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Why Skills for English?

Skills for English is a qualification that enables you to demonstrate your knowledge of English language for a range of purposes, including work, study or settlement. With Skills for English you get:

  • A qualification that is assured by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), an international leader in education and qualifications development
  • A clear path for rapid progress towards your goal, with practical support, study aids and practice tests
  • A variety of test levels to match your needs precisely, with the outcome based on a simple pass-mark
  • Simple on-demand booking and a choice of delivery channels and locations
  • A one-session test that is entirely computer-based with no examiner/assessor present
  • Auto-marked reading and listening skills, with speaking and writing skills marked by expert assessors who do not see any of your personal details
  • A quick turn-around on marking with results being available in as little as 14 days



Levels tailored to your needs

Skills for English provide an accurate measure of language proficiency through practical and realistic tasks which you would expect to undertake in an English-speaking environment.

You get to choose the test level you require, from beginner to proficiency, for either two skills, speaking and listening, or four skills, speaking, listening, reading and writing. That way you know you are preparing for and taking, precisely the level of test you need for your chosen purpose – no more, no less.


CEFR PSI Test Code Level Description Skills Duration
C2 4SC2 Mastery Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing 190 Minutes
C1 4SC1 Expert Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing 190 Minutes
B2 4SB2 Upper Intermediate Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing 190 Minutes
B1 4SB1 Lower Intermediate Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing 175 Minutes
B1 2SB1 Lower Intermediate Speaking & Listening 50 Minutes
A2 2SA2 Elementary Speaking & Listening 35 Minutes
A1 2SA1 Beginner Speaking & Listening 30 Minutes

You can see how the tests map to other common language frameworks and tests here.





Computer-based testing for all skills

All Skills for English tests use computer-based delivery for all skills. Reading and listening are automatically marked during the test session itself; speaking and writing are recorded digitally during the test session and marked by trained assessors (who have no visibility of your personal details) after you’ve finished. That means you can move through each of the skills sections in turn in a single test session and receive your results in as little as 14 days.




First, you will be asked to introduce yourself. Then you will listen to a series of recordings, and respond to recorded questions and tasks presented on screen. You will do this by recording your spoken answers.


You will be asked to listen to a number of recordings of spoken English. These will feature one or more speakers. After each, you will be asked to answer a series of multiple-choice or short word-answer questions.


You will be presented with a series of texts of varying lengths on screen. Then you will be asked to respond to questions about them in a range of formats. These include multiple-choice, true/false/not given, answer matching, or written responses.


You will be given two tasks, which may be on any relevant topic. You will then be asked to organize and complete an extended written response for each task. The response has to address the task and include key information that has been identified within it.

When you receive your results, you will be given details of the individual outcome (pass/fail) for each skill taken, plus your overall test outcome (also pass/fail), you need to pass each of the skills taken in order to pass the test overall.



Simple to take, simple to book

Skills for English language tests can be taken at one of our worldwide networks of PSI Authorised Test Centres, you can book on-demand all year round and take the test at a time and place that’s convenient to you.



Assured by SQA, powered by PSI

Skills for English is the creation of two of the leading names in qualification and certification.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is an international leader in education and qualifications development. PSI Services is a global workforce solutions provider with over 70 years of experience providing worldwide high-stakes testing.

SQA would like to thank the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe for providing expertise for standard setting activities during the development of Skills for English tests.

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