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ESOL Skills for Life (UK)

During 2017 Trinity’s ESOL Skills for Life qualifiations transitioned from the QCF to the RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework). To find out more about the transition read our answers to FAQs.

To prepare for all future exams please refer to ESOL Skills for Life specifications from 1 December 2017:

Latest specifications: Entry 1 | Entry 2 | Entry 3 | Level 1 | Level 2


Important - change to exam regulations 

From 1 December 2017 candidates cannot bring mobile phones, laptops or other devices into the Speaking and Listening exam room to support Task 1.

Candidates must bring their photograph or picture (or presentation outline at Level 2) as a printout or paper copy. This is to comply with Trinity security regulations and to improve efficiency with a standardised approach.


Trinity’s ESOL Skills for Life qualifications are designed to meet the needs of learners aged 16 and over who have chosen to make a life in the UK, and for whom English is a second or additional language. 

To help learners make the most of their lives in the UK, exam tasks cover a range of skills needed to settle in the country and to get by on a day-to-day basis. These include:

  • functional tasks such as reading and writing authentic correspondence with banks and other institutions, as well as genuine spoken interaction with an external examiner 
  • work-related tasks to help job seekers
  • academic tasks to aid progression to GCSE, Functional Skills or other academic paths.

These qualifications are based on the National Standards for Adult Literacy and are closely aligned to the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum.



Available at five levels from Entry 1 to Level 2, each ESOL Skills for Life award is a qualification in its own right.

Individual awards:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening

Overarching certificate:

  • Trinity ESOL Skills for Life Certificate - awarded when individual certificates have been awarded at the same level.


Specifications and resources

For exam specifications, sample practice papers and videos, visit the resource page for the level you require: 

Information and teaching resources relating to previous exam specifications can be found here here.


Fees, exam dates and administration support

Professional support

To help get you started with Trinity exams, we offer professional support to teachers and administrators preparing candidates for our exams, including visits, workshops and seminars.  

For more information and to find out how you can offer Trinity ESOL Skills for Life qualifications, email ukesol@trinitycollege.co.uk.


Additional information

Download an overview leaflet about Trinity's ESOL Skills for Life qualifications.

Check the regular updates to our ESOL Skills for Life news and events page.

Visit www.gov.uk for current SFA funding rules for ESOL Skills for Life funding and further information.


Tests for pre-Entry level candidates

For people who aren’t yet ready for an Entry 1 qualification, Trinity’s Step 1 and 2 exams provide the chance to mark their progress while building up to take an Ofqual regulated Entry Level qualification.


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