Insider Tips on How to Pass the Home Office A1 English Test

Moving to a new country can be intimidating, especially if you hardly know anyone and you don’t speak the language.  If you came to the UK on a fiancé, family or spouse visa and are over 18 and under 65 you are going to have pass an English exam in speaking and listening.

For many the thought of taking an exam in a foreign language can be scary, however, apart from it being a legal requirement learning English is also part of the important step of successfully setting into your new life in a new country.  Being able to communicate in basic English means that you’ll be able to go to the shops on your own, go to the doctor, talk to your new family (some of whom might not speak your native tongue) and help you meet people and feel part of your new community.

The English Speaking & Listening exam may also be the first exam some people ever take in a foreign language and can seem like a massive hurdle if you don’t have the tools to get you started on your journey to speaking English.

The team at LanguageCert, the Awarding Organisation that offers Home Office approved, Ofqual regulated English language exams for UK visas and immigration, has put some top tips to take the worry out of studying, preparation and taking these vital exams so that you can feel confident that you will successfully pass the exam.

1.     Make a timetable. If you know you have to take and pass your exam by a certain date, make a plan to start studying well in advance.  Set aside a certain amount of time each day when you are going to work on the skills you need.  Don’t put yourself under pressure to study for hours every day but preparing for the exam in bite size chunks of time will seem less intimidating.

2.     Do your homework.  LanguageCert has some fantastic videos that walk you through the preparation and exam (step by step) and help you understand the kind of questions you will be asked and the meaning of those questions.

3.     Try and immerse yourself in English, watch T.V., listen to the radio and look at newspapers, these are fun ways to help you prepare for the exams and you’ll start understanding recognising words and meanings. Most importantly get the people around you to speak to you in English so you can become familiar with the type of simple phrases that you will need to learn.

4.     Practice, practice, practice. You can never prepare too much, and the more you practice the more confident you will feel in the exam.

5.     Remember to enrol for the exam on or through our Approved SELT partners and find a convenient SELT Test Point near you; there are 15 SELT Test Points in the UK and all on good transport routes near most major cities.

6.     Make sure you know how to get to the exam centre, do a trial run and get there in good time.  Go for a walk before to calm your nerves if you need to and take your partner or a family member to support you if you can and of course “good luck”.

Andrew Harrison of LanguageCert says: “LanguageCert offers a fresh approach to the SELT exams, and our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for everyone by supporting candidates with as much information as possible to help get them through the A1 Speaking & Listening exam. There are other advantages in taking your A1 Speaking & Listening exam with us giving you the reassurance that you are in a safe pair of hands.

·       Our exams are high-quality, reliable and developed to the most rigorous standards

·       We issue superfast results (preliminary results shortly after the completion of the exam & official results in just 3 business days

·       We offer flexible and innovative exam administration technologies and systems – focused on making the user experience as easy as possible

·       We are recognised worldwide by official authorities, organisations and Higher Education Institutions globally


For further information, interviews and images please contact: Caroline Ratner Communications, 07976 765453


LanguageCert is an Ofqual recognised Awarding Organisation dedicated to language skills assessment and certification. It is a UK-based company of PeopleCert Group, a global leader in the certification industry, that has been delivering millions of exams in over 200 countries.

LanguageCert develops its own qualifications and offers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality English language certifications at all CEFR levels, catering to candidates wanting to study, work or live-in English-speaking environments. For the delivery of its own qualifications, as well as for examinations delivered in collaboration with its partners, LanguageCert deploys state-of-the-art, innovative, and flexible exam administration technologies and systems developed by PeopleCert, which are tailor-made to each exam’s specific requirements.

LanguageCert qualifications are internationally recognised by official authorities, universities, colleges, and organisations.

LanguageCert is committed to serving its network of Approved Test Centres, and all language schools and teachers who prepare students for LanguageCert qualifications to world class standards. The quality of its range of qualifications is continuously monitored and verified by an Advisory Council of world-leading academics.

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