Secure English Language Tests (SELTs)

A Secure English Language Test (SELT), as defined by the UK Home Office, is a test that is offered at an approved test centre and assesses the four skills of English language: reading, writing, listening and speaking, using the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) as a guide to English language proficiency.

Do I need to take a Secure English Language Test?

A SELT exam is a standard requirement for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa for all non-EEA/EU international students wanting to study at a UK university. You will be required to take a SELT if you're not of majority English speaking nationality, as defined by the UK Home Office, or you don't possess a degree awarded, studied and conferred in a majority English speaking country. The confirmed list of Home Office approved majority English speaking countries are as follows (if your country is not listed you will be required to fulfil the standard English language requirements):

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Bahamas
  • United States of America

Some students may qualify for exemption from the standard English language qualification requirements. Any exemption is at the University’s discretion. Please see below:

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate applicants of majority English speaking nationality who do not require a SELT to confirm English language competence will still be asked to provide a UK GCSE English language equivalent qualification as part of the English language requirements for an undergraduate course.

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate applicants of majority English speaking nationality, or those who have completed a UK bachelor's degree equivalent qualification (as conferred by UK NARIC) in a majority English speaking country (including the UK and Ireland) will not be asked to provide an English language qualification, however confirmation may be requested that any teaching was undertaken in English.

Why do I need a Secure English Language Test for university study?

A Secure English Language Test (SELT) is requested by admissions departments of UK universities as official proof that your English language is an appropriate level as required for the course you've chosen to study. A SELT exam is a standard requirement for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa for all non-EEA/EU international students who want to study at a UK university. The UK Home Office decides the minimum level required to qualify for a student visa. The University also sets its own English language requirements and for some courses levels the requirement is above the UK Home Office minimum level.

What types of SELT are there?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most popular Secure English Language Tests and English language qualifications that are widely accepted amongst UK universities. Other common exams accepted by the University for degree study are TOEFL-IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language-Internet Based Test) and Pearson Academic Test of English (PTE). There are many other less popular tests and qualifications also available.

How long is a Secure English Language Test valid for?

Most SELTs are valid for a period of two years from the date you take the test. Your test must still be valid on the first day of enrolment of the course you're applying or accepted for. If your test is not valid on the first day of enrolment we will ask you to retake the test.

How can I obtain a Secure English Language Test?

The most commonly taken Secure English Language Test (SELT) is IELTS. There is test-taking advice pages on the IELTS website and we would recommend you do some research for each exam and find out about and prepare for the test. You will also find useful test materials and online practice tests for you to get an idea of what the exam is like, as well as when and where they are available.

It is a good idea to take a preparation course for the exam in your country as this will help you develop better skills and exam technique. Some students don't get the scores they should do because of lack of preparation and poor exam technique, or not knowing enough about the different parts of the exam and what is required of them.

It takes around 14 days for your IELTS test results to be sent to you so it's important to plan ahead and get your SELT result to us in good time – you will need to provide us with a copy of your IELTS certificate.

If you intend to study one of our International Foundation Programmes, or are interested in undertaking a pre-sessional English language course, you will need a Secure English Language test (such as IELTS) from a UKVI approved centre. Find a UKVI approved centre.

What should I do once I get my results?

If you're already holding a conditional offer with us, you should respond to this offer when you receive the results of your test by uploading your chosen English language test certificate (official copy scans only). We will confirm and verify your results and contact you accordingly. You can upload your English language certificate by logging into our applicant portal with your username and password.

What should I do if I don't get the results I need?

If you haven't reached the English language requirements of your chosen course, you may want to consider applying for an English Language course at London Metropolitan University. We have a number of courses designed to help you develop your skills for university study and assess your English to make sure it's up to the minimum level both for degree study and the entry requirements of your course.

Your English language skills and study skills are assessed throughout these courses, so if you successfully complete the course you will not have to take another SELT to progress on to your degree. You can find out more information about the range of courses we offer and how to apply on our English language courses page.

Where can I get more information?

You can find more information about Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) on the UK government website.

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