Language skill levels (CEFR)

Want to know your language skill level and choose learning or interpret your language test results?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. It is used all over Europe and, increasingly, worldwide.

Each level is defined by a series of can-do statements which describe what the learner is able to do in the target language. The CEFR enables students to understand what their current level of competency is, and develop a plan for progressing further. It also enables stakeholders to make decisions; for example, it can help universities and companies to select applicants. Exam scores from IELTS and Cambridge English can be mapped to the CEFR.

The Finnbrit language learning path offers a progression from one level to another. If you wish, you can complement your learning with additional exercises such as our Talk, Talk, Talk! course or by participating in the Discussion Den group. You may also wish to improve your pronunciation with a number of individual, private lessons. 

The language competency levels are

  • A – basic
  • B – independent
  • C – proficient.

These are detailed further as A1 & A2 for Basic, B1 & B2 for Independent and C1 & C2 for Proficient competency levels. Please find below descriptions on what you can expect to master regarding reading – writing – listening – speaking competencies in a real-life context at different competence levels.

At level A2, you can…+

  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • understand simple written English
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about yourself
  • interact with English speakers at a basic level.

At level B2, you can…+

  • communicate effectively face-to-face, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
  • follow the news
  • write clear, detailed English, expressing opinions and explaining advantages and disadvantages of different points of view
  • write letters, reports, stories and other types of text.

At level C1 Advanced, you can…+

  • follow an academic course at university level
  • communicate effectively at a managerial and professional level
  • participate with confidence in workplace meetings or academic tutorials and seminars
  • express yourself with a high level of fluency.

At level C2 Proficiency, you can…+

  • study demanding subjects at the highest level, including postgraduate and PhD programmes
  • negotiate and persuade effectively at senior management level in international business settings
  • understand the main ideas of compex pieces of writing
  • talk about complex or sensitive issues, and deal confidently with difficult questions.

The framework also helps you to align the results of our language tests with the language competency levels. For example: a score of 180 points in Cambridge C1 Advanced test is aligned with the IELTS test result of 6.5 points. Please find a pictorial presentation of CEFR and IELTS and Cambridge Assessment scores aligned by clicking here.

In order to get an idea of your language level, please try our “Test your English” quick test, participate in short level testing or contact us to receive guidance, click here.

Understanding your competence level will help you to choose the right course at Finnbrit, at the right pace, and contribute to your enjoyment of lifelong learning.