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ESOL Skills for Life Certificates - Flexilearning Centre

This exam tests your ability to communicate with other people in a variety of familiar and formal situations.

In each task, you will be required to listen and respond to others as well as speak clearly to be heard and understood in familiar situations. You must demonstrate that you have the knowledge of English and the language skills to be successful at this level.

Who is this exam for?

The ESOL exam is ideal for those students whose first language is not English and for those who need to show evidence of their level of English for different reasons.

How is the exam conducted?

The ESOL exam is either a speaking and listening exam only or a reading and writing exam too.

The speaking and listening exam is conducted in pairs, face to face with an external examiner.

The reading and writing exam is pen and paper exam, conducted in groups.

Speaking and Listening exam:

There are four sections to cover and the total time per candidate is about 20 to 25 minutes.

Section 1: Exchanging personal information – Estimated time: 6 minutes in total

The assessor greets the candidates and instructs them to ask each other questions. The candidates ask their partners for personal information about their lives, e.g. past events, present activities and future plans.

The assessor asks each candidate in turn additional questions relating to personal information, past events, present activities and / or future plans. the assessor brings the task to a close and introduces the second task.

Section 2: Unprepared talk – Estimated time: 8 minutes in total

The assessor provides a topic for the candidate to talk about. The topics will include such areas as personal experiences, likes and dislikes, work and hobbies.

The candidate talks to the assessor and his or her partner for approximately 2 minutes.

After the talk the candidate’s partner will ask the candidate 2 questions and the assessor may ask further questions.

Section 3: Taking part in a Role-play – Estimated time: 5 minutes in total

The assessor describes the situation and instructs the candidates. the candidates perform a role-play in pairs to discuss and agree a course of action.

Situations may include booking a holiday, reporting a theft, returning faulty goods, joining a class, buying a mobile phone.

Section 4: Listening and discussion – Estimated time: 10 minutes in total

Listening Task 4a:

The assessor introduces the listening task and gives instructions to the candidates that they must follow. The assessor introduces and plays text 1 to both candidates.

After the text has been played, the assessor asks each candidate a gist question with a yes or no answer. The assessor then gives a detail question to each candidate and plays text 1 a second time.

After the second playing, the assessor asks each candidate to answer their question.

The assessor introduces the listening of text 2 and repeats the process. Texts types include dialogues and monologues covering a range of everyday situations, including those in the workplace and in training settings.

Discussion Task 4b:

The assessor leads a discussion within the context of the final listening task.

How do I know my level of English?

If unsure about whether your level of English is sufficient and at the required Entry level 3, then please check your English level first using our assessment page or book an appointment to meet one of our teachers.

Key Facts:

Exam fees:

There will be an extra charge of £15 if you would like your certificate to be posted to you.


Flexilearning Centre
Olympic House
3rd Floor
28-42 Clements Road

Telephone:             020 8478 4813
Mobile:                   07983 62 62 46
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Skype:                   flexilearningcentre

Email: info@flexilearningcentre.co.uk