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CEFR level tests for English Language Exams

We explain CEFR, what it is and how Anglia Exams relate to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

What is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages?

The CEFR is a framework developed by the Council of Europe to measure and describe your level of proficiency for European language ability. It is especially useful if you are a non native speaker. It gives an idea of how good your language skills are and privides a guide for which levels to take English language exams at. There are a few types of framework for measuring language so it can get a bit confusing!

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is an international standard for establishing your language ability. You will often hear people say things like "My English language ability is at level B1 ". A school, university or college will often set a minimum CEFR level as part of their admission requirements.

The CEFR is a scale created in Europe and can be applied to any European language including English. It is growing in popularity and is  used  more and more worldwide as a standard for language ability. The CEFR was not made for a particular language test and so here at Anglia Exams we (like other language testing institutions), have mapped our exams to matching CEFR test levels so that you can easily understand the level of any Anglia Exam.

Understanding CEFR Test Levels 

Read on if you want to understand how Anglia exam English levels relate to the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Most non-native English language speakers will aspire to achieve English language ability at levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 abd C2. C2 is the higest level. That doesn't mean you have to start at these higher English language levels though. No matter your English level or language ability, Anglia exams provide an easy Step by Step approach to mastering the English language- helping you to progress though the CEFR levels at a pace that works best for you.

Whether you are intent on progressing to university, securing employment or for personal interest- having a an Ofqual approved Anglia Exam (our four highest levels B1-C2 are Ofqual approved), is a reliable way of proving your English language ability. 

A Summary of CEFR Levels

  • English level A1 is the first level on the CEFR and is defined as "beginner"
  • English level A2 is the second level of CEFR. Students at this level have learnt the basics of English can communicate simple, basic needs.
  • English level B1 is the third level of CEFR and describes an “intermediate” of English ability.
  • English level B2 is the fourth level in the CEFR and describes someone who is confident in everyday English speech.
  • English level C1 is the fifth level in the CEFR. English speakers at this level are advanced and can function independently with precision on a wide variety of subjects and in most settings. C1 Level is suitable for most academic studies.
  • English level C2 is the sixth and highest level of the CEFR. English learners C2 proficiency level are bilingual. A native English speaker with a good education is technically at a C2 level.

We help measure and test English language proficiency by working with English as a foreign language schools. We help students to progress from the very first steps of acquiring English language ability, on to levels A1 and up through the levels to CEFR level C2.

The following graphic gives an idea of how Anglia Examination levels relate to the CEFR levels.  This does not mean that there is an exact equivalence between the exam levels displayed.

Common European Framework of Reference