Exams and tests

There six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. are described in the table below.

About the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR or CEF)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR or CEF) is an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language ability on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing, such as teachers or learners, to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare our qualifications to other exams in their country.

There six levels: A1A2B1B2C1C2. are described in the table below.




The capacity to deal with material which is academic or cognitively demanding, and to use language to good effect at a level of performance which may in certain respects be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
Example: CAN scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic of text, reading almost as quickly as a native speaker.


Effective Operational Proficiency
The ability to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
Example: CAN deal with hostile questioning confidently. CAN get and hold onto his/her turn to speak.


The capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics.
Example: CAN show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.


The ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with nonroutine information.
Example: CAN ask to open an account at a bank, provided that the procedure is straightforward.


Wayst age
An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
Example: CAN take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.


A basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
Example: CAN ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.

Cambridge English

Cambridge English (a part of Cambridge Assessment) is a department of Cambridge University. Their English exams Proficiency (CPE)Advanced (CAE)First (FCE)Preliminary (PET) and Key (KET) are recognized around the world by thousands of employers, universities and government ministries as proof of ability to use English.


Cambridge English exams
IELTS – International English Language Testing System

B2 First (FCE) – First Certificate in English (B2)

C1 Advanced (CAE) – Certificate of Advanced English (C1)

C2 Proficiency (CPE) – Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2)

B1 Preliminary (PET)Preliminary for Schools – Preliminary English Test (B1)

A2 Key (KET) – Key English Test (A2)

BEC – Business English Certificates (B1, B2, C1)


The following gives an approximate comparison between the different exams. The exams all use the Common European Framework (CEF) proficiency levels.



Cambridge English Key 120-139

PTE General Level 1

PTE Academic 30-42

TOEIC Listening & Reading 225

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 160



Cambridge English Key 140-150

Cambridge English Preliminary (PET) 130-159

B1 Business Preliminary


TOEFL iBT 42-71

TOEIC Listening & Reading 550

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 240

PTE General Level 2

PTE Academic 43-58



Cambridge English First (FCE) 160-179

Cambridge English Preliminary (PET) 160-170

B2 Business Vantage

IELTS 5.5-6

TOEFL iBT 72-94

TOEIC Listening & Reading 785

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 310

PTE General Level 3

PTE Academic 59-75


Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 180-199

Cambridge English First (FCE) 180-190

C1 Business Higher

IELTS 6.5-7.5

TOEFL iBT 95-120

TOEIC Listening & Reading 945

TOEIC Speaking & Writing 360

PTE General Level 4

PTE Academic 76-85


Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)

Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 200-210


PTE General Level 5

PTE Academic 85+

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What is B2 First (FCE)?