT exam syllabus given here are based on the LanguageCert English language proficiency examination. The syllabus and exam pattern tends to differ for other types of SELTS.

The SELT exam is an important entry requirement to get a UK visa. As it is approved by UKVI, it is accepted across major institutions in the UK. To migrate to the UK, it is necessary to qualify for the SELT exam. It is advised that you take the appropriate SELT exam based on your requirements.

If you need guidance about the SELT exam for UK immigration and visa, write to us at

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Why do I need to take SELT to study at a UK university?

You need to take the SELT test to study at a UK university as it is an official proof requested by the admission committee to prove your English language proficiency. For a UK student visa, a SELT test is mandatory if you are an international student from a non-English speaking country.

What is the validity of SELT?

The validity of the SELT exam is for two years from the day you take the test. For academic purposes, the test scores must be valid till the first day of the course for which you have taken admission. If your SELT test is not valid up to the first day, the UK universities may ask you to re-take the test.

What are the types of SELT exams?

There are five types of SELT exams as approved by the UK Immigration and Visa (UKVI). The most common is the International English Language System (IELTS). Besides, there are Pearson and LanguageCert. Trinity College London examination is valid for those who live in the UK whereas PSI Services (UK) Ltd. exam can be taken by various countries apart from the UK.

When is the SELT result declared?

SELT exam result is declared by the respective testing agencies as soon as possible. The time of result declaration depends on the conducting bodies. IELTS results are available within 3 to 13 days depending on the type of IELTS taken. PTE declares the result within 5 days. Trinity results are declared within 7 days. PSI declares Skills for English test results in 14 days.

Which SELT test should I choose?

You should choose the SELT test based on the required level of English for visa application. There are six levels of English language requirements, e.g., A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. You can take the relevant SELT test according to the proficiency required for your type of visa.

How can I prepare for the SELT exam?

You can prepare for the SELT exam using various preparation materials and books available. There are several online resources to help you with the preparation. You can practice from mock test papers and other previous year’s question papers. The conducting bodies also provide various free resources for making you test-ready.

Can I reschedule my SELT exam?

Yes, it is possible to reschedule your SELT exam by the procedure mentioned on the website of the test provider. You can reschedule your booking within a certain period of time. If done beyond that, you may not be able to reschedule and not get any refund. The testing agency deducts an administration fee for rescheduling the SELT exam.

Can I take the SELT exam online?

Yes, you can take the SELT exam online. All the test providers have computer-based test options at various SELT test centres across the world. There will be a webcam, microphones and speakers to make the examination process smooth. The questions of the online test appear on the computer screen and students have to answer accordingly.

Can children below 18 appear for SELT?

Yes, children below 18 can appear for SELT as there is no age restriction for taking the test. However, the minor test-takers have to download a consent form from the website and get it signed by their parents. They must be first submitted and then after approval they can book the SELT test.

How many attempts are allowed in the SELT exam?

Students can take numerous attempts in the SELT exam. However, they must remember that it should be taken only after the results of the previous SELT exam are declared. If the scores are not satisfactory, they can re-attempt with proper preparation. We recommend taking at least two weeks of preparation before attempting the exam again.

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